Mark the Evangelist (Latin: Mārcus; Greek: Μᾶρκος, romanized: Mârkos; Coptic: Ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ Markos; Hebrew: מרקוס Marqos; Arabic: مَرْقُس Marqus; Amharic: ማርቆስ Marḳos; Berber languages: ⵎⴰⵔⵇⵓⵙ) is the traditionally ascribed author of the Gospel of Mark. Mark is said to have founded the Church of Alexandria, one of the most important episcopal sees of early Christianity. His feast day is celebrated on April 25, and his symbol is the winged lion.
Saint Mark the Evangelist
Cyrene, Pentapolis of North Africa, according to Coptic tradition
|Died||25 April 68 (aged 62–63)|
Cyrene, Libya, Pentapolis (North Africa), now Shahhat, Jabal al Akhdar, Libya
|Venerated in||All Christian churches|
|Patronage||Barristers, Venice, Egypt, Mainar|
According to William Lane (1974), an "unbroken tradition" identifies Mark the Evangelist with John Mark, and John Mark as the cousin of Barnabas. However, Hippolytus of Rome in 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 1:24). According to Hippolytus, they all belonged to the "Seventy Disciples" who were sent out by Jesus to disseminate the gospel (Luke 10:1ff.) in Judea.
According to Eusebius of Caesarea (Eccl. Hist. 2.9.1–4), Herod Agrippa I, in his first year of reign over the whole of 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 Peter 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 encountered 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).
According to the Bible, Mark went to Cyprus with Barnabas after the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:39).
According to tradition, in AD 49, about 19 years after the Ascension of Jesus, Mark travelled to Alexandria and founded the Church of Alexandria – today, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, and the Coptic Catholic Church claim to be successors to this original community. 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.
Evidence for Mark the Evangelist's authorship of the Gospel that bears his name originates with Papias. Scholars of the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School are "almost certain" that Papias is referencing John Mark. Catholic scholars 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.
Identifying Mark the Evangelist with John Mark also 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 accords with identifying Mark the Evangelist with John Mark, as well as that he was one of the Seventy Disciples sent out by Christ (Luke 10:1), as Hippolytus confirmed. Coptic tradition also holds that Mark the Evangelist hosted the disciples in his house after Jesus' death, that the resurrected Jesus Christ came to Mark's house (John 20), and that the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples at Pentecost in the same house. Furthermore, Mark is also believed to have been among the servants at the Marriage at Cana who poured out the water that Jesus turned to wine (John 2:1–11).
According to the Coptic tradition, Mark was born in Cyrene, a city in the Pentapolis of North Africa (now Libya). This tradition adds that Mark returned to Pentapolis later in life, after being sent by Paul to Colossae (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24. Some, however, think 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.
The Feast of St Mark is observed on April 25 by the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. For those Churches still using the Julian Calendar, April 25 according to it aligns with May 8 on the Gregorian Calendar until the year 2099. The Coptic Orthodox Church observes the Feast of St Mark on Parmouti 30 according to the Coptic Calendar which always aligns with April 25 on the Julian Calendar.
In 828, relics believed to be the body of Saint Mark were stolen from Alexandria (at the time controlled by the Abbasid Caliphate) by two Venetian merchants with the help of two Greek monks 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 eat pork, this was done to prevent the guards from inspecting the ship's cargo too closely.
Donald Nicol explained this act as "motivated as much by politics as by piety", and "a calculated stab at the pretensions of the Patriarchate of Aquileia." Instead of being used to adorn the church of Grado, which claimed to possess the throne of Saint Mark, it was kept secretly by Doge Giustiniano Participazio in his modest palace. Possession of Saint Mark's remains was, in Nicol's words, "the symbol not of the Patriarchate of Grado, nor of the bishopric of Olivolo, but of the city of Venice." In his will, Doge Giustiniano asked his widow to build a basilica dedicated to Saint Mark, which was erected between the palace and the chapel of Saint Theodore Stratelates, who until then had been patron saint of Venice.
