The Catholic Defender: St. Mark, friend of St. Peter
April 24, 2019
St. Mark the Evangelist is recognized as a friend of St. Peter and one of the four Evangelist Gospel writers, he was born of Jewish parents (Aristopolos his father and Mary his mother, migrated to Palestine shortly after the birth of St. Mark) about 13 A.D.. By 33 A.D St. Mark would have been about 20 years old. His family originally from Libya, just west of Egypt, found a place in Cana Palestine about the time of Jesus public Ministry.Acts 12:11-12 gives the story of St. Peter coming to the house of Mary, the Mother of John (Mark's surname) as they were praying. We see the family of St. Mark present during the time of the Apostles.
St. Peter was married to a relative of St. Mark's father (Aristopolos) and with Mark's father's death, St. Peter took Mark into his own household. St. Mark became a believer and was baptized by St. Peter who referred to Mark as his son (1 Peter 5:13). St. Mark was given a good education through St. Peter, Mark's Mother, Mary would be an ardent follower of Jesus Christ and supported Jesus in his travels. St. Mark was one of the attendants serving the marriage event at Cana where Jesus performed his first public miracle changing the water into wine (John 2:1-11).
Traditionally, the Apostles would see their followers using that family language. Cousins were seen as brothers, Jesus was said to have brothers who were actually cousins (Mark 6:4). Also, followers of Jesus were also regarded as brothers. Mark's Gospel was recognized through the authority of St. Peter.
Tradition tells us that the Holy Grail was taken to Rome initially with St. Peter. According to tradition, the Cenacle (Acts 1:13) , the room where the Last Supper took place , and the Holy Cup were the property of the family of St. Mark the Evangelist.
Mark served as interpreter for St. Peter in Rome and because of his unique relationship with Peter, Mark gave him the Holy Grail. So Marty Python got it way wrong and rest assured there is no killer rabbit!
Acts 12:25 and Acts 15:37 addresses St. Mark traveling with St. Paul and Barnabas.
St. Mark was possibly a family member, a cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10, Phlm 1:24) and together with St. Paul traveled on many missionary journeys promoting the young Catholic Faith. 2 Timothy 4:11 and Colossians 4:10 St. Paul writes how valuable St. Mark was to him during his imprisonments. Much like Onesiphorus was great help while St. Paul was in Rome (2 Timothy 1:16-19). Mark's Gospel was the first to be written which was a great source for Matthew and Luke.
Probably because of St. Mark's original upbringing, he would be the founder of the Church in Egypt and Alexandria about 50 A.D. just after the Council of Jerusalem (49 A.D.) St. Peter would be setting up the Church in Babylon (modern day Iraq) before going to Rome. St. Peter installed St. Mark as the first Bishop of Alexandria.
It was sometime between 68 - 74 A.D. when St. Mark would receive Martyrdom by the Pagans of Serapis who followed the false gods of Serepion Abbis Greek Egyptian who tied a rope to his neck attaching him to a horse's tail which dragged him through Alexandria's district Bokalia for nearly two whole days until he was torn to pieces.
Mark's symbol as a Gospel Writer is a lion with wings. Mark 1:3 begins the story of St. John the Baptist "a voice crying in the wilderness, like the roaring lion." Jesus is the "Lion of Judah" the focus of St. Mark's preaching.
St. Eusebius writes that Mark was succeeded by Annianus as the second bishop of Alexandria.
The Universal Catholic Church recognizes St. Mark's feast day on April 25.
Saint Mark the Evangelist is the patron saint of notaries and lawyers. Mark was the disciple of Saint Peter the Apostle and went on a Christian mission with Saint Paul and his cousin Saint Barnabas. He is the author of Mark’s Gospel, which is one of the four gospels in the New Testament.
O Glorious St. Mark through the grace of God, our Father, you became a great Evangelist, preaching the Good News of Christ. May you help us to know Him well so that we may faithfully live our lives as followers of Christ. Amen.