Mark the Evangelist
|Mark the Evangelist|
|Born||1st century AD
Cyrene, Pentapolis of North Africa, according to Coptic tradition
|Died||26 April 68 A.D.|
|Honored in||Coptic Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, Lutheranism|
|Major shrine||Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Cairo, Egypt)
Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Alexandria, Egypt)
Basilica di San Marco (Venice, Italy)
|Attributes||Lion in the desert; bishop on a throne decorated with lions; man helping Venetian sailors; man holding a book with "pax tibi Marce" written on it; man holding a palm and book; man with a book or scroll accompanied by a winged lion; man with a halter around his neck; man writing or holding his gospel; rescuing Christian slaves from Saracens.|
|Patronage||Barristers, Venice, Egypt, Mainar and others; see others in.|
Mark the Evangelist (Latin: Mārcus; Greek: Μᾶρκος; Coptic: Μαρκοϲ; Hebrew: מרקוס) is the traditional author of the Gospel of Mark. He is one of the Seventy Disciples, and the founder of the Church of Alexandria, one of the original three main episcopal sees of Christianity.
According to William Lane (1974), an "unbroken tradition" identifies Mark the Evangelist with John Mark, and John Mark as the cousin of Barnabas. An exception is found in Hippolytus of Rome, who in his work On the Seventy Apostles distinguishes Mark the Evangelist (2 Tim 4:11), John Mark (Acts 12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15:37), and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10; Phlm 24). According to Hippolytus, they all belonged to the "Seventy Disciples" who were sent out by Jesus to saturate Judea with the gospel (Luke 10:1ff.). However, when Jesus explained that his flesh was "real food" and his blood was "real drink", many disciples left him (John 6:44–6:66), presumably including Mark. He was later restored to faith by the apostle Peter; he then became Peter’s interpreter, wrote the Gospel of Mark, founded the church of Africa, and became the bishop of Alexandria.
According to Eusebius of Caesarea (Eccl. Hist. 2.9.1–4), Herod Agrippa I in his first year of reign over the whole Judea (AD 41) killed James, son of Zebedee and arrested Peter, planning to kill him after the Passover. Peter was saved miraculously by angels, and escaped out of the realm of Herod (Acts 12:1–19). Peter went to Antioch, then through Asia Minor (visiting the churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, as mentioned in 1 Pet 1:1), and arrived in Rome in the second year of Emperor Claudius (AD 42; Eusebius, Eccl, Hist. 2.14.6). Somewhere on the way, Peter picked up Mark and took him as travel companion and interpreter. Mark the Evangelist wrote down the sermons of Peter, thus composing the Gospel according to Mark (Eccl. Hist. 15–16), before he left for Alexandria in the third year of Claudius (43).
In AD 49, about 19 years after the Ascension of Jesus, Mark traveled to Alexandria [cf. c. 49 [cf. Acts 15:36–41] and founded the Church of Alexandria, which today is part of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Aspects of the Coptic liturgy can be traced back to Mark himself. He became the first bishop of Alexandria and he is honored as the founder of Christianity in Africa.
According to Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. 2.24.1), Mark was succeeded by Annianus as the bishop of Alexandria in the eighth year of Nero (62/63), probably, but not definitely, due to his coming death. Later Coptic tradition says that he was martyred in 68. It is believed that on the night when Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane Mark had followed him there and the Temple guards saw him, he ran away and dropped his loincloth.
Biblical and traditional information
Evidence for Mark the Evangelist's authorship of the Gospel that bears his name originates with Papias. According to D. A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo and Leon Morris, it is "almost certain" that Papias is referring to John Mark. However, some have argued that identifying Mark the Evangelist with John Mark and Mark the Cousin of Barnabas has led to the downgrading of the character of Barnabas from truly a "Son of Comfort" to one who favored his blood relative over principles.
The identification of Mark the Evangelist with John Mark led to identifying him as the man who carried water to the house where the Last Supper took place (Mark 14:13), or as the young man who ran away naked when Jesus was arrested (Mark 14:51–52).
The Coptic Church holds the tradition of identifying Mark the Evangelist with John Mark, and holds that he was one of the Seventy Disciples sent out by Christ (Luke 10:1), as is confirmed by the list of Hippolytus. It also believes that Mark the Evangelist is the one who hosted the disciples in his house after the death of Jesus, into whose house the resurrected Jesus Christ came (John 20), and into whose house the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples at Pentecost.
Mark is also believed to be one of the servants at the Marriage at Cana who poured out the water that Jesus turned to wine (John 2:1–11). These traditions have no solid proof either from the New Testament or from Church history.
According to the Coptic church, Saint Mark was born in Cyrene, a city in the Pentapolis of North Africa (now Libya). This tradition adds that he returned to Pentapolis later in life, after being sent by Saint Paul to Colossae (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24; these actually refer to Mark the Cousin of Barnabas), and serving with him in Rome (2 Tim 4:11); from Pentapolis he made his way to Alexandria. When Mark returned to Alexandria, the pagans of the city resented his efforts to turn the Alexandrians away from the worship of their traditional gods. In AD 68 they placed a rope around his neck and dragged him through the streets until he was dead.
