St John

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There are a number of other saints of this name.

St John Chrysostom (c. 347–407), bishop of Constantinople, a Doctor of the Church. He attempted to reform the corrupt state of the court, clergy, and people; this offended many, including the Empress Eudoxia, who banished him in 403. His name means ‘golden-mouthed’ in Greek. His emblem is a bee, and his feast day is 27 January.

St John of God (1495–1550), the Portuguese founder of the Brothers Hospitallers, who fought as a mercenary for Spain against the French and Turks and later worked as a shepherd and a pedlar. His feast day is 8 March.

St John of Nepomuk (c. 1345–93), priest and martyr, put to death by Wenceslas IV of Bohemia by being thrown into the river Moldau. He was later regarded as a martyr for the seal of the confession, since the story grew up that he had incurred the king's anger for refusing to reveal the contents of the queen's confession. His feast day is 16 May.

St John of the Cross (1542–91), a Spanish mystic and poet. A Carmelite monk and priest, he joined with St Teresa of Ávila in founding the ‘discalced’ Carmelite order in 1568. He also wrote mystical poems. His feast day is 14 December.

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