Tel. : (310) 917-1981


H.H. Pope Shenouda III, 117th Pope of
Alexandria and the See of St. Mark

The first Egyptian Orthodox Church in the United States
of America was named after Saint Mark. It was logical to the
early Egyptians who came to the States to choose his name. for
their first church in their new country. St. Mark was the apostle
and the preacher and the first bishop to their church. He is the
one who led their forefathers to accept the faith and to confess
that Jesus Christ is the Savior, and the Son of God. They had
always been appreciative to this great apostle.
The prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled and the Lord
became known to Egypt.:
"In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of
the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord.
[Isaiah 19 - 19]
"Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be
Egypt my people".[Isaiah 19 - 25]
Here in our church at Santa Monica, we felt obliged to
let our children know about this great apostle and what he did
for Egypt. Since they can't read our books written in Arabic
about St. Mark and the See of Alexandria, it was necessary to
translate to them in English so they can benefit from it.
The Church Board of Directors unanimously chose the
book written by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III about St.
Mark to be translated to the Egyptian Americans and for every
one who is seeking the knowledge and education.

We feel proud to introduce a concise translation of the
book written by H.H. Pope Shenouda III which was published
in Cairo in 1968 and was reprinted several times. This is a book
that the new Egyptian Americans will be keen to read about the
church, whose fathers brought with them to USA when they
came to the land of immigration and never traded it with
In our humble effort we want to thank the directors of
the Church Board for the support to print this book and to all
who contributed in that effort. Special thanks are in order to
Mr. Hany and Mr. Nabil for their help in expediting the
publication of this book.
We ask for God's blessing. We are thankful for the
opportunity given to us to print this book in English. The
scholar who wrote "The Beholder of God, Mark the Evangelist,
Saint and Martyr", is no stranger to St. Mark, he is Pope
Shenouda III, the 117 Patriarch in succession to our Saint. Let
their prayers and blessings be with us, Amen.
September 1995 Father Paul
Santa Monica, California. St. Peter & St. Paul
Coptic Orthodox Church

We are indebted to this great preacher, who came to our
country to teach in the name of Christ. The Word of God
reached us after his blood was shed on our land.
We appreciate this Saint, the first to write the Gospel
registering the life of Lord Christ and His Works, so humanity
can be saved.
We are grateful to the Saint whose name was given to
the first church in our country, where his body was buried and
after him our Patriarchs were chosen. Their first duty was to
get blessed by his tomb and holding his skull and dressing it
with a new garment.
The great Saint preached in the name of Christ in
Egypt, Libya, Cyprus, some countries in Asia, Rome and other
European countries. He is honored by Venice and other
countries are seeking his blessings.
That is the apostle, the preacher, the evangelist, the
martyr, the beholder of God, whose home was the first church
in the world [Acts 12 - 12]. In this home, God instituted the
sacrament of the Eucharist and His disciples were with the
Holy Spirit.
He did many miracles and was symbolized by a lion.
This lion is also the symbol of his Gospel and character.
Alas. we neglected the Saint in the past ! Now we
will try, from our hearts to honor him, as a father for all of us.
We celebrated the return of his relics with enormous
joy. A new cathedral was built and was given his name, so
were other churches built every where carrying his name, in

Egypt and in the lands of immigration, where our sons and
daughters proudly feel, that they belong to this great preacher.
His name was given to our first bishop in France.
His works, evoke the deep and cordial feelings in our hearts,
whenever we celebrate his feast.
To follow his way, is the least to express our feelings
towards this great preacher. It is nice to complete his work
in preaching and teaching, and to remember his struggle for the
faith. He took numerous trips, through the three continents,
the ones known at his time. He walked along the long roads
till his sandals were torn.
Let his spirit be with us and by the Grace of God, we
can proudly follow his path .
This book is just a kind of expression of our gratitude
towards the great teacher and to acquaint his sons and
daughters all over the world, with his pure life, that suffered and
struggled so the faith can reach us.
This book was written in 1968 on the occasion of the
return of the relics of St. Mark to Egypt and the establishment
of the Saint Mark Great Cathedral at Anba Ruweis in Cairo.
The book was reprinted to satisfy the demands from the public
for their benefit .
Thanks to those who contributed in issuing this edition,
particularly the staff at the Printing Shop at the Great Cathedral
in Anba Ruweis.
Shenouda III

A Jew With A Gentile Character:
St. Mark was a Jew from the Levite Tribe (1), he preached
both Jews and Gentiles, but mainly among the gentiles. He
had two names, "John", is the Jewish name and "Mark", is the
gentile one. Mark became his distinctive name. He was born a
Jew in Africa, thus he is an African born Apostle. His
birthplace was in Gyréne, one of the Five Western Cities in
Libya, in a small village called Aberyatolos.(2)
Two Names:
His Jewish name, "John", meant "The Kindness of God" (3)
and it was mentioned twice in the Book of Acts. [Acts 13:5,
13]. His Roman name was "Mark" which meant a
"hammer"(4), an unfamiliar name to the Jews. (5) Josephus, in
his book, mentioned that he was the cousin of Philo. (6) Our
Apostle was mentioned as Mark in all the epistles of St. Paul
[Cor 4:10 ; Phi 24 ; II Tim 4:11] ; St. Peter in [1 Peter 5:13] and
in the Book of Acts [Acts 15:39]
On three occasions, his two names were mentioned together.
It was either said, John who was named Mark, or John who was
known as Mark.

A Religious Family :
Mark was raised in a religious family, many of its members
were the acquaintance to Lord Christ Himself. His mother was
one of the "Marys" who followed Christ. The believers
gathered and prayed at her house, at the time of the Apostles.
[Acts 12:12] She was a reverend woman and highly regarded
by the early Christians. (7)
His father was Artistopolos, a cousin of the wife of St. Peter
the Apostle.
St. Paul mentioned that he was also related to Barnabas, one
of the seventy apostles (8) St. Paul told the Colossians,
"Aristarchus my fellow prisoner salutes you, and Marcus, sister's
son to Barnabas." [Col 4:10]. However, some of the Greek,
Latin and Coptic translations didn't mention the phrase
"nephew of Barnabas" (9), may be due to the fact that
some of the Greek words had more than one meaning. Bishop
Yousab of Fouwa, in his book, "The History of The Patriarchs",
wrote that St. Mark was related to St. Thomas the Apostle.
A religious family with such ties to the Lord Christ was a
good environment for young Mark to grow up.
Anba Severus Ben Al Mokafaa, the Bishop of Al
Ashmouneen, wrote in his book, " The History of The
Patriarchs of Alexandria", that St. Mark the Apostle was born in
Gyréne to religious parents who knew the Law and the
His uncle Barnabas, or his cousin, was one of the first who
sold property and lived a shared life with the Apostles, as
mentioned in the Book, "And Joseph who by the Apostles was
surnamed Barnabas, a Levite,(10) from Cyprus", "Having land,
sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the Apostles' feet "
[Acts 4:36.37]. The Book of Acts testified , "For he was a good

man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith." The Holy Spirit
chose him to preach with Paul, telling him, " Separate me
Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them"
[Acts 13:2]
With Barnabas, who was filled by the Holy Spirit and faith
and with Paul , John and Mark, served as the Book described,
"And they had also John to their minister". [Acts 13:5]
His Birth and Upraising:
He was born in Gyréne, in the Western Five Cities, where his
father and uncle were rich. His mother was also rich and was
capable of teaching him Greek, Latin and Hebrew. (11) He
excelled in them, (12) and became well educated in religion.
He studied The Law and the history of the prophets. Because
of that wealth of knowledge, some thought he was a translator
to Peter the Apostle during his missionary.
It was mentioned that some barbaric tribes attacked the
family's properties in Gyréne, at the time of Augustus Caesar,
that forced them to emigrate to Palestine. By the time Lord
Christ began His teaching, the family was already settled
That was how Mark met The Lord and became one of his
disciples. His mother Mary also hosted Him in her house and
was among the women who served Him. It was mentioned that
Mark was at the Wedding of Cana of Galilee, where God did
His first miracle, changing the water into wine. [John 2} He
was among those who tasted it. (14)


No home had more fame than St. Mark's home. It was there
where Lord Jesus Christ observed the passover with his pure
disciples. There He washed their feet and gave them His
Covenant, His Holy Body and Blood. That was where the
disciples hid before the resurrection. In it, the Holy Spirit filled
the disciples and they spoke in tongues. This great home was
the first Christian Church and its most upper room was the
famous Zion chamber.
All these facts were mentioned in our Coptic references as
well as in books of the Catholics, Protestants and other
In his book " Les Saints d'Egypte", Father Paul Dorliane
Chineau testified that Mark was known as 'son of Mary', the
neighbor and the hostess of Christ, and that Mary's home was
where Christ celebrated the last Passover, (15) It was built on
Mount Zion, on the big rock.
Another distinctive testemony was what Cardinal Bareaunios,
a Catholic scholar in the sixteenth century, referred to St.
Mark's home, "It was a destination for the Lord Christ and His
followers, where He celebrated the Passover with them and
where they hid after His death. In its upper room, the Holy
Spirit filled them, thus it became the first Christian church. (16)
The same was mentioned by Theodosius, a Sixth Century
writer, in his book "The Holy Land", and was published by
Gildemeister in De Situ Terrae Sanctae ( 43 p. 20)
The British Encyclopedia (17) mentioned that St. Mark's
home was the center of the Christian life in Jerusalem.
As The Lord Christ celebrated the Passover in St. Mark's
home, all scholars concluded that he was the man who carried

the water pitcher, Our God talked about to His disciples and
said, " Go you into the city, and there shall meet you a man
bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. And wheresoever he
shall go in, say you to the goodman of the house, The Master
said, where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the Passover
with my disciples? " [Mark 14: 13-15] & [Luke 22: 10-12]
Alexander pointed to this in his book " Landatio Barnaboe "
13 p. 440.
The upper chamber in St. Mark's home, where the disciples of
God assembled, was mentioned, "These all continued with one
accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary
the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren." [Acts 1: 14]
In the same room where they were sitting, the Holy Spirit
filled them, and it " Filled the house" ; "They began to speak
with other tongues". [Acts 2:1-4] Accordingly, this house
witnessed the establishment of the First Church.
Thus it wasn't surprising to honor this house as the first
church. When the angel freed St. Peter from the prison, he
went directly to this house, "He came to the house of Mary the
mother of John, whose surname was Mark ; where many were
gathered together praying". [Acts 12:12] (18)
What a person he would be in such amazing spiritual
environment ? A person who served the Lord. ! A person who
was raised in the arms of his righteous mother, among relatives
of Christ's Apostles, in a house which God entered, where
He gave His Body and His Blood and filled them with the Holy
Nobody within such an environment, would be, other than
the Beholder of God, St. Mark the Evangelist, who joined His
disciples, and became one of the selected Seventy Apostles.

