The Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

Today, on the Third Day of Christmas, we commemorate St. John, who with his brother, St. James the Greater, was one of the first apostles to answer the call of Jesus Christ and the last apostle to fall asleep in the Lord, in the year 100 A.D. Traditionally, he is considered the author of the Gospel of John, the First Letter of John, and the Book of Revelation. Religious art of St. John often depicts him with an eagle and a cup from which a serpent is rising. The eagle signifies the heights to which the first chapter of St. John’s Gospel rises and the cup references a legend where St. John avoids being poisoned through his wine by blessing it, after which the poison rose up out of the wine in the form of a serpent.
From today’s Collect:
“O God, who through the blessed apostle John have unlocked for us the secrets of your Word, grant, we pray, that we may grasp with proper understanding what he has so marvelously brought to our ears. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”