A novena prayer in honor of St. John the Evangelist

On Saturday, December 27, just two days after Christmas, the feast of St. John the Evangelist is celebrated in both the traditional and Novus Ordo calendars of the Roman Catholic Church. The author of the fourth Gospel is also venerated as one of Our Lord’s twelve Apostles, called the Beloved.

A visit on the patronal feast day to a parish church such as that of St. John the Beloved in McLean or St. John the Apostle in Leesburg, accompanied by the recitation of one Our Father and the Creed, is enriched with a plenary indulgence.  Note that all plenary indulgences require sacramental confession, Communion, prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, and the absence of any attachment to sin whether mortal or venial.

Another commendable practice would be the recitation of the following Prayer to St. John, Apostle and Evangelist — as originally promulgated by Pope Leo XIII — as a novena prayer on each of the nine days up to and including the feast day on December 27:

O glorious Apostle, who, on account of thy virginal purity, wast so beloved by Jesus as to deserve to lay thy head upon His divine breast, and to be left, in His place, as son to His most holy Mother: I beg thee to inflame me with a most ardent love toward Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me from our Lord that I, too, with a heart purified from earthly afflictions, may be made worthy to be ever united to Jesus as a faithful disciple, and to Mary as a devoted son, both here on earth and eternally in heaven. Amen.

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