St. Mark the Evangelist: Bible Author and Patron Saint

Patron Saint of Lions, Lawyers, Secretaries, Pharmacists, Prisoners, and More

Saint Mark the Evangelist
The painting "Mark the Evangelist" (circa 1759) by Kirche Lambrechtshagen. Photo copyright Schiwago

Saint Mark the Evangelist, author of the Gospel Book of Mark in the Bible, was one of Jesus Christ's original 12 disciples. He is the patron saint of many different topics, including lions, lawyers, notaries, opticians, pharmacists, painters, secretaries, interpreters, prisoners, and people dealing with insect bites. He lived in the Middle East during the 1st century, and his feast day is celebrated on April 25th.

Here's a biography of St. Mark the Evangelist, and a look at his miracles.


Mark was one of Jesus Christ’s original disciples, and he wrote the Gospel of Mark in the Bible. After Jesus’ ascension to heaven, Saint Peter and Mark traveled together to many places in the ancient world, ending up in Rome, Italy. Mark wrote down many of the sermons that Peter delivered in speeches to people during their travels, and historians believe that Mark used some of the content of Peter's speeches in the Gospel book he wrote.

Mark's Gospel emphasizes the importance of learning and applying spiritual lessons. Lamar Williamson writes in his book Mark: Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching about what distinguishes the Gospel that Mark wrote: "This rich and varied message clusters about two major foci: Jesus as king and his disciples as subjects in the kingdom of God. Jesus not only announces the kingdom's coming, but also, by his authoritative words and deeds, incarnates its hidden presence.

Disciples are those to whom the secret of the kingdom is given; they are those who receive it, enter it, and share Jesus' mission of announcing it. Christology and discipleship are two basic concerns in the proclamation of the kingdom of God in Mark."

In the Gospel of Mark, Mark describes Saint John the Baptist's voice (which witnesses said sounded like a roaring lion) crying out in the wilderness to prepare the way for Jesus' ministry, and Mark himself helped deliver the Gospel message to people with boldness, like a lion.

So people began associating Saint Mark with lions. Mark is one of the four evangelists that the prophet Ezekiel saw in a miraculous vision of the future many years before Jesus came to earth; Mark appeared in the vision as a lion.

Mark traveled to Egypt and founded the Coptic Orthodox Church there, bringing the Gospel message to Africa and becoming the first bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. He served many people there, founding churches and the first Christian school.

In 68 AD, pagans who persecuted Christians captured, tortured, and imprisoned Mark. He reportedly saw visions of angels and heard the voice of Jesus speaking to him before he died. After Mark's death, sailors stole relics from his body and took them to Venice, Italy. Christians honored Mark by building St. Mark's Basilica there.

Famous Miracles

Mark witnessed many of Jesus Christ's miracles and wrote about some of them in his Gospel book that's included in the Bible.

Many different miracles are attributed to Saint Mark. One that relates to Mark's patronage of lions happened when Mark and his father Aristopolus were walking near the Jordan River and encountered a male and female lion who eyed them with hunger and seemed about to attack them.

Mark prayed in Jesus' name that the lions wouldn't harm them, and immediately after his prayer, the lions fell down dead.

After Mark founded the church in Alexandria, Egypt, he took a pair of his shoes to a cobbler named Anianus for repairs. As Anianus was sewing Mark's shoes, he cut his finger. Then Mark picked up a piece of clay nearby, spit on it, and applied the mixture to Anianus' finger while praying in Jesus' name for it to be healed, and then the wound healed completely. Anianus then asked Mark to tell him and all of his children about Jesus, and after hearing the Gospel message, Anianus and his children all became Christians. Eventually, Anianus became a bishop in the Egyptian church.

People who have prayed to Mark since his death have reported receiving miraculous answers to their prayers, such as healing of illnesses and injuries.

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Your Citation
Hopler, Whitney. "St. Mark the Evangelist: Bible Author and Patron Saint." ThoughtCo, Jun. 9, 2017, Hopler, Whitney. (2017, June 9). St. Mark the Evangelist: Bible Author and Patron Saint. Retrieved from Hopler, Whitney. "St. Mark the Evangelist: Bible Author and Patron Saint." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 17, 2018).