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Apostle Mark

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[[Image:Apostle Mark.jpg|right|frame|The Apostle Mark]]The holy, glorious and all-laudable '''Apostle and Evangelist Mark''' is the author of the [[Gospel of Mark]], the companion of the [[Apostle Paul]] (as recorded in the [[Acts of the Apostles]]), and is numbered among the [[Apostles#The_Seventy|Seventy Apostles]]. He is often referred to as '''John Mark''', and is the founder of the [[Church of Alexandria]], being regarded as its first pope. As a result, he is also particularly venerated by the [[Church of Alexandria (Coptic)|Coptic Orthodox Church]] as its founder, as well. His symbol as one of the four [[evangelist]]s is a lion. The Church celebrates his [[feast day]]s on [[April 25]]; [[September 27]] with [[Apostle Aristarchus|Aristarchus]] and [[Apostle Zenas|Zenas]]; [[October 30]] with [[Apostle Tertius|Tertius]], [[Apostle Justus|Justus]], [[Apostle Artemas|Artemas]], and [[Apostle Cleopas|Cleopas]]; and [[January 4]] among the Seventy. 
== Life ==
His name was John, as the Holy Bible says: "He came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying" (Acts 12:12). He was the one that whom the Lord Christ, to Whom is the glory, meant when He said: "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, The Teacher says, 'My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples[[disciple]]s'" ([[Gospel of Matthew|Matthew]] 26:18).
His house was the first Christian church, where they ate the [[Passover]], hid after the death of the Lord Christ, and in its upper room the [[Holy Spirit]] came upon them.
This apostle was born in Cyrene (one of the five Western cities, Pentapolis, in North Africa). His father's name was Aristopolus, his mother's name was Mary and he was a kinsman of the [[Apostle Barnabas]]. They were [[Judaism|Jewish]] in faith, rich and of great honor. They educated him with the Greek and Hebrew cultures. He was called Mark after they emigrated immigrated to Jerusalem, where St. [[Apostle Peter|Peter]] had become a disciple of Jesus Christ. St. Peter was married to the cousin of Aristopolus. Mark visited St. Peter's house often, and from him he learned the Christian teachings.
Once when Aristopolus and his son Mark were walking near the Jordan river, close by the desert, they encountered a raving lion and a lioness. It was evident to Aristopolus that it would be his end and the end of his son, Mark. His compassion for his son compelled him to order him to escape to save himself. Mark answered, "Christ, in whose hands our lives are committed, will not let them prey on us." Saying this, he prayed, "O, Christ, Son of God , protect us from the evil of these two beasts and terminate their offspring from this wilderness." Immediately, God granted this prayer, and the two beasts fell dead. His father marvelled and asked his son to tell him about Christ. He believed in the Lord Christ at the hands of his son who [[baptism|baptized]] him.
After the [[ascension ]] of the Lord Christ, he Mark accompanied Paul and [[Apostle Barnabas|Barnabas]] to preach the [[gospel ]] in Antioch, Seleucia, Cyprus, Salamis, and Perga Pamphylia , where he left them and returned to Jerusalem. After the apostolic council in Jerusalem, he went with Barnabas to Cyprus.
After the departure of Barnabas, with the order of Jesus, St. Mark went to Afrikia, Berka, and the five Western cities. He preached the gospel in these parts, and believed on his hands most of its peopleaccount many believed. From there, he went to Alexandria in 61 A.D.
When he entered the city, his shoe was torn because of the much walking in amount he had walked during his preaching and [[evangelism]]. He went to a cobbler in the city, called [[Anianus of Alexandria|Anianus]], to repair it. While he Anianus was repairing it the shoe, the awl pierced his finger. Anianus shouted in Greek saying "Eis Theos!" which means "O, one God!" When St. Mark heard these words his heart rejoiced exceedingly. He found it suitable to talk to him about the one God. The apostle took some clay, spat on it , and applied it to Anianus' finger, saying "in the Name of Jesus Christ the Son of God," and the wound healed immediately, as if nothing had happened to it.
