Saint Mark

May 6, 2022

Dear Children of God, Greetings to you and gratitude to Almighty God!

Children, how are you? We hope you are well and good!

Today we are going to tell you the story about Saint Mark. So be with us!

There was a man called Aristopolus and he was born in Cyrene (One of the Five Western Cities Pentapolis in North Africa.) He had a wife whose name was Mary and they had a son known to be Mark.

This Saint original name was John and his surname was Mark and it is written in the Holy bible, “And when he (Peter) came to himself… he (Peter) came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark, where many gathered together praying.” (Acts 12:11-12).

Saint Mark’s parents migrated to Palestine shortly after the birth of Saint Mark because of the Berber attacks on their town and property. They settled in Cana of Galilee not far from Jerusalem.

A few years later, Saint Mark’s father died and Peter Simon (Saint Peter), who was married to a relative of Saint Mark’s father took care of him considering as his son: “The Church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, salutes you and so does Marcus (Mark) my son”; (1 Peter 5:13). Peter Simon saw to it that Saint Mark received a good education. Saint Mark studied law and the classics.

When he saw tribulation come upon them, whip and disgrace in the country of Pamphylia, he left them and returned to Jerusalem. When the Apostles returned to Jerusalem and held conversation (talk) together concerning the reception of the Gentiles into the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ and considered how God had worked signs and wonders by their hands, he was sorry, and repented, because he was one of them. He hunted to go with them, but Saint Paul did not wish to take him because he had forsaken them but he took Barnabas and Saint Mark went to Saint Peter in the city of Rome and then became his disciple. There he wrote his Gospel for himself and Saint Peter translated it and preached it in Rome.

After this he walked in the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the commandments of the holy apostles in the city of Alexandria, and he preached therein the preaching of the Holy Gospel. He also preached in the country of Africa, and Berka, and Pentapolis [the Five Western cities in North Africa]. As he was coming to the city of Alexandria, the latchet of his sandal broke off from his foot, and when he reached the gates thereof he found a certain sandal-maker there, and the saint gave him his sandal to repair. Whilst he was sewing the sandal, the awl pierced his finger, blood ran down from it, and he said in the Greek language, “Estaas,” which is, being interpreted, “one God”. Saint Mark said to him, “Dost you know God?” He said to him, “Certainly not. We utter His Name only, but we do not know Him.” Saint Mark began to talk to him about the beginning when God created the heavens the earth, how the transgression of our father Adam took place,of the coming of the Flood, how God sent Moses, who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, gave them the Law, how the children of Israel were carried captives to the city of Babylon from Jerusalem, how our Lord Jesus Christ became man, and how the prophets foretold His coming. Then the Saint spat in the dust, smeared it on the hands of the sandal-maker and he was healed straightway.

Now the name of the sandal-maker was “Anianus,” and he took Saint Mark to his house and he brought to him his sons, family and Saint Mark the apostle admonished them all, and taught and baptized them with Christian baptism in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. When the believers on our Lord Jesus Christ increased, and the men of the city heard the report of Saint Mark, they gathered together, and wished to kill them.

Then, Saint Mark appointed Anianus archbishop, and he made his sons priests and deacons. After that he went out to the city of Berka, to Pentapolis and preached in them, and strengthened the people in the Faith. He remained with them two years, and appointed bishops, priests, and deacons over them. Then he returned to the city of Alexandria where the believers had increased in number. He built a church in a place, which is known as the “Field of Bulls,” on the shore of the sea; and the infidels sought for Saint Mark to kill him. He visited Pentapolis very frequently, and when he came back he entered the city of Alexandria secretly.
One year he returned from Pentapolis and came into the church on the day of the festival of the Resurrection, which took place on the nineteenth day of the month of April and all the people were round about him. The infidels (unbelievers) came into the Church, threw cords round the neck of Saint Mark, dragged him about through the city and they said also, “Let us drag him to the church in the ‘Field of the Bulls.’ The blood of the Saint was in every street of the city, the district round about it and the ends thereof. When the night came, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him in the form which He had when He was with the Apostles, and He gave [the kiss of] peace, and strengthened him, and made a covenant with him, saying, “Behold, thou art the equal of thy brethren the Apostles”; and his soul rejoiced and was glad.

On the following day they put cords about his neck, and dragged him through the villages. At the end of the day he delivered up his soul. The infidels lighted a large fire and threw his body into it. By the good pleasure of our Lord Jesus Christ there came darkness, a cold wind and the sun hid his light. There was also lightning, thunder, rain, hail and the infidels fled before them. Certain believing men came and took the body of Saint Mark, which was whole and had suffered no injury. They then wrapped it up for burial in fine cloths and laid it in a secret place.

Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints. Amen.

Ok, children! We believe you have understood the story and don’t forget to go Holy Church and celebrate it with you family.

Till we meet for our next lesson, have a good week and a Happy Holiday!