Why Is St. John the Patron Saint of Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that has many unexplained mysteries in its ritual. One of these mysteries is the reference to the “Holy Saints John.” This reference comes in the monitorial lecture of the Entered Apprentice degree, where candidates are told that Masonic lodges are dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist. These two figures are considered to be the patron saints of Freemasonry and are recognized by Masons all around the world.

To this day, Masons continue to recognize these two figures as the patron saints of Freemasonry. The closest thing that Freemasonry has to a holiday are the feast days of the two saints. St. John the Baptist’s feast day is celebrated in the summer (June 24), and St. John the Evangelist’s is in winter (December 27). Masons and Masonic lodges mark these days with their own celebratory dinners or other events. These are two of the most important dates on the fraternal calendar.

The reasons for this connection between Freemasonry and the Holy Saints John go back centuries. The exact origins of this connection are shrouded in mystery, and it is not entirely clear why these two figures were chosen to be the patron saints of Freemasonry. However, it is not surprising that there would be a patron saint of Freemasonry. During the Middle Ages in England and Scotland, many societies and guilds were dedicated to a particular saint. This figure received special devotion from the members of the society, and in turn, he would offer its members special protection and favor.

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St. John, the Patron Saint of Freemasonry

In the calendar of the medieval church, there were two saints named John who were associated with Jesus. One was John the Baptist, the “forerunner” of Jesus, and the other was the apostle John, the brother of James, commonly known as John the Evangelist. These two saints became associated with Freemasonry at some point, although when and where this happened remains a mystery.

Freemasonry is not and has never been a religious organization. It has always been open to members of all religions and faiths. However, the world in which it was born, in Enlightenment-era Europe, was largely Christian. As a result, many of the symbols of Freemasonry reflect Christian iconography, including the connection to the two Saint Johns in Freemasonry. This connection may have been influenced by the importance of these figures in the Christian tradition and may have been carried over from the tradition of having a patron saint in other societies and guilds during the Middle Ages.

Duality and the Two Saint Johns

From the Masonic perspective, the balanced dualism of John the Baptist and John the Evangelist represents the two sides of a coin: the passionate zeal of the baptist and the knowledge of faith of the apostle. A Masonic lodge dedicated to the two patron saints of Freemasonry can be seen as a space to both reflect on and channel passion, and taken as an abstract compilation of symbols, they represent a well-balanced path toward enlightenment. Furthermore, their feast days are closely associated with the summer and winter solstice, emphasizing the symbolic duality of the two figures.

The origins of why St. John the Evangelist and St. John the Baptist are associated with Freemasonry remains a mystery. However, Masonic scholars suggest that the custom may have originated from the practice of new Masons taking their obligations on a Bible opened to the first chapter of the Gospel of John. The author of that gospel is believed to be John the Evangelist.

St. John Masonry

The reference to the “Holy Saints John” in Freemasonry’s ritual is one of the many unexplained mysteries associated with the fraternity. The two figures in question are Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, who are recognized as the patron saints of Freemasonry. The origins of this connection can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when many societies and guilds in England and Scotland were dedicated to a particular saint.

It is believed that the connection to the two Saint Johns in Freemasonry may have originated with the “Mason Word,” a secret given to newly obligated Masons that granted them access to all the privileges of Freemasonry. The Gospel of St. John may have been chosen for the obligation because of the symbolic connection between the “Mason Word” and the “Word” in the opening verse of the gospel.

The reason why St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist were chosen as the patron saints of Freemasonry remains a mystery to this day. However, it is speculated that the association came from the practice of new Masons taking their obligations on a Bible opened to the first chapter of the Gospel of John. Despite the lack of concrete evidence, it is clear that the connection to the “Holy Saints John” in Masonic ritual is an important aspect of the fraternity’s history and tradition.

St. John’s Day — June 24, 1717

The formation of the first official Grand Lodge of Freemasons, the Premier Grand Lodge of England, on this day in 1717 marked a significant event in the history of the fraternity. This event was followed by the unification of the Premier Grand Lodge with the Antients Grand Lodge in 1813, creating the United Grand Lodge of England.

The Feast of Saint John’s Day is celebrated by many cultures, including Freemasonry. According to the Isagani Masonic Lodge No. 96 of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines, the Festival of St. John serves as an opportunity to strengthen and renew fraternal ties, as well as a celebration of the history of Masonry. It is also seen as a connection between the past and the future.

By California Freemason

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