Saint of the Day – 25 April – St Mark the Evangelist

Saint of the Day – 25 April – St Mark the Evangelist – also known as John Mark (Born 1st century – Martyred 25 April 68 at Alexandria, Egypt) – The Winged Lion – Evangelist, Martyr, Missionary, Preacher, Teacher, friend and assistant to St Peter, St Paul, cousin of St Barnabas.1977.2_evangelista-san-marcosst mark and the winged lion

John Mark, later known simply as Mark, was a Jew by birth.   He was the son of that Mary who was proprietress of the Cenacle or “upper room” which served as the meeting place for the first Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12).   He was still a youth at the time of the Saviour’s death.    We cannot be certain whether he knew Jesus personally.    Some scholars feel that the evangelist is speaking of himself (so he then did know Jesus) when describing the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane:  “Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body.    They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked” (Mark 14:51-52). 

During the years that followed, the rapidly maturing youth witnessed the growth of the infant Church in his mother’s Upper Room and became acquainted with its traditions. This knowledge he put to excellent use when compiling his Gospel.   Later, we find Mark acting as a companion to his cousin Barnabas and Saul on their return journey to Antioch and on their first missionary journey.   But Mark was too immature for the hardships of this type of work and therefore left them at Perge in Pamphylia to return home.

As the two apostles were preparing for their second missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to take his cousin with him.   Paul, however, objected.   Thereupon the two cousins undertook a missionary journey to Cyprus.   Time healed the strained relations between Paul and Mark and during the former’s first Roman captivity (61-63), Mark rendered Paul valuable service (Col. 4:10; Philem. 24) and the Apostle learned to appreciate him.   When in chains the second time Paul requested Mark’s presence (2 Tim. 4:11).

An intimate friendship existed between Mark and Peter;  he played the role of Peter’s companion, disciple and interpreter.   According to the common patristic opinion, Mark was present at Peter’s preaching in Rome and wrote his Gospel under the influence of the prince of the apostles.   This explains why incidents which involve Peter are described with telling detail (e.g., the great day at Capharnaum, 1:14f)).   Little is known of Mark’s later life.   It is certain that he died a Martyr’s death as bishop of Alexandria in Egypt.   His relics were transferred from Alexandria to Venice, where a worthy tomb was erected in St Mark’s Cathedral.

St Mark’s Tomb inside the Altar at St Mark’s, Venice
st mark's venice
St Mark’s Venice

The Gospel of St Mark, the shortest of the four, is, above all, a Roman Gospel.   It originated in Rome and is addressed to Roman, or shall we say, to Western Christianity. Another high merit is its chronological presentation of the life of Christ.   For we should be deeply interested in the historical sequence of the events in our blessed Saviour’s life.

Mark2. Benozzo Gozzoli
Ceilings in the Vatican depicting St Mark

Saint Mark Mosaic Angels Saint Peter's Basilica Vatican Rome Ita

Furthermore, Mark was a skilled painter of word pictures.   With one stroke he frequently enhances a familiar scene, shedding upon it new light.   His Gospel is the “Gospel of Peter,” for he wrote it under the direction and with the aid of the prince of the apostles.   “The Evangelist Mark is represented as a lion because he begins his Gospel in the wilderness,   ‘The voice of one crying in the desert:   Make ready the way of the Lord,’ or because he presents the Lord as the unconquered King.”…Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

st mark - the winged lionthe winged lion of st mark




Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

3 thoughts on “Saint of the Day – 25 April – St Mark the Evangelist

  1. Greetings.  I have a question.  If Mark is the “Gospel of Peter,” what are the other gospels?

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone


  2. This is a BIG question Stacy – and I thank you. However, of course, in this small environment it would be difficult to answer in detailed truth. I post a great article on the Gospels and the writers thereof – (The Catholic Encyclopedia). For 20 centuries, students have been examining each word of all the Gospels and attempting to determine not only the writers, when, where, how but agreeing and disagreeing. The Church is the authority and the Church is our guide. Mark’s is the first Gospel and even though this is true, some say he copied Matthew, etc etc etc. There is much information online but discernment is necessary to sift through the info. I would recommend someone like Scott Hahn as an accessible expert to help us. He has a beautiful and comprehensive website and a fabulous book “Catholic Bible Dictionary”. Let me know if the above is helpful. God bless you and yours!


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