On the Beloved Disciple

Bede the Venerable ca. 673-735

Jesus did not love him alone in a singular way to the exclusion of others, but He loved John beyond those whom He loved, in a more intimate way as one whom the special prerogative of chastity had made worthy of fuller love. Indeed, He proved that He loved them all when before His Passion He said to them, ‘Even as the Father loved Me, I also loved you; abide in the love, that which is Mine (Jn. 15:9).’ But beyond the others He loved the one who, being a virgin when chosen by Him, remained forever a virgin. Accordingly, when Christ was about to die on the Cross, He recommended His Mother to John (Jn. 19:26, 27), so that virgin might watch over virgin; and when he Himself ascended to heaven after His death and resurrection, a son would not be lacking to His mother, whose chaste life would be protected by his chaste services. (Homilies on the Gospels, Bk. 1, 87)