A: Historian's Opinions:
Throughout the years, the Coptic historians professed that
St. Mark was one of the seventy apostles, as mentioned by
Luke the Evangelist. [Luke 10:1-12] Our contemporary
writers, (19) as well as those in the Middle Ages. shared this
fact. Severus Ben Al- Mokafaa, Bishop of Al-Ashmouneen, in
the tenth century mentioned it in his book. (20) Ben Kabar
included his name in both, the origional Coptic and the Greek
lists of the apostles (21)
This was also reported by Al Maqrizi, a Muslim historian
from the Middle Ages, saying that he was among the seventy.
Describing Mark as the Evangelist whose name was John, who
spoke three "tongues", Foreign, Hebrew and Greek. (22)
Ibn Al Salibi, Bishop of Amad, in 1149, included him among
the seventy two .(23)
St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus mentioned this fact in his
book. Before him, Origen, a scholar of the second and third
centuries, reported this in his book the "Faith in God", saying
that Mark was among the seventy, who were chosen by God to
be His messengers. (24)
Among the non Orthodox, we find Al Mushreki in an
introduction, explaining the Gospel of St. Mark, included him
among the seventy apostles and was named Theophoros,
meaning the bearer of God.
Chineau, who is a Catholic, in his book " Les Saints d'
Egypte ", called Mark an apostle. [ Apôtre]

In our Church's Ritual Books:
Mark the apostle, (25) is the title given to this Saint, in all the
prayers and praises. He has another title in the Doxlogies, as in
the song of Watus,(26) referring to him as 'Christ's disciple'.
That is the same title which is repeated in all the songs for the
Saint, in the book for the Annual Praises. (27)
When we read his Gospel we say , "From the Book of St.
Mark the preacher and the pure disciple"
He is always mentioned as a disciple and an apostle of God.
On his feast day 30, Baramoda, the readings are about the
selection of the apostles, their work and their authority. (28)
Among the very distictive testemonies that support this
belief, are the readings of his Gospel during the "Cross and
Palm Processions".
In front of each icon, relevant readings are read. In front of
the icon of the angels, the related readings are said, and so on
for the icons of the martyrs. When the icon of St. Mark is
reached, the verses from the Gospel according to St. Luke are
read, beginning with, "After these things the Lord appointed
other seventy also and sent them two and two before His
Our Catholic brethren confess his apostleship as an apostle, as
shown in the Theotokion (29) where it is said:
a- "O Mark the apostle the evangelist... all earth's tribes are
blessed by you. Your words reached everywhere." Probably
the last phrase was taken from Psalms 18:4. that gives the idea
that his service was more universal than regional.
b- "Three heavenly names you were awarded O Mark, the
theologian, the evangelist and the apostle. You had been

awarded three crowns O belover of God : the crown, you had
as an apostle, the crown of martyrdom and the crown of
c- " Your fellow apostles are proud of you and we are proud of
them and you." The words of his fellows made him on the
same line of the apostles and that the fellowship bound them as
All scholars agree that Mark was the young man who
followed Christ at the time He was arrested, "And there
followed a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about
his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: And he
left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked." [Mark 14: 51-
The church, to protect her sons and daughters from any false
assumption, insisted on calling Saint Mark with the title known
to all of us, that is " The Beholder of God "

His First Miracle:
Aristopolis, St. Mark's father, was the first to receive the faith
through his son. On their way to Jordan they were faced by
two beasts, a lion and lioness. The father realized that they
would be eaten soon by the beasts. He urged his son to escape,
and leave himself to the lions. Mark assured him that Christ
would protect them and prayed saying, "O' Christ the Son of God,
save us." Immediately the lions perished and they were saved.

Arstopolis accepted Christ immediately (30) through his son
and confessed his faith The father died later as a believer.(31)
St. Mark And The Lion:
The lion's event led the artists to insert a lion in all of his
pictures. It is possible also that because of the beginning of his
Gospel, he described a roar of a lion, "The voice of one crying
in the wilderness." Or because that his Gospel represented Lord
Christ in His Majesty and His Kingdom, as He was " The lion
of the tribe of Judea."
Always it is referred to the four Evangelists, as the four
beasts, mentioned in the Book of the Revelation, [4 : 7]. The
lion symbolized St. Mark the first among them.
We noticed that the people of Venice, took St. Mark as their
Patron and intercessor, and adopted the lion as a symbol. They
have a big statue for a winged lion in St. Mark Square in their
city. The artists competed trying to show a tame lion with St.
Mark as he extracted its cruelty and kept for it its courage.
Preaching With The Apostles:
St. Mark began his preaching at a very early age. At the
beginning he accompanied other apostles. In the Book of Acts,
it is mentioned that he worked with St. Paul and St. Barnabas
the Apostles, but before that he worked with St. Peter in
Jerusalem and Judea. Severus Ibn Al Mokafaa stated that after
Christ's resurrection, Mark accompanied Peter, preaching the
multitudes in Jerusalem and went from there to Bethany to
preach the Word of God. (32)

1- Les Saints d'Egypte p. 465 .
2- Severus Ibn Al Mokafaa: The History of The Patriarchs,:
may be born in Adrenapolis, now called Darnis.
3- Schaff: History of the Christian Church, vol. , I , 628.
4- Ibid.
5- Hastings' : Dictionary of the Bible p. 245.
6- Ant. 18 :8 :1 and 19 :5 : 1.
7- George Post: Dict. part Ii p. 226.
8- Ibn Kabar: the Lamp of the Darkness: the 4 th book.
Mosbah Al Zolma
9- Ibn Kabar mentioned that Mark was Barnaba's cousin.
Read for Guirgis Philuthawus
Read for Kamel Nakhla :"St. Mark" p. 40 & p. 41.
10- This may prove that Mark was a Levite.
11- Synaxarion: 30, Baramoda.
12- After Anba Severus,Bishop of Nastowa. [ nineth century.
13- Severus Ibn A Mokafaa: The History of the Patriarchs.
14- Ibn Kabar: The Lamp of the Darkness: the fourth book.
15- Les Saintes d'Egypte p. 496.
16- Francis Al Etre The Magazine of The Rock 1951 p. 118-
The Church History for Vlademire Gitta part I P. 258 &
Concise History of The Coptic Nation, Selim Soliman
Francis El Etre p. 274.
17- Encyclopedia- Britanica 11th edition. : Mark.
18- Look for the last chapter of this book.
19- Look Anba Isitheiros, Habeeb Guergis, Menasa Youhanna,
Francis El Etre, Kamel Saleh Nakhla & Iris Al Masri.
20- The History of the Patriarchs. part I.
21- The Lamb of the Darkness: the fourth book.
22- Al Maqrizi : al Kawl Al Abrizi edition: 1898 p. 18.

23- Explanation of St Mark Gospel [ introduction]
24- De Recta in Deum Fide.
25- Look the chapter of the church rites and prayers, this book.
26- p. 113 - p. 119 .
27- P. 122 - P. 123.
28- as # 25.
29- Rome edition for the Catholic Copts.
Kiak month P. 175 - 177
The Magazine of The Rock, 1951, p. 105-P. 107
30- Ibn Kabar: The Lamb of The Darkness: The fourth book.
31- Kamel Saleh Nakhla : St. Mark the Preacher P. 48.
32- The History of the Patriarchs: Part I

Although St. Mark was particularly the preacher for Egypt,
yet he was a universal preacher for all humanity. St. Severus,
Bishop of Nastora (from the ninth century ) truly said that the
great St. Mark, enlightened Egypt, and the world.
He was one of the seventy apostles, who were sent by God to
He was one of the four who preached the world by the
Gospels they wrote. The world still benefits from the books
without limitation. They were meant for all the world and not
for one particular church.
With his holiness, all the world benefited. He established The
Theological School of Alexandria which enlightened the world
with knowledge.
The only known continents at that time were limited to Asia,
Africa and Europe. St. Mark preached in all of them to spread
the Word of God.
St. Mark preached in Judea, Lebanon, Syria, Antioch and in
Cyprus. He reached Paphos, Pamphylia, Rome, Colossi ,
Venice and Aquila.

Preaching in Judea:
He preached with St. Peter in Judia, Jerusalem, Bethany and
other places.
Preaching in Antioch:
He accompanied St. Paul and St. Barnabas on their first trip.
They went to Syria, and particularly to Antioch. [ Acts 11 : 27 -
30] ; " And took with them John, whose surname was Mark."
Thus he handled with them the Word of the Savior to Antioch
about 45 AD.(1) This was also mentioned by Josephus the
famous historian. (2)
He went with them to Seleucia, [Acts 13 : 4] which was the
port of Antioch. (3) St. Mark came again to Antioch with
Barnabas the apostle, [Acts 15 : 37] after the council of
Jerusalem. (4)
Preaching in Cyprus:
In his first trip with St. Paul and St. Barnabas, they preached
together in Cyprus. "They departed to Seleucia then they sailed
to Cyprus. And when they were in Salamis,(5) they preached
the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews : and they had
also John to their minister." [Acts 13 : 4-5]
Hasting mentioned in his book the " Dictionary of the Bible "
(6) : that Mark was serving with them, meaning that he was
assisting them in the preaching. This word was used with that
meaning in Luke 4 : 20 . It is probable that Mark was known
among his fellow Jews by the name of John, the servant [ who
was in the service of God ]

We hear about St. Mark after the council of Jerusalem in the
year 50 or 51 AD, when he went again to Cyprus with St.
Barnabas. "And so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto
Cyprus." [Acts 15 : 39]
Preaching in other places in Asia:
In his first trip with Saint Paul and Saint Barnabas, St. Mark
preached with them in Paphos, then went together till
Pamphylia. Later he left them and returned to Jerusalem. [ Acts
13 : 13]
We don't know the reason why he left them, but we know that
his return saddened St. Paul the apostle, that he refused to take
Mark with him when he returned to visit the believers in Syria
and Selukia. Paul disputed with Barnabas that they left each
other. Paul realized how important the service of St. Mark was,
as we will see later.
The Lebanese believe that St. Mark was one of their
preachers and that he was the first bishop in Gobayel. His
Holiness Mar Aghnatius Yacoub, Patriarch of the Syrian
Orthodox, said that Mount Gobayel is proud of her first bishop
John Mark. (7)
In the book "Antioch the Great, the City of God ", by Dr.
Assad Rostom, (8) it is written that Mount Lebanon was
reached by St. Mark.
St. Mark's seat was in Alexandria, and the five Western Cities
belonged to this See.
His Preaching in Rome:(9)
St. Mark and St. Paul established the Church in Rome. The
relation between St. Mark and St. Peter was written in

Moraweg Al Akhyar book, [ He traveled with him to the
blessed city of Rome and shared with him the effort,(10) also
mentioned that when Peter left Rome for a long journey, he
"ordered his dear disciple Mark to serve this church." (11)
His Preaching in Colossi:
This was clear from the recommendation of St. Paul to the
Collosians, "Aristarchus my fellow prisoner salutes you, and
Marcus, son of Barnabas' sister, touching whom you received
commandments: if he comes unto you, receive him." [ Col. 4 :
His Preaching In Venice and Aquila:
Other churches credited St. Mark for his preaching. The
people of Venice stole the body of the Saint, took him as their
intercessor and a Patron of their country.(12) They claimed
also that he preached them, before going to the Five Western
Cities.... If he had gone to Italy and preached in Rome, nothing
could have stopped him from preaching Venice. Aquila, is near
Venice, was claimed to be within the area that belonged to the
preaching of St. Mark. It was said that St. Mark preached his
Gospel in Akopla (14) and it had many antiquities. All the
Italians appreciated his great services.
Away from Asia and Europe, the preaching of St. Mark
continued in the Five Western Cities, Alexandria, the Egyptian
regions and later after his martyrdom it was extended to Nuba,
Sudan and Ethiopia..
Saint Mark's preaching wasn't limited to Egypt. The Coptic
Church was his main work although his contributions were

His Preaching In Africa:
At the ordination of the Patriarchs in Egypt, they repeat,
"The seat of St. Mark, the Evangelist, with the true knowledge
that he called for in all the universe for the comfort and soul
saving." His individual great work, was his Gospel, his
Liturgy, and the establishment of the Theological School of
When we celebrate the feast of this Saint, the world shares the
celebration with us , expressing the gratitude towards the Saint.
References .:
1- Selim Soliman and Francis El Etre : Concise History of the
Coptic Nation p. 274.
2- Josephus: History of the Jews 2, 5.
3- Ruined, near to it present village Al Kalsi.
4- Haslings' Dictionary. of the Bible Vol. 4 P. 245
5- Salamis, capital of Cyprus
6- Hastings' Dictionary. of the Bible Vol. 4 P. 245
7- The History of the Syrian Church of Antioch.
8- G. 3 P.398.
11- Moraweg Al Akhyar fi Taragem Al Abrar [25 Nisan ] p.
12- La Rousse P. 1522.
13- Cardinal Paronios in 45 AD [The Rock 1951]
14- in Nuba, known as Marcusa, disappeared by the High
Aswan Dam.

