This icon is one of the six icons that comprise a 16th century set of Russian Holy Doors that are now in the Andrei Rublev Museum in Moscow. In it we see St. John the Evangelist and Theologian dictating to his disciple, St. Prochorus, the sacred writings that he composed. These include his Holy Gospel which is of such a lofty spiritual composition that St. John’s symbol is the eagle who flies high above this earth. St. John also composed three Universal Epistles and the Revelation of the things that will come.
St. John, the youngest of the 12 Apostles, was beloved by Christ, and leaned against His breast at the Passover meal in the Upper Room. He was at the Holy Transfiguration, the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, and stood at the foot of the Cross with the Virgin Mary while Christ suffered and died for us. He was the guardian of the Virgin after Christ’s Death. Although boiled in oil, St. John was miraculously preserved by God to live until old age, and preached in Asia Minor, living for many years in Ephesus. When his time came to leave this earth, he laid down in a grave and asked to be covered up. His grave was empty three days later.