Thursday, April 25, 2013

Saint Mark

St Mark Icon, crafted by Jennifer Godwin

We celebrate today the feast of one of the Evangelists, and companion to St Paul in many of his missionary voyages - Saint Mark. Last Christmas I was given as a gift a beautiful Icon of St mark, crafted by one of our parishioners, Jennifer Godwin. An Icon is not simple a painting, but is done over a period of time in a prayerful atmosphere.
St Mark is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother's house in Jerusalem served as a meeting place for Christians there. St. Mark was associated with St. Paul and St. Barnabas (who was Mark's cousin) on their missionary journey through the island of Cyprus. Later he accompanied St. Barnabas alone. We know also that he was in Rome with St. Peter and St. Paul. Tradition ascribes to him the founding of the Church in Alexandria. St. Mark wrote the second Gospel, probably in Rome sometime before the year 60 A.D.; he wrote it in Greek for the Gentile converts to Christianity. Tradition tells us that St. Mark was requested by the Romans to set down the teachings of St. Peter. This seems to be confirmed by the position which St. Peter has in this Gospel. In this way the second Gospel is a record of the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of the Prince of the Apostles.

St Mark has also my all-time favorite quote in the Bible...when Jesus sent the apostles on their mission, he asked them not to carry any walking stick or a second tunic or money bag..."They were however,  to wear sandals." (Mark 6:9)

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