On April 25th we celebrate the Holy, Glorious, Apostle and Evangelist Mark. (Otherwise known as John Mark). We mainly recognize him for his Gospel. He is also known for founding the church in Alexandria, with him being the first Patriarch of Alexandria. Even today, the patriarch of Alexandria is called the successor of St. Mark.
Traditionally, St. Mark is identified as the man carrying water, in whose house the last supper took place. It is also thought that he may have been the pan who ran away naked when Christ was arrested.
The Martyrdom of St. Mark
When St. Mark was celebrating the feast of Easter in the year of our Lord 68, the pagans were celebrating their god, Syrabis. The large crowd of pagans were angry that St. Mark was proclaiming the resurrection of Christ and the futility of their religion. So they seized St. Mark, tied a rope around his neck, and dragged him through the streets until he was dead.
There is a tradition that holds the pagans had planned to burn St. Mark’s body after this gruesome death. However, a large storm with heavy rains rolled in after they had gathered firewood, and the pagans left St. Marks body. Then, the Christians gave St. Mark a proper burial.
- Find a historic map of Alexandra from the time of Christ. Look at where St. Mark travelled and evangelized.
- Colour an Icon of St. Mark (check out our pinterest boards for icon colouring pages!)
- Chant the Prayers and Tropars for the Feast of St. Mark with your family at icon corner or before supper (or both)
Prayers and Tropars
Troparion: (tone 3)
Learning from Peter the chief apostle, you too became an apostle of Christ, and shown on the lands like the sun. O blessed one, adornment of Alexandrians, through you Egypt was freed from deceit, for you are a pillar of light for the Church, enlightening all with your teaching of the Good News. Therefore, we feast your memorial, O Mark divinely inspired. Ask God, whom you preached to all to grant to our souls forgiveness of sins.
Kontakion: (tone 2)
You received from on high the grace of the Spirit, O Mark, most glorious apostle, and you destroyed the snares of the orators. You caught the nations and brought them to the Master by preaching to them the Good News.
Prokeimenon: (tone 8)
Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth, and their words into the ends of the world
Verse: the heavens tell the glory of God, and the firmament declares the work of His hand.
The Byzantine Life
Thank you for checking out this week’s article. If you haven’t already, you can read our article about St. George who we celebrate today (April 23rd).
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