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December 27 St. John the Evangelist's Feastday

Updated: Mar 17, 2019

by Gordon Nary

St. John the Evangelist by El Greco

Although St. John the Apostle is more commonly referred to as St. John the Evangelist, some theologians have strong reservations about the authenticity of the Fourth Gospel, the three epistles, and the Book of Revelations (Apocalypse) that John was supposed to have authored. Most of the stories about St. John are apocryphal and are not substantiated biblically, including the assumption that he was the unnamed "disciple whom Jesus loved." who placed his head on Jesus' chest at the Last Supper, the disciple who first recognized Jesus after the Resurrection, and the disciple that Jesus asked to take care of his mother when Christ was crucified. John was, however, the only one of the twelve apostles who escaped martyrdom, living in exile until his nineties on the isle of Patmos.

St. John was one of the most important saints of the early church. Because of the legends of his good looks, he was somehow associated with the Greek god Dionysius who was the god of wine. St. John's feastday became the traditional day for the blessing and drinking of wine. In central Europe it is still a popular practice to bring jugs of wine and cider to the local church on December 27 to have them blessed. After the blessing, small portions of the wine and cider are poured into the storage barrels. The remaining wine and cider are mixed, flavored with honey and spices, and called St. John's Wine.

This wine is kept for special occasion such as weddings, funerals, and long trips. St. John's wine is often warmed before sipping, especially.

St. John's Wine


1 liter of red wine 1 liter of cider zest from 1 lemon zest from 1 orange

1/2 cup honey 3 cinnamon sticks 12 cloves


Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat over very low heat until hot. Do not let it boil. Strain and allow wine to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

© 2018 Gordon Nary

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