St Mark the Evangelist was born in the early 1st century in North Africa.
He is well known for being the author of the Gospel according to Mark and the founder and also bishop of the Church of Alexandria, Egypt.
St. Mark died in the year 68 AD in North Africa. We celebrate his feast day on April 25 every year in the Catholic Church.
He is recognized as one of the early bishops who became Saints.
|Saint Mark the Evangelist Biography
|Date of Birth
|1st Century AD
|Author of the Gospel of Mark and founder and bishop of the Church of Alexandria
|Place of Work
|Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Libya
|Date of Death
|Place of Death
|Patron Saint of
|Barristers, Venice, Egypt, Mainar
Saint Mark’s Life History
Saint Mark is believed to be the cousin of Barnabas, a significant disciple in early Christianity who is mentioned in Acts 14:14. According to Luke 10:1, he is also considered to be one of the seventy disciples sent by Jesus to spread the gospel in Judea.
It is believed that St. Mark the Evangelist is the same person mentioned as ‘John Mark’ in the Acts of the Apostles, which is an account of the early Church included in the New Testament canon.
Saint Mark the Evangelist Birth
Saint Mark the Evangelist was born in Cyrene, which is now in present-day Libya in the first century.
Saint Mark’s Death
According to historical sources, it is believed that Saint Mark the Evangelist was imprisoned and ultimately killed as a martyr.
It is said that he was dragged by a rope tied around his neck from Alexandria to Bucoles, a small port, in the year 68 AD.
Despite attempts to burn his body, they were unsuccessful, and his fellow Christians retrieved his remains and buried them in the Church of Alexandria, which he had founded.
However, his relics were later taken and transferred to Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy. Saint Mark died at the age of 63.
Saint Mark was believed to be of the tribe, Judah.
Saint Mark the Evangelist Education
He was an apprentice of Saint Peter the Apostle after an encounter with him. He traveled with Saint Peter as his companion and interpreter.
St. Mark the Evangelist Parents
St. Mark’s mother was Saint Mary of Jerusalem.
Saint Mark the Evangelist Religious life
In 44 A.D., Mark accompanied St Paul and St. Barnabas on their inaugural missionary journey to Antioch. However, during their travels in Cyprus, Mark is said to have departed from the group and returned to Jerusalem, possibly due to feelings of homesickness (as recorded in Acts 13:13).
This action may have caused Paul to doubt Mark’s dependability as a missionary. The disagreement between Paul and Barnabas regarding Mark’s trustworthiness resulted in Paul refusing to allow Mark to join them on their second journey to the churches in Cilicia and the rest of Asia Minor.
He encountered Saint Peter the Apostle where he was taken as a companion and an interpreter. Mark wrote sermons of Saint Peter thus composing the Gospel according to Mark before he left for Alexandria in the third year, that is in the year 43 AD.
According to Acts 15:39, he went to Cyprus with Barnabas after the council of Jerusalem. Then in 49 AD, Saint Mark the Evangelist founded the Church of Alexandria and became the first bishop of Alexandria.
He is honored as the founder of Christianity in Africa. He also set up a Christian school in Alexandria. He is also said to be the founder of Anchorites, people who withdraw from secular life to lead a prayer-intensive life, as illustrated by Saint Jerome.
Saint Mark the Evangelist was canonized pre-congregation, before the set up of modern investigations performed by the congregation for the causes of saints.
Saint Mark’s Feast day
St. Mark the Evangelist is celebrated on the 25th of April, the day believed to be his death. St. Mark is venerated by all Christians who recognize saints.
His major works are;
- He was the first pioneer of Christianity in Africa.
- He founded and became the first bishop of the Church he founded in Alexandria.
- He brought about the founding of the first Christian school in Alexandria.
- He is famously known to be the author of the gospel according to Mark as explained by Saint Peter the Apostle and giving it such profound imagery and vivid coloring by the use of language such as;
- Jesus was “with the beasts;”
- That He slept in the boat “on a pillow;”
- That He “embraced” the little children.
- Saint Mark preserves for us the commanding words “Peace, be still!” by which the storm was quelled and the very sounds of His voice, the “Ephpheta” and “Talitha cumi,” by which the dumb were made to speak and the dead to rise.
- The “looking round about with anger,” and the “sighing deeply,” long treasured in the memory of the penitent apostle, who was himself converted by his Saviour’s look, are here recorded by his faithful interpreter.
Saint Mark the Evangelist Attributes
Saint Mark is represented as holding the gospel and writing. He is also represented as a lion in the desert and a bishop on a throne decorated with lions. He is portrayed also as a man with a book and a scroll accompanied with a winged lion.
St Mark’s Legacy
His main legacy is his authorship of the gospel according to Mark. He is the founder of a Christian school and a church in Alexandria.
Saint Mark the Evangelist Major shrines
Saint Mark’s major shrines are; Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Saint Mark’s Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, Egypt, St Mark’s Sebian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, Serbia and the St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt.
St Mark’s Relics
His relics were first in Alexandria. In 828, they were stolen by two Venetian merchants and in 1094, Saint Mark revealed the location of his remains by extending an arm from a pillar. The remains were then placed in a sarcophagus.
Part of his relics are believed to be in Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo while his head is said to be in a Church in Alexandria, Egypt.
In June, the year 1968, Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria sent a delegation to Rome to receive a relic of St Mark from Pope Paul VI which was but a small bone.
St Mark is the Patron Saint of
Saint Mark was the patron saint of Venice, lawyers, painters, interpreters and lions.
St Mark’s Prayers
St Mark the Evangelist has prayers composed in honor for example;
The prayer to St Mark;
Oh, magnificent Saint Mark, by the mercy of our Heavenly Father, you became a renowned Evangelist, spreading the message of Christ’s Gospel. Please guide us in our quest to understand Him better, so that we may live our lives as faithful disciples of Christ. Amen.
Famous St. Mark’s quotes are as follows;
“Do not become a disciple of one who praises himself in case you learn pride instead of humility”
“For what shall it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul”
Today’s Catholic Quote
Learn from St. Mark to keep the image of the Son of man ever before your mind, and to ponder every syllable which fell from His lips.
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