St Mark features prominently in the bible as well. For example the Lord chose St. Mark’s house as the one where they ate the Passover before His crucifixion. In his house the very first Eucharist was held and so St. Marks house is actually considered to be the very first Church!
Furthermore in St. Mark’s house the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost.
St. Mark’s cousin was St. Barnabas and his fathers cousin was St. Peter.
I have selected two interesting stories about this wonderful saint – the beginning and end, hope you enjoy!
How He Arrived to EGYPT – Journey to Alexandria
Arriving at Alexandria totally exhausted, Mark found a cobbler named Anianus and asked him to mend a broken strap of his tattered sandal. When the cobbler took an awl to work on it, he accidentally pierced his finger and cried aloud in Greek, “Heis ho Theos,” that is, “God is One.” Mark’s heart fluttered with joy at this utterance, which betrayed the possibility of his companion’s monotheism, thus opening the door for the preaching of the New Kingdom. After miraculously healing the man’s wound, Mark took courage and delivered the good tidings to the hungry ears of his first convert. In this manner, the initial spark was struck, and the first stone in the foundation of the Coptic church was laid. The cobbler invited the apostle to his home, and he and his family were baptized. There followed other baptisms, and the faithful multiplied. So successful was the movement that the word spread around that a Galilean was in the city preparing to overthrow the idols. Popular feelings began to rise, and people sought out the stranger. Scenting danger in the air, Mark ordained Anianus bishop, with three presbyters (Mylios, Sabinos, and Sardinos) and seven deacons to watch over the growing congregation in case anything befell him.
How He Left EGYPT – Mark’s Martyrdom
At any rate, the Christian population of Alexandria was multiplying at a considerable rate, and rumours ran through the city, as on Mark’s first visit, that under the leadership of Mark the Christians were threatening to overthrow the ancient pagan deities. This possibility inflamed the fury of the idolatrous populace. A hostile mob unremittingly hunted the evangelist. In 68 AD, Easter fell on the same day as the festival of the popular pagan god Serapis. A large group congregated in the temple to Serapis on the occasion and decided to move against the Christians, who, with Mark leading their prayers, were celebrating Easter at their Bucalis church. The mob forced its way into the church and seized the saint, put a rope around his neck, and dragged him about the streets. With the connivance of the authorities, Mark was incarcerated for the night. It is said that the angel of the Lord appeared to him during the night and fortified him to bear the approaching martyr’s crown. On the following day, he was again dragged over the cobbled roads of Alexandria, his body becoming lacerated and his blood covering the ground, until he finally died. But the mob would not stop at that; they wanted to cremate his mutilated body so that there would be no remains for his followers to honor. Though the sources are silent on the matter, it appears that Mark was decapitated after his martyrdom. At this point, however, a violent wind began to blow, and torrential rains poured down on the populace, which dispersed. The Christians stealthily removed the body of the saint and secretly buried him in a grave that they speedily carved in the rock under the altar of the Bucalis church, which has carried his name ever since.
May his prayers be with us all Amen.