The Feast Day of St. Mark – 25th April

Disciple, Apostle and Writer of the Second Gospel

Mark, whose home in Jerusalem became a place of rest for Jesus and His twelve apostles, is considered the traditional author of the second gospel.  He is also usually identified as the young man, described in Mark 14:51, who followed Christ after his arrest and then escaped capture by leaving his clothes behind:

A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him,he fled naked, leaving his garment behind (Mark 14:51-52)

In 130 AD, Papias* stated that in later years Mark became Peter’s interpreter.  If so, then this close friendship would have been how Mark gathered so much information about Jesus’ life. Peter referred to him affectionately as his “son”. 

Mark was also a companion to Paul on his journeys.  When Paul was held captive at Rome, Mark was with him, helping him. Mark’s Gospel, most likely written in Italy, perhaps in Rome, is the earliest account we have of the life of Jesus.  He died about 74 AD.

Early in the 9th century Mark’s body was brought to Venice, whose patron he became, and there it has remained to this day.

Tradition holds that St. Mark’s Gospel emphasised Jesus’ kingship, hence his symbol as an evangelist is that of the lion, often with wings.  Much in evidence in today’s Venice, this symbol is a constant reminder of St. Mark.


* Papias (c.60 – c.130 AD), Bishop of Hierapolis and Greek Apostolic Father.  As an author he wrote “Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord”, in five books.

Collect for St. Mark

O Almighty God, who hast instructed thy holy Church with the heavenly doctrine of thy Evangelist Saint Mark: Give us grace, that, being not like children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established in the truth of thy holy Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

CofE Book of Common Worship

The feature image for this post is “1516 Vittore Carpacci, The Lion of St Mark (detail) Tempera on canvas, Palazzo Ducale, Venice” – WikiCommons, PD.

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