The Saints John
Rev. Charles H. Walker
Lodge of Masonic Research Chaplain
Lodges were anciently dedicated to King Solomon, as he is said to have been our first most Excellent Grand Master, but speculative Masons dedicate theirs to the memory of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. Since their time, there is represented in every regular and well-governed lodge, a certain Point Within A Circle: the point representing the individual brother, the circle the boundary line of his conduct to God and man, beyond which he is never to suffer his passions, prejudices, or interest to betray him on any occasion. The circle is bordered by two perpendicular parallel lines representing these saints, and upon the top rest the Holy Scriptures.
This should recall to you a portion of the Entered Apprentice degree. The reference to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, and remembrance of them to most has been over looked.
These two saints have a significant place in Masonry, and, which has, in many instances, been lost. There was a time and still may be an occasion where these two are lifted up and remembered by the craft.
Their days are marked on most calendars, and are June 24th for St. John the Evangelist, and December 27th for St. John the Baptist (Baptizer). Some lodges today celebrate these days within their lodges by some form of recognition, be it a short ceremony of reading the significance and influence within the lodge. Some include with the ceremony a similarity of recognizing Most Worshipful Brother George Washington.
Today, hardly a Freemason gives a thought to the origin of St. John’s Day in Winter, or knows his celebration of St. John’s Day in midsummer. For some, just days on a calendar, and a reference within the degree work.
But we, as speculative Masons, should recall the tenets of the lessons presented to us. Lessons of the strictest morality and are presented to us to inwardly digest them and to utilize them in our transactions with all mankind. These lesson in their utilization set us apart in our dealings with all human kind.
It has been within my memory that these saints were remembered by a special event. But in our haste, we have failed to take the time to recognize their significance within the craft. It might be possible that in understanding their guidance, we could remember, “there is represented in every regular and well-governed lodge, a certain Point Within A Circle, the point representing the individual brother, the circle the boundary line of his conduct to God and man, beyond which he is never to suffer his passions, prejudices, or interest to betray him on any occasion. In going around this circle we necessarily touch upon these lines, as well as upon the Holy Scriptures, and while a Mason keeps himself thus circumscribed, it is impossible that he should materially err.”