It is said that St. John, when given a cup of poisoned wine, drank it with no ill effect. On this feast of St. John, it is customary to bless and share some wine in his honor.
This recipe for St. John’s Wine is from the booklet “Family Christmas Customs,” by Helen McLoughlin.
2 cups wine
2 whole cloves
2 inches stick cinnamon
1 cardamom seed
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Boil the spices in the wine for about five minutes. Strain the wine. Serve hot.
The wine may be blessed using the following prayer:
Graciously bless and sanctify, O Lord God, this wine and this drink with Thy right hand, and grant that by the merits of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist, all who believe in Thee and partake of this wine may be blessed and protected. And as Saint John drank poison from a cup and was unharmed, so may all those who this day drink of this cup in honor of Saint John be preserved from all poisoning and other harmful things, and as they offer themselves to Thee in body and soul may they be free of all guilt. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
It is customary for every member of the family to offer a toast, saying, “I drink you the love of St. John,” with each recipient of the toast replying, “For where love is, there is God.”