Why St Johns Masonry?
By Martin Faulks
Anyone who reads the early records of Masonry will notice that Freemasonry
is often referred to as "St Johns Masonry". The first Grand Lodge was formed in 1717 on
24th June, the feast day of John the Baptist. But why was John the
Baptist chosen as the patron of the Masonic craft? Surely Solomon, St.
Vincent, or one of the many other saints who have an association with
builders or craftsmen would be more appropriate?
Well, look into this matter and you will soon find many
explanations - both historical and symbolic.
Having considered this matter for some time, I have come to the opinion that
the reason is as follows. John the Baptist lived his life with a focus on
self-purification and preparation for the coming of higher teachings.
Could it be that Craft Freemasonry was dedicated to him because the core aim
of the Craft was, and always has been, the transformation of vice into virtue?
The truth could be that to the early Masons those who followed the teachings
offered by Freemasonry were like John in that they were purifying and
improving themselves. Perhaps this could be a hint that even then there were
higher teachings that were yet to come.
If so, what do you think the next step would have been in those early times?