Evangelist, 1st century
+ According to ancient tradition, Mark was a disciple of St Peter and the author of the second Gospel.
+ According to the Acts of the Apostles, he accompanied St Paul on his mission to Cyprus (Acts 13:5) and he later joined Paul and Barnabas in Antioch (Acts 12:25).
+After a disagreement between Paul and Barnabas, Mark’s activities are not known, although it seems he and St Paul were later reconciled because Paul calls Mark his “collaborator” during his imprisonment in Rome (cf. Colossians 4:10 and 2 Timothy 4:11)
+ Later traditions tell us that Mark later traveled to Alexandria, Egypt, where he served as bishop and suffered martyrdom around the year 68.
+ In the 9th century the relics of St Mark were transferred to Venice, Italy, where they are still venerated. He is honored as a patron of lawyers and notaries and of dozens of cities in Italy and other parts of Europe.
Although Scripture scholars are in disagreement, certain traditions identify Mark the Evangelist with a man named John Mark (Acts 12:12; 15:37-40), who is said to have carried water to the house where the Last Supper took place (cf. Mark 14:13). Some traditions also say that Mark—as a young man—was present when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:51052).
The saint in art
Saint Mark is often represented holding a book or scroll of the Gospels and with a winged lion, one of the four “Living Creatures” described by the Prophet Ezekiel (1:5-12) and in the Book of Revelation (4:6-7).
“Go into all the world, and proclaim the Gospel to every creature, alleluia.”—Entrance Antiphon for the Feast of Saint Mark (based on Mark 16:15)
O God, who raised up Saint Mark, your Evangelist,
and endowed him with the grace to preach the Gospel,
grant, we pray,
that we may so profit from his teaching
as to follow faithfully in the footsteps of Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.