The life and works of Saint John, the apostle and evangelist, are celebrated today. John was present at many of the significant moments in the life and ministry of Jesus, mentioned in other gospel accounts beside his own.
John's gospel is the one that refers to the "beloved disciple," without specifically identifying who that was. In our time there are several differing opinions; possible candidates include Jesus's brother James, Lazarus, and even Mary Magdalene. However, John himself was the most commonly accepted bearer of that name for several centuries, and would probably be the one mentioned if you asked any random churchgoer.
This hymn by Reginald Heber, like many of his others, was first published after his death. He also refers to the beloved disciple without specifically supplying a name, but he did assign this hymn to St. John's feast day (the illustration below is from an 1870 edition of his collected hymns).
O Christ, who gav’st thy servant grace
On thee the living Rock to rest,
To look on thine unveilèd face,
And lean on thy protecting breast.
Grant us thy gift of mercy, still
To feel thy presence from above,
And in thy Word and in thy will
To hear thy voice and know thy love.
And when the toils of life are done,
And nature waits thy just decree,
To find our rest beneath thy throne,
And look in certain hope to thee.
To thee, O Jesus, Light of Light,
Whom as their God the saints adore,
Our strength and refuge in the fight,
Be laud and glory evermore.
Reginald Heber, 1827; alt.
Tune: WOOLMER'S (L.M.)
Frederick A. Gore Ouseley, 1861
One Year Ago: Saint John the Evangelist