Who Is St. Mark?
St. Mark, one of the original 72 disciples in Catholicism, was never appointed an Apostle. He was the youngest follower of Christ; when Jesus was arrested prior to his Crucifixion, Mark fled from the Temple guards so quickly that he left his tunic behind.
Palestine or Libya (first century a.d.–a.d. 68)
Patron: Venice, lion trainers
Feast day: April 25
Author of the second Gospel, Mark wrote for a Roman audience. His Greek (the language used by all four Evangelists to write the Gospels) was so good that scholars believe he was a Greek convert to Judaism before becoming a follower of Jesus. His mother was the sister of St. Barnabas, companion to St. Paul.
Mark used the same kind of literary tools as Matthew in that he reported what he knew a Roman would want to hear — no more and no less. Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels and is very active with short sentences.
Mark eventually preached the Gospel all the way to Alexandria, Egypt, where he was martyred. Arrested for his faith, Mark was bound and gagged and then dragged by horses through the streets of the city.
His symbol is the lion with wings, as his Gospel opens describing John the Baptist as a “voice crying in the wilderness,” much like a lion would do (Mark 1:3). The relics of St. Mark were transferred to Venice more than a thousand years ago, and even today, there are lions all over the city. Even the great basilica, originally the Doge’s Chapel, was renamed St. Mark.