We find a profound significance for our own lives in what the Gospel of John tells of the Beloved Disciple’s friendship with Jesus and his call to be a witness to the mystery of the Incarnation. We bear the name of Saint John the Evangelist to show the church what is the source of our inspiration and our joy. The brothers’ bronze cross bears an intricate weaving of images from the Johannine writings of the New Testament:
- The mandorla shape of wings surrounding Christ is drawn from images in the Revelation to John and from the Book of the Prophet Malachi (4:2): “The sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.”
- The vine and grape motif (at the base) recalls Jesus’ words about abiding in him: “I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:4-5).
- Bearing the scroll at the feet of Christ is an eagle, the traditional symbol for Saint John the Evangelist, taken from the images of the four living creatures described in the Revelation to John (4:6-8).
- The scroll bears the inscription et verbum caro factum est, “And the Word was made flesh” (John 1:14), recalling the dedication of SSJE to the mystery of the Incarnation.
- In the arms of the cross, the letters IPEV are an acronym (in Latin) for “In the beginning was the Word,” from the Prologue to John’s Gospel.
- The letters SSJE are imprinted in the circle around the cross.