Relics of St. Mark
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (June 2007)|
In 828, relics believed to be the body of St. Mark were stolen from Alexandria by Venetian merchants and taken to Venice. A mosaic in St Mark's Basilica depicts sailors covering the relics with a layer of pork and cabbage leaves. Since Muslims are not permitted to touch pork, this was done to prevent the guards from inspecting the ship's cargo too closely. “History records no more shameless example of body snatching...” as John Julius Norwich put it. The possession of a truly important relic could have serious political consequences. When the body of St Mark came to Venice, the previous patron saint of the city, St Theodore, was demoted. The Doge of the day began to build a splendid church to contain the relics next to his palace, the original San Marco. With an evangelist on its territory, Venice acquired a status almost equal to that of Rome itself.
In 1063, during the construction of a new basilica in Venice, St. Mark's relics could not be found. However, according to tradition, in 1094 the saint himself revealed the location of his remains by extending an arm from a pillar. The newfound remains were placed in a sarcophagus in the basilica.
Copts believe that the head of St. Mark remains in a church named after him in Alexandria, and parts of his relics are in St. Mark's Cairo's Cathedral. The rest of his relics are in the San Marco Cathedral in Venice, Italy. Every year, on the 30th day of the month of Paopi, the Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates the commemoration of the consecration of the church of St. Mark, and the appearance of the head of the saint in the city of Alexandria. This takes place inside St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, where the saint's head is preserved.
In June 1968, Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria sent an official delegation to Rome to receive a relic of St. Mark from Pope Paul VI. The delegation consisted of ten metropolitans and bishops, seven of whom were Coptic and three Ethiopian, and three prominent Coptic lay leaders.
The relic was said to be a small piece of bone that had been given to the Roman pope by Giovanni Cardinal Urbani, Patriarch of Venice. Pope Paul, in an address to the delegation, said that the rest of the relics of the saint remained in Venice.
The delegation received the relic on June 22, 1968. The next day, the delegation celebrated a pontifical liturgy in the Church of Saint Athanasius the Apostolic in Rome. The metropolitans, bishops, and priests of the delegation all served in the liturgy. Members of the Roman papal delegation, Copts who lived in Rome, newspaper and news agency reporters, and many foreign dignitaries attended the liturgy.
In a TV series named Mystery Files episode Alexander the Great aired in 2011 on National Geographic Channel in the UK, 21st century historians believe that Alexander the Great's body was unintentionally stolen from Alexandria in Egypt by a pair of Venetian merchants, taken to Venice, mistakenly renamed and venerated as St. Mark the Evangelist in Basilica di San Marco (Venice, Italy).
- Feast of Saint Mark
- Gospel of John
- Gospel of Luke
- Gospel of Mark
- Gospel of Matthew
- John the Evangelist
- Luke the Evangelist
- Matthew the Evangelist
- "St. Mark The Apostle, Evangelist". Coptic Orthodox Church Network. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- Lane, William L. (1974). "The Author of the Gospel". The Gospel According to Mark. New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. pp. 21–3. ISBN 978-0-8028-2502-5.
- Mark: Images of an Apostolic Interpreter p55 C. Clifton Black – 2001 –"... infrequent occurrence in the Septuagint (Num 36:11; Tob 7:2) to its presence in Josephus (JW 1.662; Ant 1.290, 15.250) and Philo (On the Embassy to Gaius 67), anepsios consistently carries the connotation of "cousin," though ..."
- Hippolytus. "The same Hippolytus on the Seventy Apostles". Ante-Nicene Fathers.
- Finegan, Jack (1998). Handbook of Biblical Chronology. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson. p. 374. ISBN 978-1-56563-143-4.
- "Egypt". Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Retrieved 2011-12-14. See drop-down essay on "Islamic Conquest and the Ottoman Empire"
- Bunson, Matthew; Bunson, Margaret; Bunson, Stephen (1998). Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints. Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division. p. 401. ISBN 0-87973-588-0.
- "Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Mark". Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- Acts of the Apostles 15:36–40
- 2 Timothy 4:11
- Philemon 24
- Senior, Donald P. (1998), "Mark", in Ferguson, Everett, Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (2nd ed.), New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., p. 720, ISBN 0-8153-3319-6
- Papias, Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord, VI. Newadvent.org
- Harrington, Daniel J. (1990), "The Gospel According to Mark", in Brown, Raymond E.; Fitzmyer, Joseph A.; Murphy, Roland E., The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, p. 596, ISBN 0-13-614934-0
- D. A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo and Leon Morris, An Introduction to the New Testament (Apollos, 1992), 93.
- H.H. Pope Shenouda III, The Beholder of God Mark the Evangelist Saint and Martyr, Chapter One. Tasbeha.org
- "About the Diocese". Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States.
- "Saint Mark". Retrieved 2009-05-14.
- H.H. Pope Shenouda III. The Beholder of God Mark the Evangelist Saint and Martyr, Chapter Seven. Tasbeha.org
- "Section dedicated to the recovery of St. Mark's body". Basilicasanmarco.it. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
- "St. Marks Basilica". Avventure Bellissime – Italy Tours. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- Gayford, Martin, "Treasures of Heaven, Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe, British Museum",The Telegraph, June 11, 2011
- Okey, Thomas (1904), Venice and Its Story, London: J. M. Dent & Co.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saint Mark.|
- The Life, Miracles and Martyrdom of St. Mark the Evangelist of Jesus Christ
- H.B. Swete, 'St. Mark in the New Testament'
- H.B. Swete, 'St. Mark in Early Tradition'
- St. Mark the Apostle, Evangelist, and Preacher of the Christian Faith in Africa
- A. J. Schem (1879). "Mark, Saint". The American Cyclopædia.
- Apostle Mark the Evangelist of the Seventy Orthodox icon and synaxarion
|New creation||Pope of Alexandria