Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Saint John Evangelist and St Edward of England

The Vision of St John on Patmos, whose Feast we celebrate today.

The Golden Legend: The Life of Saint John the Evangelist:

There was a king, a holy confessor and virgin, named Saint Edward, which had a special devotion unto Saint John Evangelist, and it happed that this holy king was at the hallowing of a church dedicate in the honour of God and of this holy apostle; and it was that Saint John in likeness of a pilgrim came to this king and demanded his alms in the name of Saint John, and the king not having his almoner by him, ne his chamberlain, of whom he might have somewhat to give him, took his ring which he bare on his finger and gave it to the pilgrim. 

After these many days, it happened two pilgrims of England for to be in the Holy Land, and Saint John appeared to them and bade them to bear this ring to their king (to left, St Edward with ring with St Edmund beside him) and to greet him well in his name, and to tell him that he gave it to Saint John in likeness of a pilgrim, and that he should make him ready to depart out of this world, for he should not long abide here but come into everlasting bliss, and so vanished from them. And anon as he was gone they had great lust to sleep, and laid them down and slept, and this was in the Holy Land, and when they awoke they looked about them and knew not where they were. And they saw flocks of sheep and shepherds keeping them, to whom they went to know the way, and to demand where they were, and when they asked them they spake English and said that they were in England, in Kent on Barham Down.

And then History they thanked God and Saint John for their good speed, and came to this holy king Saint Edward on Christmas day, and delivered to him the ring and did their errand, whereof the king was abashed, and thanked God and the holy saint that he had warning for to depart. And on the vigil of the Epiphany next after he died and departed holily out of this world, and is buried in the Abbey of Westminster by London where is yet to this day the same ring. (now part of the Crown of England)

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