Priest and Martyr (1914-1947)
+ Mark was born in Mirditë, Albania. After seminary studies in Albania and Italy, he was ordained a priest on March 21, 1942.
+ Imprisoned and tortured by the Albanian Communist government, he was repeatedly ordered to denounce Christ.
+ Blessed Mark refused and repeatedly answered, “Long live Jesus Christ!” He was subsequently tortured to death in 1947 in Shën Pal, Albania.
+ Blessed Mark Gjoni was beatified with other Albanian martyrs in 2016.
“While the persecutors dissolve like so many black shadows which are lost forever in the darkness of eternal oblivion,” martyrs are guiding lights that shine in the sky of humanity, showing the true face of man’s goodness, his profound identity created in the image of God.”—Cardinal Angelo Amato at the beatification of the Martyrs of Albania
Almighty and merciful God, who brought your Martyr blessed Mark to overcome the torments of his passion, grant that we, who celebrate the day of his triumph, may remain invincible under your protection against the snares of the enemy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For One Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.Access our archives of daily saint biographies here