Have you ever wondered who St. Mark was? Or why our mascot is the lion? We're here to dispel these mysteries as we share The Pride of St. Mark.
St. Mark was born shortly after Jesus in a small town in current-day Libya. He was one of the youngest followers of Jesus, and he witnessed much of Jesus' ministry as well as his crucifixion. Mark became a close friend to Peter, another of Jesus' disciples. Mark's Gospel is believed to contain the story of Jesus as told by Mark. It is thought to be the first Gospel that was written after the death of Jesus.
Mark, who was known as "The Evangelist," founded the Christian church in Egypt. He was jailed in Alexandria, Egypt because of his faith. One night, in jail, he was visited by an angel in the form of a lion who reassured him with these words, "Pax Tibi Marce Evangelista Meus," which means, "Peace be with you, Mark, my evangelist." The next day, Mark was martyred. The lion quickly became the symbol for St. Mark and is often portrayed with his paw on a book, his gospel, and the words "Pax Tibi Marce Evangelista Meus." The lion has wings in reference to the apocalyptic vision of the four creatures that John witnessed in Revelation 4. Today, Mark's body and some of his relics are in the San Marco Cathedral in Venice, Italy. However, his head and other relics are believed to be in St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, in Alexandria, Egypt.
Early Childhood and Elementary School Religion Teacher, Marjorie Connolly, explains that we try to proclaim the gospel, just like Mark. Additionally, she shares, "We want all of our kids to be leaders, but it's just as important to be able to be a follower some times. Mark was a tremendous leader; he founded the church in Egypt. But he also knew when to be a follower; he followed Peter in his ministry. At St. Mark's, we want our students to feel empowered to lead, but also to have the courage and strength to follow." At St. Mark's, we celebrate St. Mark Day in chapel closest to April 25