In 1063, during the construction of a new basilica in Venice, Saint 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 Saint Mark remains in a church named after him in Alexandria, and parts of his relics are in Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, Cairo. The rest of his relics are in Venice. 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 Saint Mark, and the appearance of the head of the saint in the city of Alexandria. This takes place inside St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria.
In June 1968, Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria sent an official delegation to Rome to receive a relic of Saint 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.
Mark the Evangelist attributes are the lion in the desert; he can be depicted as a bishop on a throne decorated with lions; as a man helping Venetian sailors. He is often depicted holding a book with pax tibi Marce written on it or holding a palm and book. Other depictions of Mark show him as a man with a book or scroll, accompanied by a winged lion. The lion might also be associated with Jesus' Resurrection because lions were believed to sleep with open eyes, thus a comparison with Christ in his tomb, and Christ as king.
Mark the Evangelist can be depicted as a man with a halter around his neck and as rescuing Christian slaves from Saracens.
|Titles of the Great Christian Church|
|New creation|| Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria
The Church of Alexandria in Egypt is the Christian Church headed by the Patriarch of Alexandria. It is one of the original Apostolic Sees of Christianity, alongside Rome, Antioch, Constantinople and Jerusalem.
Tradition holds that the Church of Alexandria was founded by Saint Mark the Evangelist circa 49 AD and claims jurisdiction over all Christians on the African continent.
Today, three churches claim to be direct heirs of the original Church of Alexandria:
The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, an Oriental Orthodox church
The Eastern Orthodox Church of Alexandria, also known as the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, part of the wider Eastern Orthodox Church
The Coptic Catholic Church, one of 22 Eastern Catholic churches who are in full communion with the Catholic Church led by the Pope, the Bishop of RomeFormerly, also the Latin Patriarchate of Alexandria did so.Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist
The Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist is a diocese in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, in the geographical area of the Limpopo province in the north of South Africa.Flag of the Republic of Venice
The Flag of the Republic of Venice, commonly known as the Banner or Standard of Saint Mark (stendardo di San Marco), was the symbol of the Republic of Venice, until its dissolution in 1797.
Its main component was the Lion of Saint Mark, symbolizing Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of Venice. The flag inspired the modern Flag of Veneto region in Italy.Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark (Greek: Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Μᾶρκον, romanized: Euangélion katà Mârkon) is one of the four canonical gospels and one of the three synoptic gospels. It tells of the ministry of Jesus from his baptism by John the Baptist to his death and burial and the discovery of the empty tomb – there is no genealogy of Jesus or birth narrative, nor, in the original ending at chapter 16, any post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. It portrays Jesus as a heroic man of action, an exorcist, a healer, and a miracle worker. Jesus is also the Son of God, but he keeps his identity secret (the Messianic Secret), concealing it in parables so that even most of the disciples fail to understand. All this is in keeping with prophecy, which foretold the fate of the messiah as suffering servant. The gospel ends, in its original version, with the discovery of the empty tomb, a promise to meet again in Galilee, and an unheeded instruction to spread the good news of the resurrection.Mark probably dates from AD 66–70. Most scholars reject the tradition which ascribes it to John Mark, the companion of the apostle Peter, and regard it (and the other gospels) as anonymous, the work of an unknown author working with various sources including collections of miracle stories, controversy stories, parables, and a passion narrative.Mark was traditionally placed second, and sometimes fourth, in the Christian canon, as an inferior abridgement of what was regarded as the most important gospel, Matthew. The Church has consequently derived its view of Jesus primarily from Matthew, secondarily from John, and only distantly from Mark. It was only in the 19th century that Mark came to be seen as the earliest of the four gospels, and as a source used by both Matthew and Luke. The hypothesis of Marcan priority (that Mark was written first) continues to be held by the majority of scholars today, and there is a new recognition of the author as an artist and theologian using a range of literary devices to convey his conception of Jesus as the authoritative yet suffering Son of God.John Mark
John Mark is named in the Acts of the Apostles as an assistant accompanying Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journeys. Traditionally he is regarded as identical with Mark the Evangelist.Madonna and Child with Saints (Tintoretto)
Madonna and Child with Saints is a c.1545-1546 oil on canvas painting by Tintoretto, now in the musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon.
