Wine Blessing of Saint John a Sacramental of Tradition Called “Love of St. John” - Full Prayer with Recipe

December 27th is the Feast day of Saint John the Apostle. A legend says St. John was served poisoned wine, but he was unharmed because he blessed the wine before he drank it and the poison rose from the chalice in the shape of a serpent. 

Honoring this legend, people bring wine to church on the feast of Saint John. The priest blesses the wine thus, turning it into a sacramental called the “Love of St. John.” The blessed wine is then used on special occasions throughout the year and to give to the sick.

The wine is also a symbol of the great love of Christ that filled St. John’s heart with loyalty, courage and devotion for his teacher Jesus. He alone of all the apostles was not afraid to stay close to Jesus during the Passion and Crucifixion and he was the only Apostle not martyred.

When the blessed wine is drunk on his Feast Day (Dec. 27), it occurs before dinner as a toast to St. John. The head of the household lifts a glass towards another and says, “I drink you the love of St. John.” Then the other person replies “I thank you for the Love of St. John” and then turns to the oldest person, lifts her glass, and says, “I drink you the love of St. John…” –and on it goes down the line until each has been toasted.
The wine may be drunk as is, out of the bottle, or may be prepared as in this recipe:
St. John’s Love (serves 8)
1 quart red wine (946 mL - if you only have 750ml add juice or water)
3 whole cloves (add more cloves in absence of other spices)
1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
2 two-inch cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
Pour the wine into a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients. Boil for 5 minutes (this pretty much evaporates all of the alcohol). Serve hot. (to preserve the alcohol boil the sugar with 1/2 cup of water - then simmer with spices and add the wine at the end - just heat slightly when the wine is addedOptions - add the juice of  an orange or lemon or an apple
Here’s an English translation of the ritual for blessing the wine, translated from the 1962 Rituale Romanum:

BLESSING OF WINE on the Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

At the end of the principal Mass on the feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, after the last Gospel, the priest, retaining all vestments except the maniple, blesses wine brought by the people. This is done in memory and in honor of St. John, who drank without any ill effects the poisoned wine offered to him by his enemies.

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

If it please you, Lord God, bless + and consecrate + this vessel of wine (or any other beverage) by the power of your right hand; and grant that, through the merits of St. John, apostle and evangelist, all your faithful who drink of it may find it a help and a protection. As the blessed John drank the poisoned potion without any ill effects, so may all who today drink the blessed wine in his honor be delivered from poisoning and similar harmful things. And as they offer themselves body and soul to you, may they obtain pardon of all their sins; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Lord, bless + this creature drink, so that it may be a health- giving medicine to all who use it; and grant by your grace that all who taste of it may enjoy bodily and spiritual health in calling on your holy name; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come on this wine (or any other beverage) and remain always.

All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water. If the blessing is given privately outside of Mass, the priest is vested in surplice and stole and performs the ceremony as given above.

Edited from Source: