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 by him: and without him was made nothing that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John 1: 1-5
Saint John, the Apostle whom Christ loved, was the youngest of the Apostles. Born perhaps around 6-15 AD he and his brother James, sons of Zebedee and Salome, were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. Called by Christ to follow Him, they were nicknamed by Him Boanerges, sons of thunder, perhaps because of their asking Christ to call down lightning on those who did not follow Him, or perhaps a playful jab at the disposition of old Zebedee.
The two brothers were ambitious, asking Christ to allow them to sit by His side. He promised them only that they would drink from the cup He drank and be baptized in His Baptism. John’s brother James became the first of the Apostles to die a martyr’s death.
John far outlived all the other apostles, dying in exile on Patmos circa 100 AD. He witnessed the small defeated movement of the followers of Jesus after the Crucifixion swell into a mighty Church sweeping into every corner of the Roman Empire and beyond. He was the last living link to Christ and he set down what he remembered in that theological masterpiece, the Gospel of John. The other three Gospels give us Christ in unforgettable prose, the Gospel of John gives us Christ in lambent almost poetry, that has illuminated the humanity and the divinity of Christ for countless Christians down through the long ages. Through disciples like Saint Ignatius and Saint Polycarp he passed on to Christians who had never heard Christ the pure teaching of Christ that he had heard, and the love of Christ that burned within him.
In John 21: 22 Peter receives a very mild rebuke from Christ when Peter wonders if John is to tarry until Christ comes again: “What is that to thee, follow thou me!” There is an old legend that Saint John went into his tomb still living, perhaps to remain there miraculously alive until the Second Coming. In this legend there is a boulder of truth. The Gospel of John, more than any other single document, has helped keep alive in Christians something of the passion and the love of Christ that amazed the Apostles. In that Gospel, John does remain alive here on the Earth, as he prepares each Christian who reads it to follow the same Christ that he followed down the dusty trails of Galilee, Samaria and Judea so long ago.