The costume of the kneeling Catherine of Alexandria in the centre probably means the artist tried to paint the Doge Francesco Donato in the centre of the canvas to fit in with the terms of his commission, but replaced his face with that of the saint when that attempt failed. Between her and the Madonna is Augustine of Hippo, whilst behind Catherine are Mark the Evangelist (standing) and John the Baptist (seated with the Lamb of God).Mark the cousin of Barnabas
Mark the cousin of Barnabas is a character mentioned in the New Testament, usually identified with John Mark (and thus with Mark the Evangelist). The opinion that this Mark is a different Mark is found in the writings of Hippolytus of Rome who thought them to be separate people.Mary, mother of John Mark
Mary, mother of John Mark is mentioned in the Acts 12:12, which says that, after his escape from prison, Peter went to her house:
When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.
This seems to be the only mention of her in the Bible.
The question whether her son John Mark can be identified with others called Mark or John in the New Testament is discussed in the article about him. Greek scholars reject his identification with Mark the Evangelist and have a separate feast for John Mark in their synaxarion. Catholic scholars are divided on this issue.Monastery of Saint Mark, Jerusalem
Syriac Orthodox Monastery of Saint Mark is a Syriac Orthodox monastery and church in Jerusalem. According to a 6th-century inscription (even if some scholars doubt about its authenticity) found during a restoration in 1940, the church is on the ancient site of the house of Mary, mother of St. Mark the Evangelist (Acts 12:12) and the place of the Last Supper of Christ with His disciples. Most other Christians believe that the Last Supper was held at the nearby Cenacle on Mount Zion.Pope Anianus of Alexandria
Pope Anianus, second Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. He was ordained as the successor of Saint Mark the Evangelist, and was also the first convert Mark won to Christianity in the region.Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
The Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, a faith with ancient Christian roots in Egypt. The current holder of this position is Pope Tawadros II, who was selected as the 118th pope on November 18, 2012.
Following the traditions of the church, the pope is chairman and head of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria as a first among equals. The Holy Synod is the highest authority in the Church of Alexandria, which has between 12 and 18 million members worldwide, 10 to 14 million of whom are in Egypt. It formulates the rules and regulations regarding matters of the church's organization, faith, and order. The pope is also the chairman of the church's General Congregation Council.
Although historically associated with the city of Alexandria, the residence and Seat of the Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria has been located in Cairo since 1047. The pope is currently established in Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, inside a compound which includes the Patriarchal Palace, with an additional residence at the Monastery of Saint Pishoy.
After the death of Shenouda III on March 17, 2012 the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church voted. The names of the three candidates who received most votes were put in a glass chalice. The name then picked became the new Patriarch of Alexandria. It is believed the name is picked by 'Divine Choice', by a blindfolded boy. He is believed to be guided by the hand of God.
The liturgy of the Altar Ballot took place on November 4, 2012. The 60-year-old Bishop Tawadoros, Auxiliary Bishop of Beheira, assistant to Metropolitan Pachomios of Beheira, was chosen as the 118th Pope of Alexandria. He then chose the name of Theodoros II. He was formally enthroned on November 18, 2012.St. Mark's Church, Aarhus
St. Mark's Church (Danish: Sankt Markus Kirke) is a church located in St. Mark's Parish in Aarhus, Denmark. The church is located in the Midtbyen neighbourhood. It is a parish church within the Church of Denmark servicing a parish population of 8.873 (2015). The church was designed by the Danish architect Thomas Havning who won a public contest for a new church design in 1933. The parish of the Church of Our Lady was reaching a population of 10.000 and it had been decided to split it and create a new parish, requiring a new church. Construction began in 1934 and was completed in October, 1935. The church is dedicated to Mark the Evangelist. In 1982 a new wing, Klostergården, was added to the church with an office and recreational facilities for youth preparing for confirmation. In 1998 the church was extensively renovated.St. Mark Enthroned
St. Mark Enthroned is an early painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Titian, executed in 1510 or 1511, which is still in the church of Santa Maria della Salute ("Saint Mary of Health") in Venice, for which it was commissioned.St. Mark the Evangelist Church (New York City)
The Church of St. Mark the Evangelist is a Roman Catholic parish church in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, located at West 138th Street, near Lenox Avenue in northern Harlem, Manhattan, New York City. The address is 59-61 West 138th Street and 195 East Lenox Avenue. The parish was established in 1907 and has been staffed by the Holy Ghost Fathers since 1912. The Rev. Charles J. Plunkett, pastor, had a brick church built in 1914 to designs by Nicholas Serracino of 1170 Broadway for $12,000.St Mark (Hals)
St. Mark is a painting by the Dutch Golden Age painter Frans Hals, painted in 1625. It was purchased from the art dealer Colnaghi, London in September 2013 for the Pushkin Museum and donated to that museum in November that year, where it still hangs.St Mark (Mantegna)
Saint Mark is a 1448 tempera on canvas painting by Andrea Mantegna. It is now in the Städel Museum in Frankfurt. It is the earliest known work by the artist.
