St John’s Sandymount Celebrates Patronal Festival
A Time of Inspiration and Thanksgiving.
The Patronal Festival of St John the Evangelist, Sandymount, was celebrated on Sunday morning (May 6) on the Feast of St John at the Latin Gate. The congregation and friends of the church were joined by Archbishop Michael Jackson who preached at the service. Also join the Chaplain, Fr Paul Barlow, at the Sung Eucharist was Dean Dermot Dunne who is chair of the board of trustees of the church.
In his sermon, the Archbishop said that a Patronal Festival is a time of inspiration and thanksgiving as well as a time of invitation and commitment and a time to reconnect with patronage.
“Patronage … is a specific source, a wellspring of enlarging our lesser selves by the gift of experience, the helping hand of someone who has a longer perspective and a proven capacity and a generosity of spirit. In the religious context, patronage feeds and expands our picture of our faith and acts as an encouragement for us to return to our sources, to the wells and springs of living water of tradition and adventure, in order more confidently and more faithfully to live a life of discipleship,” he explained.
St John’s holds its Patronal Festival on the feast day which marks the miraculous survival of St John when immersed in boiling oil as a martyrdom imposed by the Emperor Domitian in 92AD. St John lived beyond martyrdom and survived to a ripe old age.
The Archbishop said that as well as being inspired by the death of a patron, we can be inspired by the life of a patron.
“Our patron, St John, survived martyrdom and continued a life of creative discipleship after the crucifixion and resurrection of his Master. St John as our patron on this day and on his other Feast Day, December 27, inspires us to a life of constancy in discipleship; to a way of theological thinking that is distinct from the more obviously biographical style of the three other Gospels; and to some sense of a Johannine School of thought and of writing which is driven and characterized by development and interpretation through and beyond the literal and by response to context and to patterns of thought regarding both truth and error considering the fact that we have the Three Johannine Epistles as well as The Gospel and also The Revelation, a work of both terror and glory, of earth and heaven; to an enlarged picture of Jesus Christ as The Alpha and The Omega. This is quite a magnificent legacy to celebrate today and in this beautiful church of dedication and patronage. When we take all of this together, it suddenly begins to sound rather modern and contemporary, rather exciting and interesting. And so it should,” Archbishop Jackson said.