Saint John the Almoner
The son of the King of Cyprus, and born in that island in the sixth century He was fleeted Patriarch of Alexandria, and has been canonized by both the Greek and Roman churches, his festival among the former occurring on the 11th of November, and among the latter on the 23d of January. Bazot (Manuel du Franc-Mason, page 144) thinks that it is this saint, and not Saint John the Evangelist or Saint John the Baptist, who is meant as the true patron of our Order. "'He quit his country and the hope of a throne," says this author, into go to Jerusalem, that he might generously aid and assist the knights and pilgrims.
He founded a hospital and organized a fraternity to attend upon sick and wounded Christians, and to bestow pecuniary aid upon the pilgrims who visited the Holy Sepulcher. Saint John, who was worthy to become the patron of a society whose only object is charity, exposed his life a thousand times in the cause of virtue. Neither war, nor pestilence, nor the fury of the infidels, could deter him from pursuits of benevolence. But death, at length, arrested him in the midst of his labors. Yet he left the example of his virtues to the Brethren, who have made it their duty to endeavor to imitate them. Rome canonized him under the name of Saint John the Almoner, or Saint John of Jerusalem; and the Freemasons--whose temples, overthrown by the barbarians, he had caused to be rebuilt--selected him with one accord as their patron."
Doctor Oliver, however (Mirror for the Johannite Masons, page 39), very properly shows the error of appropriating the patronage of Freemasonry to this saint, since the festivals of the Order are June 24th and Deeember 27th, while those of Saint John the Almoner are January 23d and November 11th. He has, however, been selected as the patron of the Masonic Order of the Templars, and their Commanderies are dedicated to his honor on amount of his charity to the poor, whom he called his Masters, because he owed them all service, and on account of - his establishment of hospitals for the succor of pilgrims in the East.
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