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  • SJSP Pastoral Staff

Happy Feast of St. Mark

In these days where one day can, by virtue of our isolation, seem very similar to the one that came before it, it is even more important we use our liturgical calendar to ground us in the truth of our Faith!

Few details about the life of St. Mark are known, however we know he is one of the first inheritors of the apostolic tradition, by virtue of his close relationship with St. Peter, who was his primary source of information regarding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He is the cousin of the missionary Barnabas according to Col 4:10; and more significantly he is an associate of the Apostle Paul, accompanying him on his first missionary journey (Acts 13:5). Tradition states that after the martyrdom of Peter and Paul, Mark was the first to establish churches in Alexandria in northern Egypt.

Tradition shares that one evening while Mark was sailing toward Alexandria, during a stormy evening, he found shelter in one of the few fishermen huts which were rising in Venice (probably in Rialto). After a small dinner he fell asleep. An angel, represented by a winged lion, appeared to him in a dream exclaiming a Latin sentence:

«Pax tibi Marce Evangelista meus, hic requiescet corpus tuum»

(Peace to you, Mark, my Evangelist. Here will rest your body)

In the morning he told the dream to the fishermen. Than he sailed to continue the trip toward Egypt. His mission was one of conversion to Christ, and to create one of the most ancient and important centers of Christianity. There are no reliable sources, however, it seems he died in Alexandria.

Most of the artistic depictions of St. Mark are accompanied by a winged or un-winged lion.

It is generally accepted that Mark's was the first Gospel written. His style is neat, vivid and dynamic. His attention is very much focussed on Jesus' mighty works. In Mark's gospel Jesus' is a powerful healer, an effective exorcist, and always on the move! One of Mark's favorite words is: "immediately!".

Saint Mark: pray for us.

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