Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 25 April

oil on canvas painting of Saint Mark the Evangelist; by Godfried Maes between 1664 and 1700; currently Kerk O.L.Vrouw van Goede Hoop, Vilvoorde, Belgium; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsSaint Mark, Evangelist

Saint Mark was the beloved disciple of the Prince of the Apostles, who charged him to explain to the unlettered of the flock the mysteries of the faith and the facts of the life of Our Divine Saviour. This he did so well that he was told to write these things down, and his Gospel was approved by Saint Peter, who, it is said, charged Saint Martial to carry it into Gaul. Mark not only wrote the Gospel, but he also sealed his faith in it with his blood, for he was taken and thrown into prison in Egypt, which country he had evangelized and where he had instructed in perfection the monks then flourishing there, destined to increase so greatly later, by whom he was always looked on as their father. Our Lord appeared to him in his dungeon, saying: “Peace be to thee, Mark, My evangelist.” To which the disciple replied: “Lord Jesus”; his joy and love could find no other words. The pagans put him to death by dragging him over ground covered with rocks. One of his successors in the See of Alexandria dared not take his seat on the episcopal throne, seeing there a miraculous radiance left there by the holy evangelist. Saint Mark is the patron of the celebrated Tuscan Congregation of Dominicans which bears his name. That is why Blessed Angelico, who was a member of it, often represents him in his pictures at Florence and elsewhere.

Prayer

O Jesus, let my soul be penetrated with the maxims of Thy Gospel, above all with that of the necessity of doing violence to self.

Practice

Read the last chapter of the Gospel according to Saint Mark.