Lives of Saints - The Life and Work of St. Mark the Apostle and Evangelist Christianity - Books
You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery;'                but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.                If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.                If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.                'It was also said, 'Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorce,'                but I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery.                'Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time, 'You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows,'                but I tell you, don't swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God;                nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.                Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can't make one hair white or black.                But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No.' Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.                'You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'*                But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.                If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also.                Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.                Give to him who asks you, and don't turn away him who desires to borrow from you.                'You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor,* and hate your enemy.*'                But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,                that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.               
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The Life and Work of St. Mark the Apostle and Evangelist

In the Acts of the Apostles we learn that Mark , the son of Maria, lived in Jerusalem during the early formative years of the Church. His mother was one of the first members of the Church, and it appears that she was a person of means. This can be assumed from the description of her home which was decorated with columns, and which had large facilities capable of receiving great numbers of the followers of Jesus (Acts 12.12).

This is the same house where Peter met his other brethren, after being miraculously freed by the angel of God from jail, and where he baptised Mark into the new faith. Peter, in his first letter (A' Epistle 5:13) refers to Mark as his "son", although there is not any apparent relationship between them. In Colossians 4:10 it is shown that Mark was the "nephew of Barnabas", a Levite from Cyprus.

The first direct mentioning of Mark is in the Acts 12:25. There, prior to the description of the first apostolic voyage of Paul and Barnabas, the two return to Antioch after delivering supplies sent by the Christian brethren to the Christians of Jerusalem. There with them was "John who is also called Mark". Given that the assistance had been sent at the time when the Emperor was Claudius Caesar, the trip of Mark to Antioch took place during the 15th or 16th year from the Resurrection of our Lord.

A little later, directed by the Holy Spirit, Paul and Barnabas, taking with them Mark, arrive in Salamis, Cyprus, where after they cross the island arrive in the city of Paphos. There takes place the conversion to Christianity of the first Roman official, Sergius Paulus.

Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas in their second missionary journey, and again followed Barnabas when he visited Cyprus to teach about Christ. More information about Mark comes to us in the letters of St. Paul.

Ten or twelve years later, as we read in the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians (4:10) and again in Philemon (6:24) Mark is with Peter in Rome, among the few who stood by the Apostle during those trying days.

Orthodox ecclesiastical tradition has it that St Mark came to Alexandria in the year 42 and established the Church of Alexandria, and was its first bishop for 22 years.

St. Mark died the death of a martyr while he was being pulled through the streets of Alexandria by a pagan mob, and was buried in a nearby village.

In the year 828 AD, Venetian merchants transported his relics to Venice, and since then he has been considered as the protector saint of this city.

St. Mark the Evangelist is commemorated in the Orthodox Church on 8th May.


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