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St. Mark: The evangelist who emphasized the timeliness of Christ

St. Mark: The evangelist

We traditionally attribute the oldest and shortest of the four canonical gospels to Saint Mark, whose feast day we commemorate today, April 25.

Mark’s narrative of the gospel emphasizes the timeliness of the Lord’s earthly mission. His writings emphasized Jesus' rejection of humanity and his commitment to his heavenly ministry.

In fact, Mark used the Greek word "eutheos," meaning "immediately," more than 40 times in his gospel, and he began most of his chapters with the word "and." Mark's desire to evoke Jesus' unwavering dedication and completeness in fulfilling His duty for mankind's salvation is evident in these instances.

Given this writing style, Mark's gospel account was widely thought to be intended to draw Gentiles to the Church, and it was probably written sometime after the deaths of Saints Peter and Paul between 60 and 70 A.D.

The winged lion, one of the four creatures that appeared in Prophet Ezekiel's vision, symbolizes Mark. His gospel narrative opens with a description of St. John as “the voice of one crying out in the desert,” which is similar to a roaring lion.

As for his personal history, little is known about Mark except for a handful of mentions in the Scriptures. Most Biblical scholars agree that he is the “John Mark” who accompanied Paul and Barnabas on several of their apostolic missions (Acts 12:25, Acts 13:5) and also Barnabas’ cousin (Colossians 4:10). Paul even personally requested Mark's company because he was "useful" in his ministry (2 Timothy 4:11).

Peter the Apostle, who referred to him as "my son Mark" (1 Peter 5:13), is also believed to have had a close relationship with him. Peter even sought refuge in Mark's mother's house in Jerusalem after escaping prison, which was housing followers of Jesus at the time (Acts 12:12).

Although not specifically mentioned, Church tradition regards Mark as one of the 72 disciples of Jesus (Luke 10:1). Some scholars also claim he left a description of himself during the Lord’s arrest: “A young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked.” (Mark 14:51–52).

In Egypt, the Church considers Mark to be its founder and the first bishop of Alexandria. His basilica in Venice, Italy houses his remains.

By highlighting how Jesus broke through the human world to usher in the Kingdom of God, Mark impressed upon the Church an ironic representation of Christ: the crucified Messiah. Despite suffering wounds, beatings, and execution, Jesus managed to overcome death and halt the progression of sin.

Saint Mark was the evangelist who drew a particular focus on the perfection of the Lord’s ministry on earth. Through his testimony, the Church fully understood the beauty and timeliness of Jesus' acts of mercy, which paved the way for us to gain eternal life.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.