Saint Mark the Evangelist was the author of the gospel bearing his name. According to tradition, he was the first Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. Coptic Christians hold that he was born in Cyrene, North Africa, though the Bible speaks little of his history. He may have been the John Mark mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, or Mark the cousin of Barnabas spoken of in Saint Paul’s Letter to the Colossians. Mark’s Gospel emphasizes that Jesus is the Messiah foretold by the prophets, which suggests that Mark was a Jew writing to Jews. He calls Jesus Son of God and Son of Man.
Saint Mark is supposed to have preached the gospel in Egypt around 49 AD. He became the first bishop of Alexandria. He was killed for the faith during the persecution of Emperor Nero around 68 AD. His remains were stolen from Alexandria by Venetian merchants.
Saint Mark is the patron of Venice, which used to be called the Republic of Saint Mark. In Christian art, Saint Mark is symbolized by a winged lion. His feast day is April 25. Apart from being a patron of Venice, he is the patron saint of barristers and of Egypt.