He is the Apostle of Charity, pictured
leaning on the breast of Jesus at the Last Supper.
Yet his love was rooted in the strength of the Holy Spirit because John was the only one of the Twelve who did not forsake Jesus during His crucifixion
John stood at the foot of the cross and was appointed the guardian of Mary and was the first apostle to reach the empty tomb on Easter morning.
He has almost always been depicted with an eagle to signify the soaring of his writings, which were so brilliant theologically that some came to call him “John the Divine.” He is the author of three New Testament books.
In the Gospel according to Saint John: “In the beginning was the Word. . . . ”
I love the more mystical Gospel of John because of its depth and power to touch my inner spirit.
The Limbourgs is illustrated with a miniature showing John on Patmos, the island where he was exiled by the Emperor Domitian, and where he received the revelation recorded in the Apocalypse.
The boat which has brought the apostle pulls away. John is young and beardless; beside him stands his symbol, an eagle, with spread wings and a portable inkstand in his beak.
Three trumpets ring in John’s ears, symbolizing the verse from the Apocalypse: “I… heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet…” (Apocalypse I: 10)
In the clouds above appears the vision:”I saw … one like to the Son of man….” (Apocalypse I: 13) On the Lord’s knees are the Lamb and the scroll with seven seals mentioned later in the Apocalypse; seated around His throne are twenty-four elders in white robes and golden crowns.
In his old age he was carried into the assembly of the Church at Ephesus, and his only exhortation was,
“Little children, love one another.”