The Roman Catholic Church observes Monday, April 25, the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist (San Marcos Evangelista), the author of the second Gospel of the Holy Bible and the founder of Christianity in Africa.
Saint Mark is honored in many parts of the world including the Philippines.
In the country, feast rites in honor of St. Mark are traditionally held in the towns of San Pablo and Pangil in Laguna, Alaminos, Pangasinan and in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur.
In Infanta, Quezon, the “Harana’t Sayaw” Festival is celebrated in honor of St. Mark, while the “Fiestang Balen” is celebrated in Concepcion, Nueva Ecija in honor of their patron saint.
St. Mark was one of the 72 disciples mentioned in the Holy Bible who were sent out by Jesus Christ to evangelize. He was believed to have preached in Cyprus and Alexandria, Egypt, where he converted thousands to the faith. He served as the first bishop of Alexandria and was regarded as the founder of Christianity in Africa.
A companion of St. Peter in his missionary work, St. Mark wrote the second Gospel before 60 A.D. in Rome, Italy based on the teachings of St. Peter. He died a martyr of the Catholic faith in 68 A.D. His major shrines may be found in Venice, Italy, and in Cairo, Egypt.