By Ria Novosti
By Ivan Korzun
The Russian Orthodox Church remembers on May 21 St. John the Divine, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and the patron saint of writers, editors and publishers.
On October 9 the Church commemorates the death of St. John, but some people believe he lives still. They are guided by the words Jesus told the apostle Peter about John: “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.”
“Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” (John, 21:22-23)
According to Christian legend, dust rises from his grave each year on May 8, which under the Julian calendar used by the Russian Orthodox Church falls on May 21 in the internationally accepted civil calendar. Roman Catholic and Protestant churches remember St. John on May 8.
The dust is said to heal believers of various ailments, which is why St. John is also commemorated on this day.
The apostle, also known as St. John the Theologian, is the patron of those who deal with “writing words” in their work. He said in his Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
St. John wrote five books of the New Testament: John’s Gospel, three epistles and the Book of Revelation, with predictions of the church’s tribulations and the end of the world. Most Christian denominations revere him as a saint.
John was one of Jesus’ closest disciples due to his sacrificial love and virginal purity. He was present during the transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor.
According to church legend, it was John who asked Jesus during the Last Supper who will betray him, and received the answer when Jesus said: “He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it” (John, 13:26).
John followed the Lord when he was led to Golgotha, and grieved at the foot of the Cross together with the Mother of God, looking at the crucified Savior.
St. John is also believed to help those suffering from poisoning, because, when sentenced to death for confessing his faith in Jesus, John drank a cup of poison given to him but remained alive.