The Life and Struggles of the
Holy Apostle and Evangelist
John the Theologian
BANISHMENT TO PATMOS
According to the account of Prochorus, “The soldiers laid hold of us, and Jon was tightly bound on irons and chains. They said to him: ‘This one is a magician and performeth terrible deeds.’ As for me, they rained down blows upon me and uttered many intimidating things, but they did not put me in fetters. They brought us down to a ship and set sail. Daily we were given approximately eight ounces of bread, a small cup of poor wine of about half a pint, and a little less than a quart of water, of which John partook very little, leaving most for me. They were not in a hurry to sail directly to Patmos, but tarried in one place a long time. t length, we departed, and, as we were sailing, the officers sat down to dine and, having a great quantity of food and drink, made merry. One of the junior officers hastened to the forepart of the ship to perform some duty and, out of carelessness, fell headlong into the sea. His father was present on the ship and grieved over his loss keenly. He would have cast himself into the sea, had others not restrained him. All on board were grief-stricken over the event. Some came over to where we were being kept, and one said to John: ‘O man, we all are in mourning over what hath taken place; how is it that not only thou mournest not, but art cheerful?’ John then asked him: ‘And what dost thou wish me to do?’ He answered: ‘Art thou able to help us?’ John then asked their leader: ‘Which deity dost thou worship?’ He replied: Apollo, Zeus, and Hercules.’ John then asked the second: ‘And whom dost thou revere?’ He answered: ‘Aesculapius, Hermes, and Hera.’ John continued to ask each in turn, and all confessed their deception. Then the Lord’s apostle aid unto them: ‘How many gods ye have and yet are not able to save one drowned man!’ They answered: ‘This is because we are sinners and do not purely serve them; and for this, the gods punish us.’
“He then left them to their grief, and said to me: ‘Prochorus my child, rise up and give me thy hand.’ He said this because he was bound and unable to lift himself up. So I extended my hand, and he rose up and stood at the edge of the ship, his chains rattling, and he sighed with tears and said: ‘O God of the ages, Who hast created everything and with Thy gesture controllest all creation; O Thou Who alone art the almighty and King of all, Jesus Christ, Who for our sake, and in accordance with Thy dispensation, hast granted us to walk upon the waters as on dry land: O Master, I am instructed to entreat Thee on behalf of him (who drowned) by those who hope to receive abundantly. Quickly hearken unto me.’ No sooner did he complete his prayer, than suddenly great quantities of hot water erupted from the sea, and one wave, breaking over the ship, cast the young man, alive, at John’s feet. Seeing this, all were amazed and fell at John’s feet, exclaiming: ‘Of a truth, thy God is the God of heaven, the earth, , and the sea!’ Then they began to honor John and removed his iron shackles.
“We then put in t a place called Katikon and anchored the ship. All went ashore, save us and the guards. The sun was westering when the helmsman perceived that it was good to set sail thence. So when the others came back on board, we departed. At the fifth hour of the night, a great storm arose upon the sea, and the ship was imperilled. All began to cry out and awaited death. Then the commander of the soldiers approached and said to John: ‘Man of God, in a marvellous manner thou didst raise the dead man from the depths of the sea y thy prayer; therefore, supplicate thy God now to still the tempest, for we are in danger of sinking.’ John answered: ‘Be at peace, and let each sit down in his place.’ But because the tempest grew more violent, John arose and prayed. Then, straightway, the storm was quelled and a great calm reigned.
“Water grew scarce aboard the ship, and many, growing faint from thirst, found themselves near death. John then said to me: ‘Fill the vessels with seawater.’ When the vessels were filled, he said: ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, take and drink.’ And drawing forth the water, they found it sweet and, drinking it, were refreshed.
“We then dropped anchor at a place called Myron, because one of the officers suffered from dysentery, and because of this sickness he was nigh to death. We remained there for seven days. On the eighth day the commanding officers began to quarrel among themselves. Some said that t was not proper to delay carrying out the imperial order; others felt it was not right to leave one of their own behind; some even wanted to take the sick man with them, but he surely would have perished. Then John said to me: ‘Go, my child Prochorus, and say to the ailing man that John, the apostle of Christ, saith to him: Come to me sound.’ I went and said this to the sick man, and, straightway, he arose without a trace of the sickness and followed me back to John, who said to him: “Tell thy companions that we should depart from this place.’ Immediately, he who had taken no food for seven days and had been in grave danger gladly urged the others to leave that place.
“When both the officers and their men beheld this miracle, they fell at the feet of the apostle, saying: ‘Behold the whole hat same day. earth is at your disposal, for thou hast proven that thou art a servant of the true God.’ John replied: ‘Nay my children, this is not proper; ye must take me where ye are commanded., that ye be not punished by the emperor.’ And after he had catechized them, he baptized all of them that same day. Then we departed for Patmos. On arriving, we entered a city called Flora where, according to the emperor’s order, the officers put us in the governor’s charge, though they themselves did not want to leave us, but to remain with us. But John said to them: ‘My children, if ye are careful not to fall away from the grace ye have received, in no place shall ye be harmed.’ They tarried with us for ten days and were further instructed by John. Afterwards, he prayed and blessed them, and, bidding them depart in peace, committed them to the hands of God, in Whom they believed and to Whom is due glory for everlasting ages. Amen