The 3rd Day of Christmas is the Feast of St. John the Evangelist & the day for Blessing of the Wine.
Today celebrates the Feast of St. John The Evangelist. And in relation thereto, today is the day to bring your bottle(s) of wine to the Church for the priest’s blessing.
John was a fisherman before he and his brother James answered Christ’s call to become his apostles. John was the only apostle to stay with Jesus during the crucifixion. Afterwards, he joined with St. Peter to spread Christianity throughout Israel. John was later exiled to the island of Patmos where he received visions that he recounted in what is now the final book of the Bible, Revelation. He is also credited as the author of the Gospel of John, and the Johannine Epistles, 1, 2 and 3, though some scholars contest that.
John was unique among the apostles. He alone among them did not die horribly, tortured to death as a martyr for his faith. John died naturally at age 85. That said, there were several attempts made on his life. The most famous was an attempt to poison him that failed when John blessed his wine, drawing out the poison before he drank the wine. It is in remembrance of that event that, on the Feast of St. John, people bring wine to the Church that it be blessed and then consumed in his honor.
John penned some of the most memorable lines of the Bible. For instance, John 1: 1-5:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not.
Today’s Feast was historically a special day of celebration for priests. Do have a happy Feast of St. John The Evangelist and may your wine be blessed.
The following is a typical hot mulled wine to be served on St. John’s feast day. On St. John’s Day, the older version of the Roman Ritual tells us that “wine offered by the faithful is blessed in remembrance and in honor of St. John who without any ill effects drank a cup of poisoned wine.” It was by faith that St. John was saved, and through the mystical union became the disciple whom the Lord loved best. By love and faith man comes to God. We, too, pray as members of the Mystical Body.
- 1 bottle red wine
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 2-inches stick cinnamon
- 1 cardamon seed
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Boil the spices in the wine in a large saucepan for about five minutes. Strain the wine and serve it hot.
Recipe Source: Cooking for Christ by Florence Berger, National Catholic Rural Life Conference, 4625 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310, 1949, 1999
Note: Alcohol boils at 173 degrees Farenheit. Consequently, boiling wine for 5 minutes, occurring at about 212 degrees Farenheit, will boil off most of the alcohol. Thus this will be a tasty treat for everyone, kiddies included.
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
This is is an English Christmas carol that first appeared in 1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems. The carol, based on Luke 2:14, tells of an angelic chorus singing praises to God. The carol features contributions from the two central figures of the First Great Awakening, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield.
I Wonder as I Wander