The Holy and Divine Theologian, John the Evangelist was the son of Zebedee and Salome (one of the daughters of Saint Joseph the Betrothed), and the brother of James the Great. John and his brother were called at the same time to be followers of Christ and became two of the three (the other, Apostle Peter) closest disciples of Christ. They witnessed the healing of many people, the Light of the Transfiguration at Tabor, as well as many other miracles. Saint John, being the youngest of all the disciples, was also the most beloved disciple of Christ, following Him from the beginning of his ministry all the way to his Crucifixion and Burial. In the icon depicted, the Evangelist is shown leaning on the Lord’s chest at the Last Supper, a sign of love between the two. After the Resurrection of the Lord, the Evangelist took the Theotokos to his home as his own mother. After her Dormition, he went to Ephesus to preach the Word of God. Having been denounced by pagans, he was given a poisoned drink, which failed to kill him. He was then exiled to the island of Patmos where he converted many to Christ, but most famously, where he wrote the Book of Revelations, the last book of the Holy Bible. Having returned to Ephesus, he wrote the gospel under his name and also another 3 letters, all a part of the New Testament. Saint John lived to well over 100 and outlived every single eyewitness of Christ. By this time, his message was simple: love one another. He was buried and when some of his disciples came later to farewell him, they found his grave empty, thus his body having been translated to Heaven.
Ἀπόστολε Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ ἠγαπηπημένε, ἐπιτάχυνον, ῥῦσαι λαὸν ἀναπολόγητον, δέχεταί σε προσπίπτοντα, ὁ ἐπιπεσόντα τῷ στήθει καταδεξάμενος· ὃν ἱκέτευε, Θεολόγε, καὶ ἐπίμονον νέφος ἐθνῶν διασκεδάσαι, αἰτούμενος ἡμῖν εἰρήνην, καὶ τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.
Ἦχος β’. Αὐτόμελον.
Τὰ μεγαλεῖά σου Παρθένε, τὶς διηγήσεται; βρύεις γὰρ θαύματα, καὶ πηγάζεις ἰάματα, καὶ πρεσβεύεις ὑπὲρ τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν, ὡς θεολόγος καὶ φίλος Χριστοῦ.
Troparion — Tone 2
Beloved apostle of Christ our God, / hasten to deliver a defenseless people. / He who allowed you to recline on His breast, / receives you as you bow before Him. / Implore Him, John the Theologian, / to disperse the persistent threat from the heathens, / entreating for us peace and great mercy.
Kontakion — Tone 2
Who shall declare your greatness, / O virgin disciple, / for you pour forth wonders and are a source of healings, / and pray for our souls as Theologian and friend of Christ.