Drink The Love of Saint John
St. John is held to be the author of the Gospel and Epistles bearing his name, as well as the Apocalypse. It has long been the tradition of the Church to assign one of the faces of the Four Living Creatures standing before the throne of God (as depicted in the Apocalypse) to the Gospellers and their Gospels. John’s symbol became the eagle (that mounts high to see the things of heaven), depicted here in the upper corners of the panel, a fitting attribution for the one who reclined on Jesus’ breast at the Last Supper, listening to the heartbeat of the Incarnate Deity. A legend concerning St. John states that, having been given a poisoned cup from which to drink, the Saint made the sign of the cross over it, at which point the poison escaped in the form of a deadly serpent. Above the cup and serpent is a banner reading, “In the beginning was the Word,” in Greek, from the incipit of John’s Gospel, which is appointed to be read at Mass on Christmas morning.