Anianus was exceedingly amazed from by this [[miracle ]] that happened in the name of Jesus Christ, and his heart opened to the word of God. The apostle asked him about who was the only God that he cried for when he was injured. Anianus replied "I heard about him, but I do not know him." St. Mark started explaining to him from the beginning, from the creation of heaven and earth, the transgression and fall of [[Adam]], the flood, how God sent [[Moses,]] who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, and gave them the Law, the captivity of all the children of Israel way to Babylon, and the prophecies that foretold the coming of Christ. Anianus then invited him to go to his house and brought to him his children. The saint preached and baptized them.
Anianus invited When the believers in the name of Christ increased and the pagan people of the city heard of it, they were enraged and thought of slaying St. Mark. The faithful advised him to go leave for a short while, for the sake of the safety of the church and its care. St. Mark [[ordination|ordained]] St. [[Anianus]] as [[bishop]] of Alexandria as well as three [[priest]]s and seven [[deacon]]s. He went to his house the five Western cities, and brought to him his children. The saint preached remained there for two years preaching, where he ordained more bishops, priests, and baptized themdeacons.
When Finally he returned to Alexandria, where he found the believers had increased in the name of Christ increased and the pagan people of the city heard thatnumber, they were raged with anger and thought of slaying St. Mark. The faithful advised him to get away for built a short while church for them in the place known as Bokalia (the sake place of the safety cows), east of the church and its care. St. Mark ordained St. [[Anianus]] as [[bishop]] for Alexandria, three priests and seven deacons. He went to on the five Western cities, remained there for two years preaching, and ordained bishops, [[priest]]s, and [[deacon]]ssea shore.
He returned to [[Image:StMarkCathAlex.jpg|thumb|St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria , where the saint's head is preserved to this day.]]It came to pass when he found was celebrating the believers had increased feast of the Resurrection in numberthe year 68 A.D. that the same day coincided with the great pagan celebration for the feast of the god Syrabis. Thus a multitude of pagans assembled, attacked the church at Bokalia, and built forced their way in. They seized St. Mark, bound him with a church for them in thick rope, and dragged him through the streets crying, "Drag the place known as Bokalia (dragon to the place of cows)." They continued dragging him with severe cruelty. His flesh was torn and scattered everywhere, east and the ground of Alexandria on the sea shorecity was covered with his blood. They cast him that night into a dark prison.
The [[Imageangel]] of the Lord appeared to him and told him:StMarkCathAlex.jpg|thumb|St "O Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria, where the saint's head is preserved to this day.]] It came to passgood servant, when he was celebrating the feast of the Resurrection in the year 68 A.D.rejoice, the same day coincided with the great pagan celebration for your name has been written in the feast book of life, and you have been counted among the god Syrabis, a multitude congregation of them assembled and attacked the church at Bokalia and forced their way insaints. They seized St. Mark" The angel disappeared, bound then the Lord Christ appeared to him with a thick rope and dragged gave him in the roads and streets crying, "Drag the dragon to the place of cows." They continued dragging him with severe crueltypeace. His flesh was torn and scattered everywhere, soul rejoiced and the ground of the city was covered with his blood. They cast him that night into a dark prisonglad.
The angel of next morning, the Lord appeared to him and told him: "O pagans took St. Mark, from the good servant, rejoice for your name has been written in the book of life, prison. They tied his neck with a thick rope and you have been counted among did the congregation of same as the saints." The angel disappearedday before, then dragging him over the Lord Christ appeared to himrocks and stones. Finally, and gave him peaceSt. His Mark delivered up his pure soul rejoiced into the hands of God and was gladreceived the crown of [[martyr]]dom.
The next morningNevertheless, the pagans took St. Mark from 's death did not satisfy the prisonrage of the pagans. They tied his neck with a thick rope gathered much firewood and did the same as the day before, dragging prepared an inferno to burn him over the rocks and stones. Finally, St. Mark delivered up his pure soul But a severe storm blew in the hand of God, and received the crown of [[martyr]]dom, the apostolic crown, the crown of evangelism, heavy rains fell. The pagans became frightened and the crown of virginityfled in fear.
