Alons Cano 1636-38
…for Holy Wells include St Anne, St Chad, St Cuthbert, St Anthony,
St Margaret, St Winifred, St Bride, St Michael and, St John.
Orthodox-Roman Catholic scholarship, most Protestant churches, and the entire eastern Orthodox Church attribute all the Johannine literature to the same individual, the “Holy Apostle and Evangelist, John the Theologian”, whom it identifies with the “Beloved Disciple” in the Gospel of John.
The Feast day of Saint John in the Catholic Church which calls him “Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist”, and in the Anglican Communion and Lutheran Calendars, which call him “John, Apostle, and Evangelist”, is on 27 December, the third day of Christmastide. In the Tridentine Calendar, he was commemorated also on each of the following days up to and including 3 January, the Octave, of the 27 December feast. This Octave was abolished by Pope Pius XII in 1955, five years after the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in1950. The traditional liturgical colour is white.
Freemasons still celebrate this Feast Day, a tradition which dates back to the 18th century
when the Feast Day was used for the installation of Presidents and Grand Masters!
For a long time after visiting North Marston Church for the second time,
I could not shake the image of one of the St John-the-Evangelist stained glass windows.
It haunted my dreams and started appearing in my minds-eye at regular intervals.
I was convinced that it was from North Marston Church but it was not.
It was, though, from another church in the area,
and when we checked to see if there were any wells associated with that church
we discovered that there were in fact four Holy Wells close by.
Four Holy Wells!
If we needed confirmation of our emergent theory,
then that was a start and an assuredly good one.
We would, though, need more…