.::St Mark & St George - Coptic Orthodox Church::.

 

SAINT MARK

Saint Mark the Evangelist, one of the seventy apostles and the writer of one of the four Gospels, was born in Libya three years after the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Saint Mark’s house was where the Lord met with His disciples, and where He celebrated the Passover and Last Supper with them. The Apostles also gathered in his house when the Holy Spirit descended upon them on the day of Pentecost. The house of Saint Mark is therefore well known in all Apostolic Churches as the first church in the world.

.::Saint Mark - The Evangelist::.

When Saint Mark entered and walked through the streets of Alexandria in Egypt, he tore his sandals and wanted to have them fixed. He went to a local cobbler, Ananias. As he was fixing Saint Mark’s shoes, his finger was cut by the awl and he cried out saying “O the One God!” Saint Mark healed Ananias’ finger and then talked to him about who the “One God,” Jesus Christ. Ananias invited Saint Mark to his house and had his entire family baptized. Other began to believe as well and Ananias’s house became the meeting place for the faithful Christians.

In 62 AD, Saint Mark left Egypt to go to Pentapolis and visit the new believers there. He ordained Ananias a bishop, and founded a church in the Crypt where the Holy Family had taken refuge when they were in Egypt during the time of persecution under King Herod.

.::The Holy Family::.

When Saint Mark returned to Egypt after the martyrdom of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, he found the church had grown and so he ordained three priests and seven deacons to assist Ananias. Saint Mark continued to preach against the local pagan gods, stirring the hatred of non-believers. In 68 AD, as Saint Mark was administering the Liturgy on Easter day, pagans were celebrating a feast for one of their gods. The pagans attacked the church that Saint Mark was praying in, captured him, and dragged him in the streets of the city. He was thrown into a prison, where an angel appeared to him, strengthening him. The next day he was dragged through the streets again and eventually martyred. Saint Mark is considered the first Patriarch, or Pope, of the Coptic church, a chain that has remained unbroken to this day.

But by the end of the 2nd century, Christianity was well established in Egypt. By 190 AD, the Church of Alexandria had forty dioceses under the Patriarch of Alexandria.