Nevertheless, St. Mark's death did not satisfy the rage of the pagans and their hatred. They gathered much firewood and prepared an inferno to burn him. A severe storm blew and heavy rains fell. The pagans became frightened, and they fled away in fear. The believers came and took the holy body, carried it to the church they built at Bokalia, wrapped it up, prayed over the saint, and placed him and place it in a coffin. They laid it the coffin in a secret place in this church.
In 828 A.D. the body of St. Mark was stolen by Italian sailors and was removed from Alexandria to Venice in Italy. However, the head remained in Alexandria.
==Importance to the Coptic church==
[[Image:CopticIconStMark.jpg|thumb|left|Coptic icon of Saint Mark the Evangelist. Note the typical lion near the bottom-left of the icon.]]In the [[Oriental Orthodox|Non-Chalcedonian]] [[Church of Alexandria (Coptic)|Coptic Orthodox Church]], the Apostle Mark is perhaps the most beloved of all saints, being the founder of the see of Alexandria in the first century. Many of their Coptic churches are named for him, and on the 30th of Babah ([[Coptic calendar]]), the Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates the commemoration of the [[consecration of a church|consecration ]] of the church of the pure St. Mark the Evangelist, the founder of the church in Egypt, and the appearance of his holy head in the city of Alexandria.
=== Return of relics in 1968 ===
[[Image:PopeKyrillosVIreceivingStMarkRelics1968.jpg|thumb|A historical event: Pope [[Cyril VI (Atta) of Alexandria|Kyrillos VI ]] receiving the [[relics ]] of St. Mark in Cairo airport.]] On the 17th of [http[w:// |Baounah]] (Coptic month), of the year 1684 A.M. (Coptic calendar), that coincided with which was Monday, [[June 24]], 1968 A.D., and in the tenth year of the papacy of Pope [[Cyril VI (Atta) of Alexandria|Pope Kyrillos the Sixth]], 116th Pope of Alexandria, the [[relics ]] of the great saint, the beholder of God, St. Mark the Apostle, the Evangelist of the Egyptian land and the first [[Patriarch ]] of Alexandria, were returned to Egypt. After eleven centuries outside Egypt, St. Mark's body has at last returned to the same country (Cairo, Egypt) where he was martyred, and where [ his head] is preserved to this day in the city of Alexandria, Egypt.  Pope Kyrillos had delegated sent an official delegation to travel to Rome to receive the relics of St. Mark the Apostle from the [[Roman Catholic Church|Roman Catholic]] Pope Paul VI. The papal delegation consisted of ten metropolitans and bishops, seven of them whom were Coptic and three Ethiopians, and three of the prominent Coptic [[laity|lay ]] leaders. The Alexandrian delegation received the relics of St. Mark the Apostle on Saturday the 22nd of , [[June22]], 1968 A.D. , from Pope Paul VI. The moment of handing over the holy relics, after eleven centuries, during which the body of St. Mark was kept in the city of Venice, in Italy, was a solemn and joyful moment.      ==Hymns==[[Troparion]] ([[Tone]] 3) [] :Holy apostle Mark of the Seventy;:entreat the merciful;:to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.
The next day, Sunday 16th of Baounah Troparion (Tone 4) [[June 23]]), the Alexandrian papal delegation celebrated a festive pontifical liturgy in the church of Sthttp://oca. Athanasius the Apostolic in Rome. The ten metropolitans, bishops, and the priests accompanying the delegation, all served in the liturgy. Members of the Roman papal delegation, the Copts who accompanied the delegation, and those who lived in Rome, newspaper and news agency reporters, and many foreign dignitaries attended the liturgyorg/FStropars.asp?ID=101204]
=== Inauguration :From your childhood the light of new cathedral in Cairo ===truth enlightened you, O Mark,On :and you loved the 18th of Baounah (Coptic month), labor of Christ the year 1684 ASavior.M. (Coptic calendar):Therefore, that coincided you followed Peter with Tuesday the [[June 25]], 1968 A.D.zeal:and served Paul well as a fellow laborer, :and in you enlighten the tenth year of the papacy of Pope Kyrillos the Sixth, 116th Pope of Alexandria, the Coptic church celebrates the inauguration of the new St. Mark Cathedral in Dair El-Anba Rowais, which was known also as Dair El-Khandaqworld with your holy Gospel.
For this occasion and for the return of the relics of St. Mark the Apostle from Rome, after being in the city of Venice in Italy for eleven centuries, i.e., since the ninth century, a great religious celebration was organized. The celebration was headed by Pope Kyrillos VI and was attended by President Gamal Abdel Naser, president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Emperor Haile Selassie the First, emperor of Ethiopia, and many of the heads of different religions and representatives of churches from all around the world. Among those religious leaders was Mari Ignatius Yacoub the Third, the Antiochian Patriarch for the Non-Chalcedonian [[Church of Antioch Kontakion]] (JacobiteTone 4)|Syriac Orthodox[]].
Many momentous speeches were delivered in different languages for this occasion. :The speakers were Pope Kyrillos, the patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox, Cardinal DovalChurch ever sees you as a shining star, the head of the Roman papal delegationO apostle Mark, the Catholicos Patriarch of Ethiopia, the secretary general of the World Council of Churches, and the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia:Your miracles have manifested great enlightenment. They all expressed their joy on this happy and blessed day:Therefore we cry out to Christ::"Save those who with faith honor Your apostle, saluting the church of Alexandria, which had a glorious history, with salutation of appreciation and respectO Most Merciful One."
At Kontakion (Tone 2) [] :When you received the end grace of the speeches Spirit from on high, O Apostle,:you broke the Pope along with snares of the president of Egypt philosophers and the emperor of Ethiopia went gathered all nations into your net,:bringing them to your Lord, O glorious Mark,:by the entrance preaching of the new Cathedral. They unveiled the curtains from the commemorative plaque that was prepared to perpetuate this historical daydivine Gospel.
This celebration was attended by the journalists, the international news agencies' reporters, radio, television and more than six thousand Egyptians and foreigners.
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== Source Sources ==
*[ Coptic Orthodox Synaxarium (Book of Saints)]
*St. [[Nikolai Velimirovic]], ''The [[Prologue of Ohrid]]''
== External Links links ==* [ St. Mark's detailed biography by H.H. Pope Shenouda III]* [ St. Mark the Apostle, Evangelist, and Preacher of the Christian Faith in Africa]* [ The return of St. Mark Relics from Italy (June 1968 - zipped RealVideo)]*[ Saint-Mark Church Alexandria: History]*[ Life of the Apostle and Evangelist Mark] by Severus, Bishop of Al-Ushmunain (fl. ca. AD 955-987) translated from the Arabic by B. Evetts (from Patrologia Orientalis, first series); Saint Pachomius Library*[ Apostle and Evangelist Mark], APril 25 ([[OCA]])*[ Apostle Mark of the Seventy], September 27 (OCA)*[ Apostle Mark the Evangelist of the Seventy], January 4 (OCA)*[ Apostle Mark of the Seventy, called John], January 4 (OCA)*[ Apostle Mark of the Seventy], January 4 (OCA)*[ Mark the Apostle & Evangelist] ([[GOARCH]]) [[Category:Biblical Saints|Mark]][[Category:Seventy Apostles|Mark]][[Category:Martyrs|Mark]][[Category:Patriarchs of Alexandria|Mark]][[Category:Saints|Mark]][[Category:1st-century saints]]
[[Categoryar:Biblical Saintsمرقس الرسول]][[Categoryel:Patriarchs of AlexandriaΕυαγγελιστής Μάρκος]][[Categoryro:SaintsApostolul Marcu]]

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