What do you know about St. Mark? Even though, Mark is my husband's middle name, and therefore, one of his patrons, until I did some research this afternoon, I knew very little. Even though St. Mark is one of the four Evangelists, he seems somehow to hide in the shadows of the Bible. He's just a little bit anonymous, in other words: he's not like St. Matthew, unversally known for being the Jewish tax collector; he's not St. Luke, the physican, who learned the tales of the Bible through the lips of the Mother of God; he's not St. John, the beloved Apostle, who survived being boiled in oil... So who is St. Mark?
Abbot Gueranger says in the Liturgical Year:
Mark was the beloved disciple of Peter; he was the brilliant satellite of the sun of the Church. He wrote his Gospel at Rome, under the eyes of the Prince of the Apostles. The Church was already in possession of the history given by Matthew; but the faithful of Rome whished their own Apostle to narrate what he had witnessed. Peter refused to write it himself, but he bade his disciple take up his pen, and the Holy Ghost guided the hand of the new Evangelist.
Yes. But what do we know about the man?
Therapeutes. It was in Alexandria that the success of St. Mark's preaching resulted in his martyrdom. He was dragged to his death by a rope tied around his neck in the year 68 AD, after some thirty-five years laboring for the Church.
The Greater Litanies Procession is also on this day.
Here is the post from last year about this traditional recitation of these powerful intercessory prayers. And here are pictures of the blessing of the farm, along with the text of some of the traditional blessing prayers.
(Tho I looked almost everywhere in cyberspace, all info here was gleaned from The Catholic Encyclopedia and The Liturgical Year, with a couple of the speculations about his meeting the Apostles gleaned from Wikipedia and a Coptic Church site. Oh, and the drawing above is "The Head of St. Mark" by Albrecht Durer )
** Repost from 2010. Please forgive me, once again, I beg you, if any of these links are broken. Just not enough time to check them all... (Does anyone ever actually go to the links, though, really? ;0)