Today we celebrate Saint Mark the Evangelist, who is called “the winged lion”

Today, April 25, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist, disciple of the apostle Saint Peter and author of the second Gospel of the New Testament.

the winged lion

Like the rest of the Evangelists, the tradition of the Church has characterized Saint Mark with a symbol taken from a passage in the book of Revelation, written by the apostle Saint John: “The first Living Being resembles a lion, the second a bull, the third has a face like a man, and the fourth is like an eagle in flight” (Rev 4:7).

The symbol of San Marcos is the lion, to which wings have been added, representing spiritual elevation. The figure of the Lion seems to be an allusion to the way Mark begins his Gospel narrative. In the first place, the story introduces us to John the Baptist, “the voice that cries in the desert”, an expression that evokes the roar of the lion, an animal that inhabits the place where the events take place. Secondly, the aforementioned desert, which surrounds the Jordan, is a place where beasts abound and whose lord is the lion. The desert, in general, makes up the background landscape that surrounds the life and sayings of Jesus in his passage through the earth.

Through the apostles Peter and Paul

San Marcos was originally from the Jerusalem area and, as such, belonged to the Jewish people. In the Acts of the Apostles, Mark appears accompanying Paul and Barnabas, his cousin, on their way to Antioch on their first missionary journey. Later he would also accompany them to the city of Rome. Later Marcos separated from them in Perga and returned home. Later, Barnabas would also separate from Paul and head for Cyprus to meet his cousin. Years later, San Marcos and San Pablo would join in another missionary trip.

The Evangelist also made a long journey with Saint Peter, accompanying him to Rome. Whoever was the first pope used to refer to him as “my son”. That relationship of trust and closeness between Peter and Mark can be glimpsed in the latter’s account of the life of Our Lord. Mark preserved the direct testimony of the greatest of the apostles, Saint Peter. The Gospel according to Saint Mark was probably written during the 60s after Christ.

Mark, after his travels, settled in Alexandria, where he led the Christian community and founded his famous school. Tradition states that he died a martyr in that city around the year 68. Today, as a consequence of his presence in that land, he is venerated as Patron of the Coptic Church. His relics now rest in the Venice Cathedral.

If you want to know more about San Marcos, we recommend this article from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

More information in the next link.

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