Rev. Mary McCue
St. Mark (and the other Apostles) are commemorated in the front of our church and in the back. The mural in the front shows him with his symbol, a winged lion. The stained-glass depiction, in the choir loft, pictures him as well. He is called the Evangelist.
We celebrate his feast day today.
St. Mark was probably born around 5 AD in Cyrene. Legend says he was the servant who filled jugs with water that Jesus converted into wine at Cana. Legend also says he was the servant who filled up water jugs for the Last Supper. When Peter escaped from Herod’s confinement after being arrested, Mark served as his interpreter and traveling companion. In that role, scholars hypothesize, he wrote down Peter’s sermons. These served as the basis for the Gospel of Mark, believed to be the first written Gospel.
After he left Peter, he traveled to Alexandra in Egypt. There he founded the
Church of Alexandria, and served as its first Bishop. The Coptic Catholic Church, Coptic Orthodox Church and Greek Orthodox Church all trace
their origins to the Church of Alexandria. He is believed to be responsible for
some of the liturgies still prayed in those churches today.
It is believed that Mark was killed by angry Alexandrians, who feared he was turning the people away from their traditional beliefs. They put a rope around his neck and dragged him until he died. He was interred in Alexandria.
In 828, the relics believed to be his, were stolen and brought to Venice. They were re-interred in what became the Basilica of St. Mark in that city.
Let us give thanks for the life of St. Mark.
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington