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About this icon

Saint Mark is described firstly as writing the gospel. Also important is the lectern to describe his role in preaching and establishing the early church. Medicines are shown in the icon in reference to the miracles he performed, especially to heal the sick. His evangelistic symbol of the lion is seen holding a parchment.

Saint Mark the Evangelist

Mark the Evangelist (1st century) is traditionally believed to be the author of the Gospel of Mark and a companion of Peter. He also accompanied Paul and Barnabas in Paul's first journey. After a sharp dispute, Barnabas separated from Paul, taking Mark to Cyprus (Acts 15:36-40). Later Paul calls upon the services of Mark, the kinsman of Barnabas, and Mark is named as Paul's fellow worker.

He is also believed to be the first patriarch of Alexandria by both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church, and thus the founder of Christianity in Africa. His evangelistic symbol is the lion.

In Egypt, Mark the Evangelist is said to have performed many miracles, and established a church there, appointing a bishop (Anianus of Alexandria), three priests, and seven deacons.

When Mark returned to Alexandria, the people there are said to have resented his efforts to turn them away from the worship of their traditional Egyptian gods. In AD 67 they killed him, and tried to burn his body. Afterwards, the Christians in Alexandria removed his unburned body from the ashes, wrapped it and then buried it in the north easterly part of the church they had built.

Saint Mark's Western feast day is April 25 and the Eastern feast day is September 23.

St Mark Icon by Olga Christine