Mark (John nicknamed Mark) is known thanks to the Acts of the Apostles and several letters from Saint Paul and Saint Peter. He was born around the year 5 to a wealthy Jewish family. Mark is not one of Jesus' disciples, although some modern exegetes propose a different interpretation. After the death of Christ, Mark worked with Saint Paul and accompanied him to Cyprus. Shortly before he died, Paul wrote to Timothy from his prison in Rome: "Bring Mark with you, he is very useful to me for the ministry. (2 Timothy 4:11). Mark therefore made his way to Rome (it is not known whether he was present at Paul's martyrdom) and put himself at the service of Peter. The Basilica of St. Mark in the historic center of Rome testifies to his presence and was probably built on the site of its house. The rest of Mark's life is not well known. Some sources claim that he went to Egypt, evangelized those lands and then died a martyr in Alexandria. Another version of the facts indicates that before going to Egypt, he evangelized in Aquileia and the Realtinian Islands (future Venice) where an angel prophesied that it would be in that city that he would wait for the resurrection of the dead. Mark died between 68 and 72, the Acts of Mark dating from the fourth century tell of his martyrdom: the pagans imprisoned him, then dragged him by a rope tied to the neck through the streets of Alexandria until he died. Some of his relics are today venerated in Cairo, in the Cathedral of Saint Mark, seat of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. The remains of his body are in the basilica dedicated to him in Venice. Saint Mark is symbolized by a winged lion. He is the patron saint of the city of Venice, and is celebrated on April 25th.
Mark wrote his gospel between the years 50 and 60 in Greek. For this, he transcribed the preaching and catechesis given by Saint Peter to the first Christians of Rome. Mark is sometimes called the "stenographer of Peter" because he is very faithful to the teachings of the first pontiff. His gospel, written in an approximate Greek, retains the simplicity and effectiveness of a popular discourse. The Gospel according to St. Mark is the second of the four synoptic Gospels after that of Matthew and before those of Luke and John.
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