Father Carr will be doing the traditional blessing of wine for the Feast of St. John at 5pm on Monday, December 27th. If you would like to have your wine blessed for this feast, bring a bottle or two (or as many as you wish) and Father will let you know what to do with the bottles to have them blessed.
Wine is blessed on this day because according to legend, St. John was served poisoned wine, but survived because he blessed the wine before he put it to his lips; the poison rose from the chalice in the shape of a serpent. In his happy memory, Catholics bring wine to church, which the priest blesses, turning it into a sacramental called the “Love of St. John.” Catholics use this sacramental wine for special occasions throughout the year and to give to the sick. The wine is also a symbol of the great love of Christ that filled St. John’s heart with loyalty, courage and enthusiasm for his Master. He alone of all the apostles was not afraid to stay close to Jesus during the Passion and Crucifixion and he was the only Apostle not martyred. At least some of the wine blessed on the feast should be enjoyed on the day of the feast itself. When it is drunk on his Feast Day, we drink it before dinner as a toast to St. John. The Father of the house lifts his glass toward Mother and says, “I drink you the love of St. John.” The Mother replies “I thank you for the Love of St. John” and then turns to the oldest child, lifts her glass, and says, “I drink you the love of St. John…” –and on it goes down the line until each has been toasted. The wine may be drunk as is, out of the bottle, or may be prepared as in this recipe:
St. John’s Love (serves 8)
1 quart red wine
3 whole cloves
1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 two-inch cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
Pour the wine into a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients. Boil for 5 minutes (this pretty much evaporates all of the alcohol). Serve hot.
Sources: Fisheaters.com and SanctaMissa.com