Today (Dec. 27) is the Feast Day of the Second Holy Saint John revered in Masonic Ritual – John the Evangelist. Although it is clear that the First Holy Saint was John the Baptist (Feast Day June 24 ), many are unsure as to who exactly the Second Holy Saint John was, probably because of the many titles attributed to him throughout the ages. He had been known as John the Evangelist, John the Apostle, John the Beloved, John the Young, and even John the Brother of Jesus – all of which point to the same person. But there was another John that people had mistakenly attributed to the Second Holy Saint John – John the Divine. It should be noted that John the Divine (aka John of Patmos), author of the Book of Revelations, is a totally different person according to Biblical scholars.

In close proximity with the Winter Solstice, the Feast Day of John the Evangelist is a day observed by early Freemasons as the WINTER FESTIVAL (December 27, sometimes celebrated during Christmas, in close proximity to the date). It is one of the four early Masonic assemblies aligned to the solstices and equinoxes, when Masonic communications and activities were scheduled. The others were the Summer Festival or the Feast of St. John the Baptist (June 24); the Spring Festival or Lady Day, in commemoration of the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25); and the Fall Festival or Michaelmas, in commemoration of the Feast of St. Michael (September 29). These dates and festivals were so important to early Freemasons that the union of the “Moderns” and the “Antients” were formalized on the Winter Festival of 1813, forming what is now the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE).

“HAPPY WINTER FESIVAL AND FEAST OF THE HOLY SAINT JOHN” to all initiated Masons of the Ancient Craft Lodge, whether Apprentice, Fellow, or Master.

VW Fabien Roget PM PDDGM

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