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December 27

Saint of the day:

Saint John the Apostle

Patron Saint of love, loyalty, friendships, and authors

3rd Day of the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord

On the 3rd Day of Christmas....
(The three French hens stood for faith, hope, and love)

St. John the Apostle's Story

Son of Zebedee and Salome. Fisherman. Brother of Saint James the Greater, and called one of the Sons of Thunder. Disciple of Saint John the Baptist. Friend of Saint Peter the Apostle. Called by Jesus during the first year of His ministry, and traveled everywhere with Him, becoming so close as to be known as the beloved disciple. Took part in the Last Supper. The only one of the Twelve not to forsake the Saviour in the hour of His Passion, standing at the foot of the cross. Made guardian of Our Lady by Jesus, and he took her into his home. Upon hearing of the Resurrection, he was the first to reach the tomb; when he met the risen Lord at the lake of Tiberias, he was the first to recognize Him.

During the era of the new Church, he worked in Jerusalem and at Ephesus. During Jesus’ ministry, he tried to block a Samaritan from their group, but Jesus explained the open nature of the new Way, and he worked on that principle to found churches in Asia Minor and baptizing converts in Samaria. Imprisoned with Peter for preaching after Pentecost. Wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and possibly the Book of Revelation. Survived all his fellow apostles.






Tradition holds that St John was originally buried in Ephesus. Later in the 6th century a large basilica was built over his tomb. However, due to a number of earthquakes and the encroachment of the Turks the church was abandoned and his relics lost. Today the location of his relics is unknown.

However, his original tomb, now empty, is marked and venerated in Ephesus, Turkey.


Churches of Honor in Rome


Basilica of St John Lateran

Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano 4

Rome, Italy

*This basilica is dedicated to both St John the Evangelist and St John the Baptist.

*Within the Colonna Chapel to the left of the main sanctuary is a painting completed by Giuseppe Cesari of St John the Evangelist and St John the Baptist pointing to Christ. Another painting of these two saints is on the left wall of the Lancellotti Chapel. Also within the fourth chapel on the right side of the nave is a painting that depicts St John the Evangelist at Patmos. Finally, within the baptistry next to the basilica is a chapel dedicated to St John the Evangelist.


San Giovanni in Oleo (Saint John in Oil)

Via di San Giovanni a Porta Latina

Rome, Italy

*This is a small octagonal devotional shrine located south-east of the Colosseum. It is not open often.

*A legend holds that Emperor Domitian attempted to execute St John here by placing him into a pot of boiling oil. St John survived this attempt upon his life and was exiled to the island of Patmos.

San Giovanni a Porta Latina (Saint John at the Latin Gate)

Via di San Giovanni a Porta Latina 17

Rome, Italy

*This church is south-east of the Colosseum and it is dedicated to St John the Evangelist.


San Giovanni della Malva in Trastevere

(Saint John of Malva in Trastevere)

Piazza del San Giovanni della Malva

Rome, Italy

*This church is located in Trastevere. It is dedicated to St John the Evangelist.

Basilica of St. John
The basilica is on the slopes of Ayasuluk Hill just below the fortress near the center of Selçuk, İzmir Province,

Turkey and about 3.5 km (2.2 mi) from Ephesus.



Ghotab or Qottab is a traditional Iranian almond

and walnut-filled crescent pastry that is infused

with cardamom and cinnamon flavors to make the perfect treat.


  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 cup Confectioners sugar

For the Filling: 

  • 1/2 cup almonds

  • 1/4 cup walnuts

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  1. In a large bowl, add the vegetable oil, yogurt and egg yolks and stir together until fully combined.

  2. In another bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Sift the dry ingredients slowly to the large bowl, whisking continuously.

  3. Once your batter forms a soft and sticky dough, knead for a few minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 2 hours (at room temperature).

  4. Make the filling: Grind the almonds and walnuts in a food processor or blender. Add the cardamon, cinnamon and sugar and continue to blend.

  5. Roll out the dough very thin, almost paper-like, at about 1/16 inch thick on a well-floured surface. Using a round 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out circular shapes.

  6. Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of the almond/walnut filling onto the centre. Fold over to form half-circle shape. Press down on the edges and roll them over to seal or seal them using a fork and make mini impressions onto the seal. Repeat with all the dough.

  7. Fill up a pot about 2 inches of vegetable oil and heat on medium. Deep fry the crescents, one by one. It will only take a few seconds until the crescents brown. Do not overcook or they will burn. Place the cooked crescents onto paper towels to remove any excess oil.

  8. In a small plate, pour out some Confectioners sugar. Dip the cooked crescents into the sugar while they are still hot, but cool enough to handle, or the Confectioners sugar will not stick on properly. Place on a tray and allow it to cool completely.




Song of the season:

Good King Wenceslas

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