Mantegna was aged 17 in 1448, the year in which he regained his independence after six years in the studio of Francesco Squarcione. He filed a lawsuit against his former master for not paying him for works he had produced under his own name. He also began several commissions, such as the altarpiece for Santa Sofia church in Padua, now destroyed.
It is signed and dated 1448 on a small cartouche in the foreground, inscribed "INCLITA MAGNANIMI VEN... / EVANGELISTA PAX TIBI M[ARC]E / ANDREAE MANTEGNAE PICTORIS LABOR". The use of a cartouche in the way originated in Flemish art and was also used by other Italian artists such as Filippo Lippi.The Four Apostles
The Four Apostles is a panel painting by the German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer. It was finished in 1526, and is the last of his large works. It depicts the four apostles larger-than-life-size. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian I obtained The Four Apostles in the year 1627 due to pressure on the Nuremberg city fathers. Since then, the painting has been in Munich and, despite all the efforts of Nuremberg since 1806, it has not been returned.The Four Evangelists (painting)
The Four Evangelists (French: Les quatre évangélistes) is an oil on canvas painting by the Flemish Baroque artist Jacob Jordaens, completed in 1625. The painting is 133 by 118 centimeters. and is in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, France.Vision of St. John on Patmos
The Vision of St. John the Evangelist at Patmos (1520-1522) is a series of frescoes by the Italian late Renaissance artist Antonio Allegri da Correggio. It occupies the interior of the dome, and the relative pendentives, of the Benedictine church of San Giovanni Evangelista of Parma, Italy.
The centre of the cupola is occupied by an illusionistic space based on series of concentric planes indicated by the clouds, from which the apostles stretch out. Starting from the border of the dome, the clouds thin out and open to a shiny light Christ descending towards the floor of the nave. The scene is a faithful rendering of John's Book of Revelation (I,7). The figure of St. John leans from the drum of the dome. This part of the fresco was hidden to the people present in the church, but visible to the monks in the choir and under the dome.
In the four pendentives Correggio painted, coupled, the Four Evangelists and the Four Doctors of the Church. These are:
St. Matthew with an angel;
St. Mark with a winged lion;
St. Luke with an ox;
St. John with an eagleand, respectively,
St. Jerome with the white beard and red garments;
St. Ambrose with a staff;
St. Gregory with the Papal tiara;
St. Augustine portrayed counting together with St. John.
New Testament people
|Patriarchs prior to the|
Popes and Patriarchs
|Greek Orthodox Popes and Patriarchs|
|Latin Catholic Patriarchs|
|Melkite Catholic Titular Patriarchs|
|Coptic Catholic Patriarchs|
Traditional ecclesiastical jurisidictions in Christianity (and denominational claimants), sorted according to earliest legacy
Legend: in bold blue the patriarchs belonging to the Catholic Church, in light blue those belonging to the Eastern Catholic Church, and in green those belonging to Oriental Orthodoxy.
in late Antiquity