How much injustice did St. Mark receive from the followers
of St. Peter ? They tried to rob him his apostolic dignity, and
credit all his efforts to somebody else? I mean St. Peter.
1- Denying his fellowship to the Lord during the period of the
Lord's ministry on earth and that he became Christian only after
the resurrection at the hands of St. Peter.
2- They claimed that St. Mark's Gospel was written by St.
3- They attempted to credit all St. Mark's preaching, even that
in Egypt and the Five Western Cities to St. Peter.
Strange was the fact that they tried to falsify the history of our
fathers and our church.
A- The Attempt To Deny Him His Faith And Being An

They ignored the fact that Lord Christ used to enter his
house, and ate the Passover with His disciples there, and that he
was the one who was carrying the pitcher of water when the
two disciples met him on the road and followed him according
to God's plan. [Mark 14 : 13, 14] All the references pointed
that St. Mark was the young man who followed Lord Christ the

night He was arrested, "Having a linen cloth cast about his
naked body ;and the young men laid hold on him : And he left
the linen cloth, and fled from them naked." [Mark 14 : 51, 52]
In spite of all of that, they tried to rob the great apostle his
faith. They claimed that St. Mark was one of those who
accepted the faith by St. Peter after the receiving of the Holy
Spirit at the beginning of Christianity. They claimed that St.
Peter referred to him in his first epistle as his son, because he
became a Christian by him. (1)
In the book " Moraweg Al Akhyar", accepted by Patriarch
Meximos Mazloom, it was written that St. Mark didn't accept
Christ except after His resurrection, through St. Peter, who
took him in his entourage. Again that was why he called him,
his son, in his first epistle.(2)
More strange, is the fact that they published what was
referred to Papias, claiming that St. Mark, "didn't hear God nor
followed Him"
They forgot that St. Mark was one of the seventy apostles as
we mentioned earlier. (3) This was proven in the history books
and rituals. The Coptic Catholics praise him in their own
Theotokion, (4) saying "O the evangelist, the apostle, the
theologian.evangelist, the apostle, you were awarded the crown
of being an apostle, your fellow apostles were proud of you and
we are proud of them and you."
So if he was an apostle to God, then how come he didn't hear
God nor followed Him. ?! If he was one of the seventy
apostles, then how come he didn't become a believer till the
Pentecost by Peter, while his house was prepared for
celebrating the Passover for God. St. Peter, we are sure
wouldn't have approved what Papias wrote, in trying to
diminish the credibility of Mark.

The fact that Peter called Mark his "son", didn't mean that he
was a son in the faith, but as a father because of his age. (5)
In the Catholic history and liturgy books, Mark was described
as an apostle.
The French Encyclopedia, with its Catholic publishers, stated,
"The claim that Mark was a disciple of Peter was nothing other
than stupidity based on some failed writers."
B- The Attempt to refer his Gospel to Peter:
Some called it the "Book of St. Peter and His Follower
Disciple". Father Chineau called him, " His dear secretary and
translator" (7) [ Marc, son secretaire et son cher interpréte.]
Others said that Peter dictated the gospel to Mark. Others
claimed that Mark wrote from the collection he had when he
heard Peter, or from what he knew from him. Some even dared
to call this Gospel, "Peter's memoir."
Bizarre was the printing of these claims in our liturgy books
when they published them in their countries. As in the case
when Rene Basset published a Synaxarium in Paris about the
Oriental Fathers, "Patrologia Orientales" and mentioned on St.
Mark's feast on the 30 th of Baramoda, "He went to Peter in
Rome and became his disciple. There he wrote his Gospel that
Peter dictated to him, and preached in Rome."(8) That is what
it appeared in French : "Marc, alla trouver Pierre à Rome et
devint. son disciple. Ily êcrivit son evangile que Pierre lui dicta
et l' annonça dans la ville"
In order to express this wrong idea about the Book of Mark,
they created an icon for St. Mark by the artist Angelico drawing
Mark at Peter's feet, while preaching in Rome, with a caption in
the book which read, : " Saint Marc assis au Pieds de Saint
Pierre Prechant au Romains, note dans un livre ses paroles"

Here we may say that the Gospel was Mark's and it wasn't
dictated by Peter, but was from the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Mark the apostle had no need to know from St. Peter any
information about Lord Christ, he knew it very well as he
witnessed God and saw His miracles from the start, beginning
with the first one at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, as one of
the seventy apostles. He knew it all as his house was the place
where the apostles assembled and with them was Saint Mary,
the Mother of God.
C- The Attempt To Credit St. Peter For St. Mark's

According to their story, it was St. Peter who sent him to
Egypt and the five western cities and he was the one to be
reported to.
Father Peter Fermag, a Jesuit, in his book, "Moraweg al
Akhyar" he wrote, " When King Kilouddos dismissed the Jews
from Jerusalem, 49 AD (10) The Beloved St. Peter was sent to
Egypt to preach the Holy Bible."
Maximos Mazloom, The Roman Catholic Patriarch, a
Melchite, repeated the same words saying, "St. Peter sent St.
Mark to Egypt in 49 AD,(11) to preach these people with the
Gospel that he wrote."
In a bizarre words Father Chineau in his book, "Saints of
Egypt" wrote that St. Mark, after preaching in the five western
cities, went to see his distinguished teacher, Peter the apostle,
to give him an account for the assignment that was given to
It is known, that the Holy Spirit directed the apostles in their
preaching. This was shown in the Book of Acts, where it was
mentioned that St. Paul and his company, after going through

Phrygia and Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to
go to Asia. When they arrived to Mysia they tried to go to
Bithynia, and the Holy Spirit stopped them. During the night,
when Paul saw a man from Macedonia in a vision pleading to be
reached for help, he realized that the Holy Spirit was guiding
them, and God was calling them to go and preach. [Acts 16 : 6
What Chineau mentioned was strange. He said that St. Mark
the apostle, went to St. Peter, his teacher to deliver an account
about the assignment that was given to him. However himself
in the same chapter in the Book of The Saints of Egypt, he
referred to St. Mark, "By the guide of the Holy Spirit he sailed
to Cyrene, then to Alexandria. These were his words in French,
"Ensuite sur L'inspiration d'Espirit Saint, il s'embarqua à
Cyréne et fit voitle vers Alexandrie" (13)
There is difference when one speaks guided only by his
conscience, and when he speaks influenced by a fixed idea,
trying to have the world to adopt his views.
Historians agreed of what Severus Ibn Al Mokafaa, Bishop of
Ashmouneen, in the tenth century when he said, "The region of
the world was assigned to the apostles with the guide of the
Holy Spirit, to preach the Word of God...St. Mark's assignment
was to go to Alexandria by the order of the Holy Spirit, so they
listen to the words of the Gospel of Lord Christ." (14)
The Claim Of Being Ordained As A Bishop:
Among the strange things mentioned about St. Mark was his
appointment by Peter as a bishop in three different continents.
It was said that Peter the apostle appointed him a bishop of
Akoyla, near Venice in Italy, in Europe. It was also mentioned
that he was appointed also by Peter as bishop for Gobayel (15)

in Lebanon, that is in Asia. This was beside the appointment as
Bishop of Alexandria in Africa. That is, he was appointed as a
bishop in the only known three continents of the world at that
With these claims, they confused every body. Probably they
were trying to express their views about the Roman supremacy,
at a time when Alexandria was on the top among the universal
councils. At that period the pope of Alexandria was called as,
"The judge of the universe".
The Works Of St. Mark With St. Peter:
St. Peter was related to St. Mark. Peter's wife was the cousin
of Mark's father. Thus St. Peter was like a father, age wise. St.
Peter used to visit their home frequently and when he was freed
from jail by the angel, he went directly to, "The house of Mary
the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many
were gathered together praying." [Acts 12 : 12]
It may be possible that Mark had accompanied his relative in
his preaching in Jerusalem and 'Beth-Ania' and other Jewish
places as was mentioned by Severus Ibn Al Mokafaa in his book
"the History of the Patriarchs".
St. Mark was with St. Peter when he wrote his first epistle
and he wrote, "The church that is Babylon, elected together
with you salutes you and so does Marcus my son." [ I Peter 4 :
13] A big dispute among the historians occurred about this
Babylon. Was it literally Babylon, or what meant was Rome.?
Did St. Mark really preached in Rome with St. Peter.?
It was proven in the history of the church and recorded in
both the Orthodox and the Catholic books, even the Holy Bible,
that Mark the apostle did preach in Rome.

1- Morawag Al Akhyar fi Taragem Al Abrar (25 Nissan) p.
2- Kinz Al Ebad Al Thameen fi Akhbar Al Kiddiseen (25
Nissan) p. 551.
3- Referred to it earlier.
4- From Theotokos month of Kihak p. 175-177.
5- Look the book : Love your parents.
6- part 16 p. 871 of The Rock 1951 p. 107.
7- Chineau : Les Saints d'Egypte I, p. 500.
8: Le Synaxaire Arab- Jacobite.
9- Louis Reau Icongraphie de l'art chretien, III p. 871
10- Not agreed upon by most of the historians.
11-Look up the chapter for the five western cities in this book.
12- Les Saints d'Egypte, I p.500.
13- Ibid.
14- The History of the Patriarchs Part I.
15- Assad Rostom: The City of God, Antioch the Great. Part III
p. 298.

St. Mark accompanied St. Paul in his first journey, but he
didn't finish the trip to the end. At the beginning St. Paul
wasn't pleased that he left him, but later he realized the
significance of his service and St. Mark became the closest
person to St. Paul.
He worked with St. Paul and his followers like Aristarchus,
Demas, Lucas and other pillars of the church. St. Paul
mentioned St. Mark in his epistle to Philemon as his "my fellow
labor" (Philemon 24). He then went to Colosse at the request
of St. Paul, where he met St. Timothy in Ephesus.
St. Mark was called by St. Paul to come to Rome, as he was
alone with St. Luke, to help in establishing the church there. He
left Rome only after the martyrdom of St. Paul in about 67 AD,
to return to Alexandria where he received his martyrdom, one
year later.
St. Mark contributed in the establishment of the church of
Rome. The Catholics mentioned that St. Mark wrote his book
for Rome and the Romans and it was written in Greek
St. Paul wrote while he was in Rome, in his epistle to the
people of Colosse, "Aristarchus my fellow prisoner salutes you,
and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas,(touching whom you
received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him.)
And Jesus who is called Justus, who are of the circumcision.

These only are my fellow workers unto the Kingdom of God
...." (Colosseans 4 : 10, 11)
St. Paul wrote also to Philemon, while he was still in Rome,
"There salute you Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus ;
Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellow laborers."
(Philemon 24)
Again St. Paul wrote from Rome in his second epistle to his
disciple St.Timothy, "Only Luke is with me. Take Mark and
bring him with you: for he is profitable to me for the ministry."
(II Timothy 4 : 11)
St. Paul found that his service with St. Luke in Rome needed
St. Mark's help. St. Mark did go to Rome and stayed with St.
Paul there and only returned to Alexandria after St. Paul was

1- St. Mark was born there before his family immigrated to
2-He preached them the faith before coming to Egypt to preach
in Alexandria in the name of Christ.
3- He went back and revisited them to ordain priests and
deacons and to serve. Many miracles occurred through him.
4- These cities were represented at the time the disciples
received the Holy Spirit on the Pentecost, "And in the parts of
Libya about Cyrene." [ Acts 2 : 10] These cities belonged to
the see of St. Mark for a long time.
We pray God that our church be blessed to be able to work in
the Five Western Cities. We wouldn't be ashamed when we
meet St. Mark, who may ask, what did we do with what he left
us ?
As many don't know the names of these cities nor their history,
we feel obliged to write concisely about them, as they
represented an important role in St. Mark's preaching.
These cities are presently in Barka. It is one of the three
present states of Libya. They were built by the Greeks between
the seventh and the fifth centuries BC,(1) and were called the

"Pentapolis", but when it was conquered by the Arabs they were
renamed as "Antapols".
Father Chineau called them "La Pentapole de Libye" in his
book, "The Saints of Egypt."(2) "La Pentapole Libyque"
means the Five Libyan Cities. La Rousse in his dictionary
called them the same.
These cities were called the western cities to differentiate
them from the other Five Eastern Cities, in the eastern part of
the Mediterranean Sea [in Lebanon]. These were, Sodom,
Gammorrha, Adams, Segor and Seboim. (3)
These cities were built by the Greeks to accommodate their
people who left their country because of poverty. The Greeks
lived peacefully with the natives and spread their culture,
education and their religion to them. They got involved in
agriculture and breeding sheep, beside trading. This area
became under Alexander The Great in the fourth century BC.,
then under Ptolemy till it was considered a property of
Egypt.(4) In the year 56 BC, it was taken by the Romans.
During this period, many Jews came to Barka and their number
increased during the reign of Augustus Caesar and Octavius.(5)
It is the first and the oldest city and was built in 631 BC on
the Green Mountain, away from the coast, to be safe from the
pirates. It is a different city, not to be confused with Cyrene of
Probably Simon from Cyrene was the one who carried Christ's
cross, [Mark 15 : 21]; and Lucius the Cyrenian was from the
prophets and teachers. [Acts 13 : 1]

The old Greeks called Barka as Sirenka. At the present time
it is called Al Shahat or Ein Shahat.
2- Berenice:
It is also known as Bernika. Its old name was Hesperis or
Hesperides. During the era of the Ptolomey it was changed to
Berenice, after the name of the wife of Ptolomais I. At the
present time it is called "Beni Ghazi" and it is the capital of
3 Barka "Berce"
It is the second or the third old city. It is in the middle of the
Green Mountain and its contemporary name is "Al Marg". Its
old port is called Ptolomais.
Ptolemais, port of Barka, is considered by many historians
including La Rousse, that it was one of the five cities and
known also as Tolomita.
4- Tauchire"
Its present name is Tokra and was built in 510 BC by the
Greeks on the coast and may have been used as another port
for Barka.
At one time it was named as "Arsinoe" after the mother of
Ptolomy III.

5. Apollonia:
It is a port on the coast, known now as "Souzah". It may
have been a port for Cyrene, before its present port "Darnis"
This may be the place where St. Mark was born.
These cities, had different names in Coptic, except Barka and
Cyrene which are similar.
It needs to be mentioned that in North Africa there was a
Diocese named "Kartaganah" that didn't belong to St. Mark.
History tells us that St. Keperyanos was its bishop.
St. Augustin was the bishop of Hippo, a small town in this
diocese. In 419 AD, there was a council which was recognized
by our church. Two hundred and seventeen bishops including
St. Augustin, attended the council under St. Orilos.
These cities were prosperous at that time. They were
politically stable till the time of the Romans. Their people were a
mixture of Libyans, Greeks, Romans and Jews. They had their
different religions too. Some tribes worshipped trees and
mountainsand, some were influenced by the Egyptians and
worshipped Isis, Osiris, the sun, the moon and Amun. The
aristocrats worshipped the stars, like Mars etc..
The Greek language and culture were common. In the fourth
century BC, a philosophical school appeared and was called "
Cyranaica", by Arstipos,(6) a disciple of Aristocrat. Its

philosophy was based on the assumption that pleasure was the
basis of man's behavior.
After St. Mark served with St. Peter, St. Paul and Saint
Barnabas, he went to preach the faith in his native country, the
five western cities.
The Saint didn't forget his place of birth or his own poor people
and wanted to lead them to the light to save their souls.
When he arrived there, about 58 AD, he noticed that there
was a glimpse of light among the darkness. He met many
acquaintances, from Libya and Cyrene. [Acts 2 : 10] who were
present during the Pentecost at his home when the Holy Spirit
filled them. Probably some of them returned back to Libya as
believers. Another factor was, that the aristocrats were
rejecting at that time the idea of having many Gods, and began
to conceive a new idea of the presence of one god only. (7)
The history books didn't mention much about his service
during that time, but God blessed him by performing many
miracles that attracted many to the faith. Severus Ibn Al
Mokafaa, Bishop of Al Ashmouneen wrote in his book, "The
history of the Patriarchs" the following:- [When St. Mark
returned from Rome, he went first to the five cities and
preached the Word of God. He showed them many miracles,
the sick were cured, those with leprosy were cleansed and those
with evil spirits were freed from them. Many believed in Lord
Christ and broke down their idols. He baptized them in the
name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.]
Father Chineau confirmed these blessings in his book the
"Saints of Egypt " (8) where he wrote: [St. Mark began first with
the Five Western Cities in Libya, he comforted the people

during their suffering, and cured their sick. These miracles led
them to accept Christianity.]
Ibn Al Mokafaa, wrote that the Holy Spirit guided him to go
to Egypt, so he left his fellow believers and prayed for them to
stay in the faith till he would come back to share with them the
Divine joy.
They wished him well and they prayed together and again
prayed for those who knew the Holy Name. (9)
He left Libya heading towards Egypt and arrived to
Alexandria in 61 AD.

St. Mark left the Five Western Cities and went to Egypt,
where he preached the faith. After he established the church in
Egypt, he was advised by the believers to leave Egypt
temporarily as they were concerned about his safety. The
pagans were thinking of killing him. He accepted to leave and
return after a while.
The Apostle came back to the Five Western Cities in 63 AD
(10)and again met the believers and preached their people. He
stayed in Libya two years preaching in the name of Christ,
organizing the church, and ordaining bishops, priests and
Then he left to go back to continue his universal ministry with
St. Paul, before returning back to Egypt after the martyrdom of
St. Paul.

Through the Christian era, these five cities belonged
spiritually to Alexandria. (11) This was confirmed by the sixth
cannon of the council of Nicea in 325 AD where 318 bishops
from all over the world assembled. This decision was based on
" Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis prevail
that the Bishop of Alexandria has jurisdiction in all these." (12)
1- Hassan Soliman : Libya Between The Past and Present p.
2- Chineau : Les Saints d' Egypte I p. 464.
3- La Rousse, p. 1601.
4- Mrs. Butcher : The Coptic Church history : p.24.
5- Dr. Zaher Riad : The Church of Alexandria in Africa. p. 30.
6- Dr. Zaher Riad : Church of Alexandria in Africa. p.22-35.
7- Ibid.
8- Chineau: Les Saints d' Egypte, I p. 500.
9- Ibn Al Mokafaa: The History of The Patriarch I
10- Possible in 65 AD [ Ibn Al Mokafaa.
11- Laws of Apostles, Universal and Regional.
12- Nicene and P.N. Fathers Writings 2nd 9 Series Vol. 14.
13- Chineau : Les Saints d' Egypte.

Alexandria was the cultural capital of the world when St.
Mark arrived there. Its famous School was the centre of
science and philosophy with a library filled with hundreds of
thousands of books.
The population of Alexandria was estimated to be from half
to three quarters of a million,(1) who were Egyptians, Greeks,
Jews, Romans, Ethiopians, Nubians and other races.
The people St. Mark faced were a complex of different
religions. There was the old Pharaohnic religion, that had many
gods like Isis, Oziris, Hirus, Amun, Abis, Hathur etc., under
the great god Ra.
The Greeks had many gods under their supreme god Zius. At
this period there was a movement calling to combine both the
Egyptian and the Greek gods, as 'syncretism' to be under the
god 'Sirabis', the great idol. The Romans too had many gods
under Jupiter.
There was also the Jews, with their prophets, laws and the
scriptures and the heresies that the Pharisees introduced. Their
number in the city was huge, that they occupied one out of the
five districts of the city.

At the same time some of the Jews who arrived recently from
Jerusalem were already converted to Christianity before coming
to Egypt.
The name of Christ had already arrived to many individuals,
through Apollo of Alexandria. Apollo was mentioned in the
Book of Acts, "An eloquent man and mighty in scriptures... He
was fervent in the spirit ... For he mightily convinced the Jews
and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was
Christ." [ Acts 18 : 24 -28]
It might be possible that some of the Jews of Alexandria had
received the Word of God through St. Simon of Cana or
through "dear Theophilus" who was close to St. Luke. But all
of these cases were limited to some individuals only.
Beside all these religions, there were many wise men from
India, Persia and Egyptian priests who were leaders in a pagan
Accordingly, the city was a mixture of idol religions with an
atmosphere of philosophical arguments and discussions,
particularly at the school of Alexandria and its museum.
St. Mark stood alone to face all these religions and
philosophies, but he was capable in defeating them with the
power of God. He entered Alexandria with a torn sandal from
walking the long way.
It is difficult to determine the exact dates for the journeys of
the apostles. Usually calculated in relation to the events, and
the time of the arrival of St. Mark was no exception.
Jesophus, the famous historian, mentioned that St. Mark came
to Alexandria in 43 AD, while Mrs. Butler estimated it to be in
45 AD. Patriarch Maximos Mazloom suggested that it was in

49 AD. Selim Soliman, Francis Al Etre, Deacon Menassa
Youhanna gave the date as 55 AD. For Ibn Akbar it was 58
AD and for Father Chineau it was 60 AD, when St. Mark was
50 years old. Abu Shaker Ibn Al Raheb, Anba Isedoros, Habib
Guirgis, Kamel Saleh Nakhla and Iris Al Masri, said that his
arrival was in 61 AD.
With such variations in dates, most of the ancient historians
preferred not to guess and rather to stress on the events
themselves. That was what the Book of Acts almost did.
We don't accept the earlier dates, as St. Mark was still a
youth, in the company of other apostles. Certainly he didn't
come before the Council of Jerusalem which was about 50 AD,
as agreed by all the historians.
After the Council of Jerusalem, he accompanied St. Barnabas
to Cyprus where both preached together. Later, St. Paul,
appreciating the importance of St. Mark in preaching, he called
him to work with him.
When St. Mark was alone on his own, he went to the Five
Western Cities and stayed there for few years. He may have
arrived there between 55-58 AD. It is most probable that he
arrived in Alexandria about the year 60 or 61 AD and this was
accepted by most of the Coptic historians who estimated his
stay in Alexandria to be seven years or seven years and eight
On his way to Alexandria, the words of Isaiah might have been
on his thought, "The burden of Egypt. Behold, the Lord rode
upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt and the idols of
Egypt shall be removed at his presence, and the heart of Egypt
shall melt in the midst of it." "And that day shall there be an

altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt and a pillar at
the border thereof to the Lord...And it shall be a sign and for a
witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt...And the
Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the
Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation, yes, they
shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it..." " Blessed be
Egypt my people." [Isiah 19 : 1 , 19 -21 , 25]
Also he might have been thinking about the journey of Christ
with the Virgin St. Mary and the blessing they left to Egypt.
It was said that he entered Alexandria, coming from the Five
Western Cities, passing through the oasis to Upper Egypt and
from there to Alexandria where he entered it east to the port
where there was an oblisk.(3)
He was praying before entering Alexandria to God, to provide
him with the spiritual needs for the success of his mission.
By the time he arrived, his sandal was already torn, so he
went to Anianus, a cobbler, to repair it. While Anianus was
holding the needle, it went through his finger and he screamed
from pain and said, "O' the One God". St. Mark was delighted
when he heard this phrase, which was an appropriate chance to
begin talking to him about that One God.
It was also appropriate to ease him from his pain first, so he
took some mud and spat on it and put it on his wound,
saying, "In the name of Jesus Christ, Son of God, heal this
hand." (4) It was healed on the spot as if nothing happened to it.
Anianus was surprised at the miracle which was done in the
name of Jesus Christ and opened his heart to the Word of God.
St. Mark asked him about the One God he called, but Anianus
replied that he heard about Him, but didn't know Him. Then

St. Mark began to talk to him spiritually. When his sandal was
repaired he was invited to go to Anianus' home to talk more
about that God.
As St. Mark entered the house he made the sign of the cross
and asked God's Blessing to fill it. (5) He stayed with this family
talking about Lord Christ. When Anianus asked to see The
True God, St. Mark assured him that he will. He talked with
him about the scriptures, the prophets, the incarnation, the
miracles, the crucifixion and the great sacrifice He provided to
the world.
Anianus and his family became believers and St. Mark
baptized them. This home was the first fruit in St. Mark's
preaching in Egypt.
St. Mark who is considered the, First Bishop of Alexandria,
found that his first responsibility was to continue preaching
from one place to another, challenging all the difficulties that he
met. With great enthusiasm he was able to convert many to the
faith in God, in spite of the different numerous religions of the
Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Persians and the arguments of the
The Catholic Jesuit, Father Frermaj reported in his book
"Moraweg Al Akhyar" referring to St. Mark, that " God blessed
him for his unique enthusiasm. The land which was full of
darkness of the filth among the unbelievers, was changed by St.
Mark the Evangelist to a heavenly paradise, with justice
shinning over it." (6)
Maximos Mazloom, the Patriarch of the Greek Catholic
Melchites, wrote about St. Mark, " He pulled the inhabitants to
the faith in Christ, in grooves, with God's blessing and the

marvelous miracles he did,.that Alexandria became a second
Jerusalem, similar to what happened when the Holy Spirit
desended in the Chamber of Zion . (7)
The Word of God flourished forcefully and very fast despite
the encountered difficulties, which were overcome. We
understand what St. Paul meant when he said about St. Mark,
"For he is profitable to me in the ministry." [2 Titus 4 : 11]
St. Mark had great impact on Alexandria. His success to
convert large numbers to believe was due to his deep
spirituality, and his strong relation with God.
Eusebius the famous historian, referred to this as such, "There
were multitudes of believers, men and women, who gathered
from the beginning and lived the extraordinary simple life, that
Phillo noted to be worthy to describe. Their efforts,
gatherings, and their comfort in all the ways of their lives were
tremendous. (8) Eusebius in a complete chapter in his book
about the philosopher Phillo admired the monastic life in Egypt.
Father Chineau in his book " The Saints of Egypt " wrote,
"Life became marvelous in Egypt after accepting the faith and
Phillo, the famous Jew, confirmed that Alexandria brought back
the memory of the early days of the Church in Jerusalem. (9)
Let us find what the philosopher Phillo said about the
believers in Egypt as stated by Yousabius, "They left their
properties, under the influence of their faith and followed the
path of the prophets" ; "There was a holy place in every house,
to practice their religion in, in complete isolation. They didn't
permit into it any food, drink or anything for the need of the
body" ; "All day long from the morning to the night they were
praying, reading the Holy Books".; "They created songs and

praises for God with different tunes and rhythms" ; "They ate
only after sunset" ; "They enjoyed the wisdom, without limit,
tremendously." He also referred to their purity and described
their prayers, silence and services.
St. Mark established a Theological School to stand against the
school for the pagans and to combat their ideas. He designated
St. Justus to manage the school who later became the sixth
bishop of Alexandria.
He wrote the Holy Liturgy for St. Anianus and the priests to
use in praying.
With the tremendous success and achievement for the faith
in Egypt, the unbelievers were very angry and they decided to
kill St. Mark. The believers advised St. Mark to leave Egypt
for a while for the safety of the church. St. Mark, who
preached other cities in Egypt, agreed to leave, to return back
to the Five Western Cities. He then ordained St. Anianus to be
the Bishop of Alexandria in 62 AD. He also ordained three
priests, Milius, Sabinus, Sardenus, and seven deacons.(10)
It is noticed that Anianus was ordained a bishop while St.
Mark was still living, which indicates St. Mark's apostolic
universal authority to ordain bishops wherever he went, as he
did in the Five Western Cities.
St. Jerome, mistakenly in his book, wrote that St. Mark was
killed in 62 AD the year Anianus was ordained, assuming that

his predecessor must have died before such an event could be
St. Mark stayed for a few years among the church in the Five
Western Cities and with St. Paul preaching in Rome. Then the
two great apostles St. Paul and St. Peter were killed and St.
Mark returned to Alexandria. On his return, he found that the
church he planted, grew and became prosperous and the
number of the believers increased tremendously. and a church
was built in the eastern part of Alexandria, known as Pokalia.
St. Mark kept watching his people grow and visited and
preached other cities in Egypt. This annoyed the pagans to the
extent that they named him as, " The exterminator of the idols".
1-The history of the Church of Alexandria in Africa.
2- Refer to the numerous publications of Kamel Saleh Nakhla.
p. 106 & 107.
3- Kamel Saleh Nakhla : The history of St. Mark p. 57,58.
4- Les Saints d'Egypte I p. 501.
5- This house became St. George Church, The History of the
Patriarchs by Ibn Al Mokafaa.
6- Morawag Al Akhyar fi Taragem Al Abrar p. 233 [25 Nisan]
7- Kenz Al Ebad Al Thameen fi Akhbar Al Kediseen, Part 2 p.
552 [25 Nissan]
8- Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History, II 16, 2.

9- Chineau : Les Saints d'Egypte, I p. 502.
10- Chineau & Rene Basset: Le Synaxaire.
11- St. Jerome: Illustrious Men: 8.
12 - Pokalia meant place for the cows or place with plants for
the cows to eat. It is the present site for St. Mark Cathedral in

As the pagans watched the success of St. Mark, their hate
towards him became profound. They were shaken by his
success in preaching the name of Lord Christ. Even the Roman
government saw him as a direct threat to them so they planned
to kill him.
In 68 AD, the 14 th. year of Niron's reign, on the 29 th. of
Barmoda, while the Christians were celebrating Easter in the
church in Pokalia, the Egyptians and the Greeks were also
celebrating the national day for the idol god Sirabis.
On this day the pagans gathered to kill St. Mark. It was too
much for the pagans to see many of their own people were
converting to Christianity as well as the fact that St. Mark
himself was harsh in his criticism to the pagans. This increased
their rage. The people together with authority moved swiftly
against St. Mark. The crowd attacked the church at the time
St. Mark just completed the Eucharist. They pushed away the
congregation and arrested him and with a long strong rope they
put around his neck, they pulled him along the streets and the
roads of the city.
With extreme cruelty they kept pulling him over the rough
rocky surface of the streets that his flesh was cut into pieces

with the blood all over the roads. The Saint thanked God who
made him worthy to suffer in His name.
By the end of the day, they got tired, and they threw him in a
dark prison.
St. Mark spent that night with his terribly lacerated body, with
a high spirit, and was looking forward to meet the Lord in His
Kingdom. God didn't leave him alone.
At midnight, he saw an angel, who touched him and said, " O
Mark, the good servant, the time has arrived to receive your
award now ". " Be courageous, as your name has been written
in book of life. " This comforted him and he raised his hand
towards heaven and said, "Thank you my Savior Jesus, You
never left me alone, You accepted me with whom You blessed
with Your mercy."
As the angel left, the Savior appeared to him and gave him the
peace and said. " O Mark, my disciple and my evangelist, peace
be with you." The disciple screamed and said, "O' my Lord
Jesus." When the vision ended, he became cheerful and
comfortable, as his heart was ready to meet the Lord.
The following morning, on 30 Barmoda, the idolaters came,
to take him from the prison and again surrounded his neck with
a thick rope and repeated what they did with him the pervious
day. While he was pulled over the stones he prayed God to
forgive them.
His soul left him for its Creator, to receive the crown of

As if his killing was not enough in the eyes of the killers, so
they prepared a big fire to burn his body, but heavy stormy rain
extinguished the fire and dispersed the crowds. Some
courageous believers took the body of their father in the faith,
and put him in a coffin and headed to the church in Pokalia.
Anianus together with the clergy and the people prayed at this
moment of their grieve.
They dug a tomb under the church, in the east side and buried
the Saint. The church was named after him, as St. Mark
Church. Ironically in the year 310 AD, and at the same site, the
Patriarch of Alexandria St. Peter, the last of the martyrs, was
The Holy Church celebrates his martyrdom on 30 Barmoda,
while the Western Churches observe it on 25, April. [25 Nisan].
Chineau reported that St. Mark was 58 years old when he was
Patriarch Maximos Mazloom in his book ,"Al Kenz Al
Thameen fi Akhbar Al Kidiseen" wrote, "His tomb became to
the Christians the place of respect with reverence and esteem,
that they came from distant places to visit, as far as Galatia, as
St. Philoromis, the priest did."

That was his first miracle, after which his father accepted the
This was his first miracle in Egypt. When Anianus' finger was
punctured by the needle and was healed, he became the first to
believe in Alexandria. He later became the first bishop.
Many miracles followed which attracted the people and
became believers accepting the Kingdom of God and supporting
the Gospel.
Chineau described his miracles to be, "continuous and
Severus Ibn Al Mokafaa, in his book, "The life of Saint
Mark", wrote, "He went first to the Five Western Cities
preaching the Word of God and showed many miracles, healing
the sick, cleaning the lepers, casting out the evil spirits by the
blessing of God in him. Many believed in Lord Christ and
destroyed their idols they worshipped".
In his book, "The Book of St. Mark" Al Mashriki, recorded
the miracles done by the saint in the Five Western Cities.

Chineau, in his book, "Les Saints d' Egyple" on page 500,
wrote, "He lessened their pain and healed their sick and
benefited from that to represent Christ to them."
When the angel appeared to him for comfort and support.

When the pagans prepared the fire to burn his body, a big
storm with heavy rain extinguished the fire. That served two
purposes, dispersing the crowds and giving the believers a
chance to take his body for burial.
It was said that while he was preaching along the Adriatic sea,
his ship was pushed into shallow waters along the coast by a
strong storm. Mark, then saw an angel who told him that a big
city will be established there and named after him. Four
hundred years later, the people in this area came to these coastal
islands and built Venice.
There is a great artistic picture in the museum of Venice by a
great famous artist, Pari d' Bordeaux, expressing the protection
of St. Mark in defending Venice. There was about a story that
could be summarized as:, "Three persons asked a sailor to take
them to Lido. One of them had a reverend look and the two

others were in uniform and were armed. As the ship began to
sail into deep sea, they met a strong storm and saw many evil
spirits hanging over them. The sailors were terribly frightened.
The man who looked kind, looked towards heaven and prayed
in humbleness, while the other two armed men were standing
beside him. It wasn't long that the sea became calm and the
saints expelled the evil spirits. The ship arrived safely to
The sailors were astonished when they heard this kind looking
man saying, "I am Mark, Christ's Apostle, take this ring and
give it to the ruler of the city, to reward you for what you did
for us during the night. I came tonight with the two martyrs,
George and Theodore to save Venice from the evil. The
people of Venice had fallen to the devil without shame, and no
regret. I trust they would repent their sins."
The ruler received the ring and rewarded the sailors, who told
him about the Saint. A celebration was in order for the safety
of the city and its people.
Napoleon admired the painting and took it to Paris with him,
however it was returned to Italy in 1815 AD.
The people in the West are interested in our Saint, they
recorded his miracles in their books and expressed their
impressions in artistic paintings. We find ourselves limiting his
miracles which occured during the apostolic time only. We
hope that we declare his miracles of our time and ask that he
continues to show us his miracles by the power of The Spirit in

1- Menassa Youhanna: History of The Coptic Church.
2- Les Saints d' Egypte. I p.505.
3- History of The Patriarchs- Part I.
4- Tafseer Al Moshriki Part I p. 115.
5- Christian Symbolics and its Meanings, George Firgoson,
Arabic Translation by Dr. Yacoub Guirgis, Part II p. 224.
6- Habib Guirgis: St. Mark The Evangelist, p. 60 [ after La
Rousse ]

Both the head and the body were buried in the church at
Pokalia in his coffin till the year 644 AD, This church was
known as the Cave or the Subterranean Monastery . It was in
the eastern part of Alexandria, near the huge rocky area, where
he was killed.
During the (Chalcedonian) dispute, in 451 AD, St. Discoris
the 25 th. Pope was sent into exile. The Coptic church was
subject to severe persecution. The Melchite's persecution
extended for 190 years. [two natures] The Roman Melchites
confiscated our churches. Many of our Patriarchs never sat in
Alexandria. The Church of St. Mark in Alexandria fell to the
hands of the Roman Melchites. As mentioned the remains of
St. Mark were safe and complete till the year 644 AD.
History recorded that the head [skull] of St. Mark was stolen
or a sailor attempted to steal it during the Arab Conquest in 644
In our Synaxarium on Toba 8, this was mentioned as : "the
captain of the ship entered the church and put his hand in the
coffin of St. Mark and touched the body of St. Mark. Realizing
that it belonged to a great person, he took the head and hid it in
his boat."
Ibn Al Sabaa, a historian from the thirteenth century reported
this in a different version. He said that one of the sailors went

at night to the church of St. Mark the Evangelist, on the
Mediterranean, known as the Cave. As he entered it, he found
the coffin of St. Mark and he thought that it might contain gold.
He put his hand and picked the head and hid it in the ship.
Both references stated that when Amr Ibn Al Aas proceeded
to Alexandria, all the ships left the port except one. This was
the ship that had the Holy head. The ship failed to leave the
port despite of the sailors' effort. Ibn Al Sabaa in his version
said that Amr Ibn Al Aas gave an order to search the ship and
found the head. After the head was removed the ship was able
to sail. The sailor who stole the head was brought to Ibn Al
Aas and, confessed his crime and was beaten.
Amr Ibn Al Aas inquired about the Pope who fled earlier from
the persecution and when he knew that he was hiding in upper
Egypt, he sent him a hand written letter assuring his safety.
The Pope returned to receive the head. When Amr was told
about the saint's miracles, he gave the Pope ten thousand dinars
to build a church for the Saint.
The church was built in Alexandria, and was located at the
Missalla Street and is still present to this day. The "head"
stayed there till the 13 th. century.

This information shows us that the Head of the Saint was
returned to the Copts and that Pope Benjamin kept it, till the
church was built. At the same time his body was in the hands of
the Roman Melchites in the Pokalia church. Thus the head and
the body were in separate places at that time. Here is what
history tells us:

All the churches were in the hands of the Romans including
the church that contained the body of this great Saint.
Regardless of the order given by Amer Ibn Al Aas to enable
Pope Benjamin to get back all the churches, this order was
never executed. Thus the Pokalia church with the body in, was
not returned to the Copts.
Was it that the Romans insisted to keep the Saint's body, at
that time or were the Copts helpless? Or did they reach an
understanding with Amr? Or did they reach an agreement with
the Copts? We don't know. Abu Al Makarem reported that
the churches were divided so were the Jacobites, [The Copts
with the one nature] who took the church of "Kamha" with the
head of St. Mark in it and the Melchites [The Roman Melchites
with the two natures ] took the body and the Subterranean
Monastery. Later the Venetians stole the body. (This
monastery was the church of Pokalia where St. Mark was
martyred and pulled with a rope.) [ Fol. R. V. ]
Accordingly, the Roman Melchites had the body in Pokalia
church, that is the church which was taken by them with force
in the sixth century. Abu Al Makarem falsely said that the
Copts let the Romans have the body when the churches were
divided among the Copts and the Melchites.
The word Melchite come from the word " Malek " meaning a
"King" and here it stood for authority which was the Roman
government then.
Ibn Kabar reported that the body of St. Mark was still buried
in the eastern church on the Mediterranean till some Venetians
stole the body leaving the head, which was then with the Copts.
They took the body with them to Venice. This was confirmed

by Bishop Yusab of Fouwa, who stated, " The body was taken
by the Romans to Venice." Abu Al Makarem didn't mention
this in detail, but wrote, " The body was stolen and now it is in
Venice. They put it in a hollowed marble pillar, secured with
iron belts."
The stealing of the body happened between 828 and 829 AD,
or may be in 815. This was mentioned by Butler referring to
Bernre the wise French monk who visited Egypt in 870 AD. He
said, " Beyond the eastern door there was the Monastery of St.
Mark where the monks were living. In the church the body
was buried, and the Venetians came by sea and carried the body
to their Island."
Mr. Radamis Sani Al Lakani, treasurer of the Archeological
Society in Alexandria, wrote in the, 'Progres Egyptiene', and
was reprinted in Watani on 27 June 1965 : "During the reign of
Duke Justinian Partisipatio who was appointed and transferred
to Venice, in 823 AD, the body of St. Mark the Evangelist was
transferred to Venice. The body was in Alexandria under the
custody of two Greek priests in one of the churches there. "
There were ten Venetian ships in the port. The captain of one
of these ships contacted the two Greek priests who agreed to
give him the relics of the Saint. They carefully opened the
coffin and removed the cloth that covered the body without
disturbing the seals and took it to the ship. The Saint's relics
was carried to the church of the Dukedom with enormous
enthusiasm and they adopted his name as their national
Guirgis Philothaus Awad, wrote in detail about St. Mark, and
added more information. He wrote, " The two custodians of
the relics of St. Mark were, Astergios, a monk and Theodore a
priest. Two sea captains or merchants named Woresticos and
Triponos, from Venice tricked the priests saying that the

government was about to take the churches and they were
afraid that the holy relics of Saint Mark would be lost. They
promised to take it to a safe place till the waves of the
persecution stop. The priests agreed. When they reached
Venice, the people received the relics with extreme joy and
celebrations, and put their republic under the protection of the
lion of St. Mark, in appreciation to his work in Italy."
When the relics reached Venice in 828 AD, Duke Justinian ,
the ruler, built a splendid sanctuary for the relics. The sanctuary
was burned in 977 AD to be rebuilt by Duke Peter Orsillo.
Another church again was built, one of the most splendid
churches of the world for St. Mark and was named after him.
They began to build it in 1052 AD during the reign of Duke
Demonico Contarini and was completed to its present shape in
the eighteenth century. Top architects and engineers competed
to make it a landmark for the art in Lumbardo.
The church is on the south-eastern side of the city, on one of
its famous canals. It is distinguished by its buildings, marbles,
gold, pillars and decorations.
Its corridor has many oriental pillars and leads to five doors.
On its walls, many events, taken from the Old Testament, like
the early creation to Moses time, are painted. In the first floor,
there are golden decorations representing the history of the
transfer of St. Marl's relics. The domes and the walls are
decorated with the most beautiful paints.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, some repairs were
done in the domes which took about ten years to complete. On
the day the dome was consecrated, April 25, 1912 AD. a big

ceremony was attended by a deputy representing the King of
The Popes in Rome always showed their care for this church
and the relics. It was mentioned that Pope Leo IX visited the
place and knelt at the tomb of St. Mark the Evangelist.
It was a tradition that every newly appointed Patriarch, had
to go on the second day of his ordination, to where the head
was placed, accompanied by the bishops, priests and the people.
He would kneel and bow before the holy head, then pray and
raise incense, reading from the Book of Mark, and ending the
prayers by asking for God's mercy.
Then he would exclude himself from the clergy and puts the
skull on his lap, changes the cloth on it with a new one and
restore for it, then appears to the public who would kiss it one
after the other according to their ranks. The Pope is named the
successor of St. Mark, since St Mark was the one who
established its see.
In the book of the Ordaination of the Patriarchs, it is
mentioned that he embraces the head of the Saint as he became
his successor.
A- At The Matra Monastery And The Church Of St. Mark
Pope Benjamin, [38 th.] received ten thousands dinars from
Amr Ibn Al Aas to build a church to contain the head of St.
Mark. He began to build the church which was later known as
the "Suspended" or " Al Moalaqa" or " Al Kamha", but he

never completed it. Pope Aghatho [39] completed it according
to the Maqrizi, p.44.
Thus it appears that Pope Benjamin kept the head with him at
Matra monastery, where he was staying, as mentioned by Abu
Al Makarem. This monastery was called "Episcorpion"
meaning Bishopric .
When the church of St. Mark " Al Mualaqa" was built, they
put the head there. It was not the church of Poklia which was
taken by the Romans. Ibn Al Sabaa said, "This church was built
in Alexandria and was known as 'Al Mualaqa' in Missalla Street
in Alexandria, till this day. ( the Thirteenth Century).
B- The Head In The Monastery Of St. Macarius!
Shortly later, the Romans tried to take the head, it was
considered valuable also to the rulers as they realized that they
can take money from the Copts under the threat of taking it or
putting it for sale. In the Book Of the History of the Patriarchs,
along with mentioning the life of Pope Zacharias [64] it is
written that a Turkish Prince during time of the persecution by
the ruler, Al-Hakem Be- Amr- Ellah took it till Bakira Al
Rashidi the bearer of the cross retrieved it after paying 300
Dinars. He carried it back to Pope Zacharias, who was then in
hiding in the Abu Makar Monastery.
The head was taken later to the Monastery of St. Macasrius in
the wilderness of Sciet in about 1013 AD. It remained there
during the time of Pope Zacharius [64] who was in hiding. This
was mentioned also by Abu Al Makarem. It is probable that
the head was returned to the church of St. Mark [Mualaqa] in

C- The Head With The Eminent Copts Pillars In

From the Eleventh Century and through the Fourteenth , the
head was moved between the homes of the rich Copts. This
plan probably was designed to keep it away from the rulers who
were actively interested in taking money from the Copts or
selling the head to the Roman Melchites. These homes were
much safer, and not known. The churches were well known
During the time of Pope Christotholo (the 66 th)[1077 AD],
Mawhoob Ibn Mansur wrote, " The head of the Evangelist St.
Mark was in the house of Abu Yehya Zakaria. When he
became sick, ten Copts came to my father to tell him that Abu
Yehya was too sick that he may die, and were afraid his house
may be confiscated and were worried about the head which
was in this house at that time. He left with them to see the sick
man who was dying, and took the box containing the head to
the house of Gabriel Ben Kozman which was not far from Abu
At night they carried it to my father's house [father of
Mawhoob Ben Mansur Ben Farag Al Iskandarani] and told him
that they we afraid to put it at Ben Kozman's house, as it was
near that of Abu Yehya, and asked him to keep the head. My
father refused as he was afraid from the Sultan who earlier
punished him and had problems with him.
As Sorour Ben Matrouh took it to his house, Simon the
priest, who later became a bishop of Tanaithis, was willing to
take it and to look after it with his brother. Then they went
and took it.
The ruler ordered that my father be arrested with all who
were with him. He said he wanted the head and the 10,000

dinars, as ordered by the Sultan. He told them that Ibn Bashir
wrote to the Sultan that the Romans were ready to pay him
10,000 Dinars . My father denied that he saw or took the head.
My father regretted and blamed himself as he didn't take it and
was put in prison for 37 days."
His father was then released from prison after he had seen a
vision of St. Mark telling him that he would be released from
the prison after three days, and he was, after paying 600 Dinars
to the ruler. He arrived to Alexandria and took the head with
him to his house.
According to the different sources, the head was taken to five
or six different houses during this period.
Bishop Yusab of Fouwa wrote in his book, "The head of St.
Mark was taken from a family that became afraid to keep it, so
they put it in between two walls and built around it. By the end
of the war, they put it back to its previous place and they lit
candles around it as they used to do. Many miracles happened
through the blessing of the head."
During the time of Pope Mark III [73], in between 1166-1189
AD, it was mentioned, "After the ordination of Pope Mark Ben
Zaraa he entered the city to the house where the head was,
spent the night there and in the morning, he opened the box
with the key and put the head on his lap, praying and praising."
During the thirteenth and the fourteenth Centuries, the head
was in the house of Al Sukari, according to the History of the
During the life of Pope Cyril, Ben Laklak, III [75] (1235 -
1243 AD ) He rode to the house of Ibn Al Sukari where the
head was, and put it on his lap and covered it with a new cloth
as was the custom.

This coincided with what Ibn Kabar wrote in 1334 AD that
the head was moved to a house in Alexandria, that belonged to
Al Sukari's sons.
D- Between The Houses And The Church "Mualaqa"
It was proven that the head was moved from one house to
another. This was different from what Ibn Al Sabaa's recorded
that it was in the Mualaqa Church (St. Mark Church] till his
time, in the Thirteenth Century.
Probably the head was in the church except during the
periods of persecution when they were afraid that something
may happen to it, so it was transferred to a house. When it was
peaceful it would be returned to the church where it belonged.
It is probable that at a later date, a special tomb for the head
was built in the eighteenth century. In reference to St. Yuanis
XVI [103] that he went to Alexandria and stayed in St. Mark
Church and visited his tomb.
The last of what was reported about the head was in
reference to the life of Pope Peter VI [104]. It was stated that
he went to Alexandria, kissed the head of St. Mark the
Evangelist. When he was about to leave Alexandria, he heard
that some people from Alexandria, or possibly from Venice
were planning to take the head, so he hid it in the monastery,
may be in the church in eastern Alexandria which was called
then as the monastery.
After Pope Peter [104], at the beginning of the Eighteenth
Century, 250 years ago, the custom of holding the head by the

patriarchs after their ordaination and changing the cloth had
stopped. Since then we heard nothing about the head.
Kamel Saleh Nakhla, a deacon, in his book " St. Mark" on
page 122, wrote, "I learned from the elderly Coptic Orthodox in
Alexandria, according to what they were told by their ancestors,
that the holy head was put among other skulls particularly of the
saints, in a marble space, located in the north eastern part of the
Church of St. Mark and known today as " Al Maksura". This
served the purpose that nobody would be able to recognize it
and would be immune from being stolen. That was during Pope
Peter VI [104] era.
1- Severus Ben Al Mokafaa, History of The Patriarchs From
Pope 25 - Pope 38.
2-Patrologia Orientalis: La Synaxaire Arab - Jacobite.
3- Abu Al Sebaa: Al Gawhara Al Nifeesa Fi Olum Al Kanisa :
p. 140 - 141, Chapter 87.
4- Synaixre, the thief confessed before the search.
5- Pope Benjamin [ 38 ] was hiding from the Melchites and
stayed 13 years away from his seat before the Arab conquest.
6- Ibid.
7- Other publications, St. Mark, was known also as Al Moalaka
and Archangel Michael.
8- Ibn Kabar: Mosbah Al Zolma: fourth book.
9- History of the Patriarchs: Pope Cyril's III Life [75].
10-Guirgis Philothaus Awad: Article about St. Mark, Al Yalaza
11-Butler, Arab Conquest into Egypt, Trans. by Farid Abu
Hadid, p.322.

12- From other transated books.
13- As # 10.
14- Attia Bey Wahba: Al Ather Al Zahabi, 1915, p:189-192.
15- As # 3.
16- After Bishop Mikhail, of Tanases , 1051 AD. He himself
had the head in his house for a while.
17- History by Abu Shaker Ben Al Raheb.

There is hardly any prayer in the church that doesn't mention
his name , glorifying him or requesting his intercession and
asking for blessing.
His name is mentioned in the blessing prayer at the end of our
meetings. It is said after the Matin Raising of Incense, at the
end of the Eucharist, after Partaking and at the end of every
prayer or gathering. We begin, by asking our Lady The Mother
of God The pure Mary, then we ask for the blessing of St.
Mark, saying " The beholder of God, the Evangelist, St. Mark,
the Saint and Apostle" In this phrase, the five titles of St. Mark
are mentioned.
The priest asks for forgiveness for the priests, the ministers,
the deacons, clergy and all the people " From The Holy
Trinity, the church, the twelve Apostles and from the Beholder
of God St. Mark the Apostle, the Saint and Martyr." The same
titles which are mentioned in the blessing of the "Grace prayer".
Thus we ask for his blessing and absolution.

a- For his intercession, we say, " Through the prayers of
Beholder of God, the Evangelist, God forgive us our sins."
b- In the [Praxis], we say, " Peace be with you O martyr, peace
for the Evangelist, peace for the apostle and peace for the
Beholder of God."
c- In the prayers for commemoration of Saints, we say, " The
beholder of God,the Evangelist, Mark the apostle, the
saint and the martyr."
d- In the songs the deacon adds to these titles another one, "The
head of thebishops" saying : " St. Mark , the evangelist,
head of the bishops and martyr "
4-IN THE AGPIAH BOOK: (Book of Prayers)
At the end of the prayers of midnight Absolution of the Priests,
it is mentioned, "By the intercession of the intercessor, the
source of purity, blessing and giving, our Lady the Virgin, the
pride of our race St. Mary, and the compassionate martyr St.
Mark the evangelist the apostle and the preacher of Egypt and
all the angels, the fathers, the prophets, the saints, the
anchorites ,the worshipers and the struggling monks.."
a- In the praise for midnight : "Ask God O the beholder of God
the evangelist Mark for forgiveness of our sins." Also
b- At the Vesper & Matin Raising of the Incense, it is said after
the prayer of thanksgiving : "Through the prayers of the
beholder of God the evangelist Mark the apostle, forgive us
God our sins." Also it is said, " Peace for you O martyr, peace

on you O evangelist, Peace O apostle Mark the beholder of
c- In another song said after the Litanies in raising the incense at
evening or that for the sick and for the traveler in Matin raising
of the incense, "Peace for our father Mark the evangelist who
demolished the idols " this is usually said after the matin's Psalm
is read, and this is another title for him, " The great preacher, in
Egypt, Mark the apostle, that denotes efforts to get rid of idol
a- Two songs in 'Doxology' for his feast if it falls on a Sunday,
Monday or Tuesday, in Adaam's tune is said. On the other days
of the week the Watus song is performed. In these versions,
Mark is called the, "disciple of Christ, Mark the apostle. The
Lord our God chose you to be the preacher of His Gospel." In
Adam's he is described as the priest and preacher.
b- in the book of Doxologies, there is a song for St. Mark, " O
St. Mark the evangelist , the disciple of Christ and the Patriarch
of Alexandria." Referring to him as a Patriarch of Alexandria is
an added title, and of course it wasn't known in the apostolic
era, as there was no higher rank over a bishop other than an
Another description was " The shinning torch"
The church celebrates his feast on 30 Barmoda. The readings
on that day are focused on preaching, choosing the apostles and
their work.

Referring to the preaching among the great congregation with
success and firmness
" O come, let us make a joyful noise on the rock of our
The Gospel: all chosen from the Book of Mark, how the
apostles were chosen, and what advice given to them, their
authority and their rewards.
When Jesus Christ called the twelve disciples and sent them
to preach [ Mark 6 : 7 - 13]
" Verily I say unto you, there is no man that had left house,
or brethren, or sisters or father or mother, or wife or children,
or lands, for my sake, and gospel. But he shall receive an
hunderedfold now in this time, houses and brethren and sisters
and mothers and children and lands with persecutions; and in
the world to come eternal life." [ Mark 10 : 17 - 30]
" The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of
God...... Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
[ Mark 1 : 1 - 11]
From The Pauline Epistle St. Paul tells Timothy, "Take Mark
and bring him with you, he is profitable to me for the ministry."
[II Timothy 4 :10 -18]
From The Catholicon , " The church that is in Babylon,
elected together with you, salutes you and does Marcus my
son." [ I Peter 5 : 1 - 14]
From The Praxis : " And some days after Paul said unto
Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus." , " And so were

the churches established in the faith, and increased in number
daily." [Acts 15 : 36 , 16 : 5]

The priest, standing in front of the icon of St. Mark, reads the
part referring to the choosing the seventy disciples, sending
them for the ministry and the punishment for those who reject
them. This confirms that St. Mark was one of the seventy.
The church celebrates the occasion of his martyrdom on 30
Barmoda; and on 30 Baba for the finding [appearance of] his
holy head, beside some other events during the year
a- It is stated in the nomination of the Patriarch election, "Anba
... the Saint, the Patriarch, who is worthy of the seat of St.
Mark the evangelist, with the good knowledge that was
expanded over the universe for comfort and the saving of the
souls." This shows that his work was universal and wasn't
limited to our church.
It continues to mention, ' which was preached , implanted and
strengthened in the apostolic universe, by our pure father Mark
the evangelist, for the coming of its true groom, The only-
Begotten Son Jesus Christ The Perfect Savior Who fulfills

b- On seating the Patriarch, " We seat Anba... the chief bishop
to the holy apostolic seat of our father the blessed Saint Mark
the beholder of God, in the name of the Father, the Son and the
Holy Spirit, Amen."
After the Patriarch is seated, with the Book of St. Mark on his
chest, (The bishops kiss him in the mouth, the priests on his
chest and all the deacons kiss his hand.)
The patriarch kisses the Gospel of Mark embraces the
apostolic head of the beholder of God, as he becomes his
successor and is ready to follow his foot steps.
A song saying, " in succession of Mark the honorable apostle
the speaker of the Divinity", another tittle known for him, would
be chanted.
c- The intercession of the Saint is asked for, at the end of the
ceremony, " By the intercession of our Lady The Mother of
God the ever-Virgin, Saint Mary and by our father the Saint the
pure apostle Mark the evangelist."
In our church's ceremonial customs, we find the following :
1- The name of St. Mark is in every prayer, song and church
readings etc.
2- We ask in our prayers, his blessing, absolution and
3- The church gives him the many titles : Saint, martyr,
beholder of God, the evangelist, the speaker of divinity, the

apostle, the disciple of Christ, one of the seventy and the pure
apostolic seat.
4- As for his preaching, the church mentions his universal work
for the great multitudes, where he called the name of God
among the gentiles. He preached daily for the salvation and
comfort of every soul.

5- The church cares for his gospel.

Come o believers, the Orthodox folks
To honor our father St. Mark
In the cities in Egypt, and also in the villages
People glorify their intercessor , our father St. Mark
One thousand and nine hundreds years were completed this year
Since the martyrdom of our father St. Mark
Worthy are you o Apostle
The great martyr our Father St. Mark
For your confession and declaration
You accepted the martyrdom, O father St. Mark
Truly you declared freedom and salvation
In Jesus Christ, O our father St. Mark
The Egyptians and other gentiles
Became believers by, our father St. Mark
The lord Christ chose you a disciple
And Evangelist too, our father St. Mark
Your Gospel forever
Lightens the way, our father St. Mark
You established for us our church
In Alexandria, our father St. Mark
Also the other holy Church
In Libya, our father St. Mark
Didn't your church reach Ethiopia
And the rest of Africa, our father St. Mark

You are the universal Apostle
You preached the Romans O St. Mark
Truly blessed o my Lord Christ
As you chose our father St. Mark
You gathered with your apostles
In the house of our father St. Mark
Save the church to the end
By the intercession of our father St. Mark
Truly we received your blessing
In our Church, O father St. Mark
Your Church is in Alexandria
It is the beacon, our father St. Mark
With the virtues and theology
Was the theological school our Faather St. Mark
The ideal man the lover of Christ
That is the apostle our father St. Mark
Peace for the Virgin, peace for the Apostle
Peace for the martyr our father St. Mark
The souls of the believers in the highest
Blessing you our father St. Mark
Same as the believers in the world
Celebrate for you our father St. Mark
This is the humble, deacon Peter
Chants for you our father St. Mark.

St. Mark put the Holy Liturgy , he used it in his prayers and
gave it to St. Anianus to use it for praying together with the
three priests who were ordained with him
At first It was in Greek then was translated into Coptic. It is
one of the oldest Liturgies made by the church. The other three
liturgies used were taken from it. It is very rich of its contents.
The holy Liturgy was learned by heart till 330 AD when Pope
Athanasius the apostolic [20] put it in writing and gave it to
Afromentius the first bishop of Ethiopia.
Pope Cyril the great added many additions and wrote it in its
present form, and since then, it was known after him.
The Oxford Dictionary reported that in 1928 AD a papyrus
paper was discovered among a collection in Strasbourg
belonging to the fourth and fifth centuries, on which this Coptic
Liturgy by St. Mark or St. Cyril was recorded. There was also
another copy of it in Ethiopian language. The library of the
Vatican has three copies.of:
The God Rossanensis [ Vat. gr. 1970 sacc XIII]
The Rotulus Vaticanus [ Vat. gr. 2281, Sacc XIII]
The Rotulus Messanensis [ Cod Mes. gr. 177. sacc XIII ]

St. Mark had a marked expressiveness on architecture,
sculpture and painting. There are numerous churches, schools
and institutions that carry his name. Statues were built, and
many paintings showed him in person or about his miracles.
His paintings in Egypt: (1)
The oldest paintings belong to the Tenth and the Thirteenth
Centuries. There are three paintings from each century
Of the Tenth Century :
Two are found in the church at Al Syrian Monastery in the .
Natrun Valley.
One of them is located on the Iconostasis of the Sanctuary,
known as the door of prophecy which dates back to the year
913 AD. It is the fifth painting, to the left on the veil.
The second painting stands between the [ first and second
choires ] and dates back to 929 AD.
The third one that goes back to the Tenth Century, is located
at the Mualaqa Church in old Cairo, on its southern wall. It has
a touch of the Byzantine and Greek arts.
Of the Thirteenth Century :
One of them dates back to 1220 AD and is placed in the
library of the Al Syrian Monastery in Wadi Al Natrun under #
21 . It is a manuscript of the four Gospels that has on one of its
pages, the pictures of the four evangelists.

