John was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, the son of Zebedee and Salome, and the brother of James the Greater. In the Gospels, the brothers are often called “the sons of Zebedee”. Our Lord also called them “Boanerges” or “Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17). The fact that John is usually mentioned after James seems to indicate that he was younger than his brother.
Originally, John fished with his father and brother in the lake of Genezareth. He was probably among the disciples of John the Baptist, when the Lord attached him to His apostolic college.
John is mentioned numerous times in the Scriptures, in Acts 1:13 as second after Peter. He seems to hold a prominent position among the apostles. Peter, James and he were the only witnesses to the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:37), of the Transfiguration (Matt.17:1), and of the Agony in the Garden (Matt.26:37).
At the Last Supper, he was the one that leaned his head on the Lord’s chest. According to pious tradition and private revelation, he was the first recipient of the devotion to Our Lord’s Most Sacred Heart.
Of all the apostles, John was the only one that was not married, and a virgin.
At the foot of the cross, he was the only one of the apostles standing with Mary Most Holy, and it was to him that the dying Saviour entrusted His Beloved Mother’s keeping and protection.
After the Lord’s death, John seems to have laboured with the other apostles for several years in Palestine until the persecution of Herod Agrippa led to the scattering of the apostles throughout the Roman Empire. John went to Asia Minor, including to Ephesus, where a pious tradition holds that he took the Blessed Mother to live.
One of the four evangelists, St. John is the author of the fourth and last Gospel. He wrote the Apocalypse on the Island of Patmos and was the only apostle not to suffer martyrdom but to die of natural causes around the age of 100.