Mark the Evangelist
Feast Day: April 25
Mark was an Evangelist—one of the four men who wrote the Gospels found in the New Testament. Mark’s Gospel was written first and it is the shortest description of Jesus’ life, death, Resurrection and Ascension. Mark’s writings helped both Matthew and Luke to write their Gospels.
Mark was not one of the original Apostles, and he probably never knew Jesus. Instead, we believe that he was a member of the first Christian community. In his writings, St. Peter refers to Mark as his “son.” Peter may have used this term to show his love for Mark or he may have used it because he was the one who baptized Mark. It is believed that Peter was the primary source for Mark’s gospel.
Mark traveled with Sts. Paul and Barnabas to spread the Good News about Jesus. During his imprisonment in Rome, Paul mentions Mark’s concern for him and writes about how helpful Mark is in the ministry of helping others to believe in Jesus (Colossians. 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11).
Mark founded the Church in Egypt and he became bishop of Alexandria, an important center of trade and power during ancient times. He died there sometime between the years 68-74 AD as a martyr for his belief in Jesus.
Mark’s Gospel is a lasting treasure for all believers. He wrote his Gospel to help people know that Jesus was the Son of God who suffered and died to save us from sin and death. When we read Mark’s Gospel, we learn that to be a follower of Jesus, we, too, must be willing to make sacrifices, to “take up our cross and follow” (Mark 8:34) Jesus as he asks us to do.
The symbol for Mark is a lion with wings. That is because his Gospel begins with the story of John the Baptist, a “voice crying in the wilderness” (Mark 1:3), like the roaring of a lion. Lions are called the king of the jungle. Mark’s Gospel tells us about Jesus’ royalty as God’s Son, a kingship we share through our Baptism.
We celebrate Saint Mark’s feast day on April 25. His life and Gospel reminds us to share the Good News about Jesus with others.
Connecting to Be My Disciples®
Grade 2, chapter 9
Connecting to Blest Are We® Parish and School
Grade 1, unit 3