The second one, is in the church of St. Anthony at St.
Anthony Monastery in the Eastern Desert. It probably goes
back to 1233 AD and was discovered by the American
Byzantine Institute Expedition in 1931 AD.
The third one is under # 5/196 'holy' in the Patriarchal Library
on the cover of the four Gospels and goes back to 1291 AD.
There are many other paintings, of more recent dates, as in
the church of St. Mina in Fom Al Khaleeg, the church of the
Virgin in Haret Zewela, the church of the Virgin in the Haret Al
Rum, the Botrossia church in Abbassia, the Cathedral of St.
Mark in Alexandria and the Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo.
St. Mark ICONS in The Churches and Museums in

Monte Pellier Museum in France: (2) Has some of the most
traditional paintings representing St. Mark sitting, writing his
book, looking towards heaven or to the book with a pen in his
Florence, Italy: There is a painting that goes back to the year
1507 AD by Fra Bartolomeo in the Monastery of St. Mark for
the Dominican Monks.
Louvre Museum in Paris: There is a painting with the lion
appearing with him. It is by Peniez a famous painter who was
one of Durer students. There is also another painting for him
with the lion, in Venice by Bonifazeo.(3)
In general the artists painted him as a young looking person
when they showed him writing the Gospel, and looking older,
when he was writing something else.

The Saint was also painted with others saints, as a symbol to
his blessing to them, as in a portrait by Giovanni Martini in
1501 AD with St. Hermagoras. (4)
Another painting that goes back to 1511 AD is found in the
church of Saint Mary Lady of Peace in Venice, by Titan,
representing St. Mark on a throne , shown at his feet, some
famous saints like St. Quzman and others, who were known of
their power in healing the sick. This is a confirmation from the
West of his power of healing , that was given to him by the
Holy Spirit during his preaching. (5)
In Munich, the artist Durer in 1526 AD, painted the four
apostles, Paul and Mark together and Peter and John together,
indicating that the ministry of St. Mark was with St. Paul rather
than with St. Peter. (6)
Unique paintings :
In Venice there is a painting representing the martyrdom of
St. Mark, his torture, while receiving death with a peaceful
spirit . It also showed how his body was brought to Venice.
In Dar El Kutub in Cairo, there is a painting showing St. Mark
baptizing Anianus, his successor.
Another beautiful painting by Pari de Bordeaux, represented a
story about a war fought by the Saint against the evils in
Venice. This wasn't an imagination, but true events recorded by
the people of Venice, among the numerous miracles of the saint.
One is by Nantorol from The Institute of Arts in Venice and
was painted in 1648 AD. It stayed in Venice till the year 1799
AD, then was transferred to Paris by Napoleon. It showed a
slave at the time of his execution, with his hands cut in front of
a big crowd of people. In the painting it showed St. Mark

descending from heaven and replacing the miserable slave's
hands, who was also fleeing from his enemies with joy.
1-Coptic Museum Guide 1932, Part 2 p. 81.
2- Habib Guirgis: St. Mark History, p. 57 - 60.
3- Abid.
4- Iconographie di l'art Chretien, III, p. 871.
5- Ibid.
6- Ibid.

We don't mean the literal meaning of the word ' seat ', as St.
Mark didn't have one. He kept going, preaching from one place
to another, seeking the believers, till his sandals were torn from
What it means is the apostolic succession to the Saint, in
completing his work, preaching and spreading the Kingdom of
God on earth.

A- Alexandria Seat And The Universal Councils:
The Seat of St. Mark was known as the Seat of Alexandria,
which attained a great fame in the early centuries.
It was abreast in the holy councils, whether by presiding them
or conducting theological and church studies.
Nicea Council or the Ecumenical Council meeting in 325 AD
was under the supervision of the Seat of St. Mark. The most
important personality in it was Athnassius the Deacon of Pope
Alexandros of Alexandria. He was the most distinguished
personality among the 318 saintly bishops who attended this
The Holy Council of Nicea established the Creed, for all the
Christian world that was put undoubtedly, by Athanasius of
Alexandria himself.

St. Athanasius became the Pope of Alexandria in about 328
AD. He attacked the Arius doctrine and forcefully defended the
faith. He resisted all the opposing thoughts, standing alone, and
wasn't defeated. Once he was told that the world was against
him and he replied that he was also against the world. Thus he
was called the " Contra Modum".
Without Athanasius' effort, with God's help, the faith might
have been lost. That is why he was called 'Athanasius The
Apostolic' a title that was never given to other popes in
the world.
Pope Thimothos of Alexandria similarly excelled in The
Ecumenical Holy Council in Constantinople, in 381 AD. When
this great saint arrived to the council, he was asked about all
aspects of religion and his reply was taken as the legal edict
within the church laws all over the world. This was published in
the " Nicene & Post -Nicene Fathers, Vol. 14." (1)
The Ephesus Holy Council in 431 AD, it was chaired by Pope
Cyril of Alexandria, and was successful to defeat the teachings
of the Nastorians. He was the most effective personality of his
During his time, the Theological School of Alexandria was the
beacon of learning.
B- Its Fame In Monasticism:
Monasticism which was established by the great St. Anthony
who was born in upper Egypt in the middle of the Third
Century. was extended from Egypt to the rest of the world.
St. Pachumius established 'the sharing life' in monasteries which
was soon adopted all over the world. St. Basilius and the
Bendictism followed the same style.

People, from the West as well from the East came to Egypt to
visit the monks to receive their blessing and to write about their
Peladius wrote about them in his famous book, "Historia
Lausiaca" Others like John Kasian, in his books, "Institutes"
& "Conferences", Rouvinos in the " History of the Monks ",
Jerome, St. Paul the First Anchorite and St. John of Assuit;
etc. The holiness of the Egyptian monks and their fame,
attributed to St. Mark's preaching, were acknowledged by Philo
in his book, about the School of Alexandria.

One hundred and sixteen patriarchs sat on that seat before the
our present Pope. St. Mark was considered their first. The first
to succeed him was St. Anainus, about whom the Catholic
Patriarch Maximus Mazloom wrote, " St. Anainus the reverend
man whose heart was as God's Heart, knew all His desires and
fulfilled them." (2)
At the beginning, the word ' Pope ' was not known and the
successor of St. Mark was called the ' Bishop of Alexandria '.
(3) There were no other bishops, but in the Second Century,
Pope Dimitrius [12] ordained other bishops with him. (4) It
may be Pope Omanius [7] who ordained bishops and sent them
to other cities in Egypt, Nuba, Libya and the Five Western
Cities.(5) Thus the successor of St. Mark was given the title of
Archbishop, Patriarch and Pope.
Later the number of the bishops increased in the church and in
the Fourth Century, by the time of "Arius" when Pope
Alexandrus of Alexandria [19] called for a regional council it
was attended then by 100 bishops from Egypt and Libya. (6)

During Pope Simon I time, who died in 700 AD a council
was called to discuss ' marriage ' and was attended by 64
bishops. (7)
At the end of the Eleventh Century a council was called to
judge Pope Cyril II [67] and was attended by 47. Five bishops
didn't attend because of their old age or because of the distance,
among them were Anba Fam and Anba Kozman of the Oasis.
Those who attended were 52 and among these, 22 were from
lower Egypt. At the time this book was written, in 1968 , we
had only five metropolitans and bishops in lower Egypt.
The Dioceses of the seat of St. Mark needs to be studied and
further research is encouraged. History (8)mentioned that
Pope Mark VII ordained one Metropolitan for all upper Egypt,
named Anba Peter.
The Decency in The Coptic Church:
The seat was occupied by others than from the Coptic
Some Syrians were ordained patriarchs to the church: (9)
Pope Simon I [42] who died in 700 AD, was a Syrian who
came to Egypt to become a monk in Al Zogag Monastery. He
was a saintly man that many miracles were performed through
Pope Abram Ben Zaraa [63] who died in 978 AD, was also a
Syrian who worked at the beginning in trade. During his time
the famous miracle of moving Mokattam mountain , occurred.
Pope Mark III who died in 1189 AD was also a Syrian
Pope Yoannis X [85] who died in 1369 came from Damascus,
"Al Sham" and was called [The trusted from Al Sham.]

Pope Cyril V stayed the longest as a patriarch, 52 years, 9
months and 6 days. Pope Athanasius the apostolic [20] stayed
for 45 years, followed by Pope Gabriel VII [95], who stayed 43
years. Four other Popes stayed more than forty years. These
were : Pope Dimitrius Al Karam [ 12] Pope Yoannis XIII [94],
Pope Yoannis XVI [103] and Pope Peter Al Gawly the
Six patriarchs stayed for 30 - 40 years these were : Pope
Cyril the great [ 24], Pope Theodore [33], Pope Damianus [35]
Pope Benjamin [38 ], Pope Christotholus [ 66], and Pope
Matthew I [ 87]
Those who stayed for a short period were : Pope Arshilaos
[18] who stayed 6 months, Pope Simon II for 5 months, or
possible seven and half months. Pope Mikhail [71] occupied
the seat for eight months.
At the beginning the seat was to be occupied as soon as it
became vacant. Pope Theophans departed on 6 December 956
AD. Pope Mina II succeeded him on 7 December 956 AD.
Pope Cyril the great followed Pope Theophilos after two days.
Pope Khael III followed Pope Shenouda I after six days. Pope
Kisma III followed Pope Gabriel I, 14 days after his departure.
Occasionally, the seat became vacant for several months.
Sometimes it extended to years. The first time that happened
was after Pope Simon I. The seat was empty for three years
and nine months. The longest time this seat was vacant in the
history of the church was after the departure of Pope Yoannis

VI [74] and it was for 19 years, five months and ten days.
There were disputes and political reasons.
The Location Of The Seat:
1- Its first location was the house of Anianus then at St.
Mark Church in Pokalia where St. Mark was buried. It became
known as the Seat of Alexandria. Alexandria remained to be
the site of the patriarchs during the early centuries.
During the periods of persecution, the Popes used to flee and
hide, particularly at the time of " Chalcedon ", when the
Melchite patriarchs took all the churches of Alexandria. Their
hiding place was usually in a monastery by the name of Al Sagas
near Alexandria.
2- With the Arab conquest in 644 AD, Pope Benjamin was
called from hiding by Amr Ibn Al Aas, when his safety was
assured. The church in Pokalia was still in the hands of the
Romans. The Pope took St. Mark Church, known also as Al
Kamha or Al Muallaqa as a place for the seat in Alexandria.
Other favorite places for refuge were in Demira, Mehallet
Daniel and the monasteries in the Sciet in the Natrun Valley.
3- Pope Christozolo [66] in the Eleventh Century was the first
to relocate St. Mark's Seat to Cairo, to the Muallaqa Church in
old Cairo.
4- The seat was again transferred to Abu Sefyn Church
(St.Mercurius) in old Egypt by Pope Gabriel [70] and kept
returning back and forth between the two churches till the
beginning of the Fourteenth Century.

5- Then to The Church of the Virgin in Haret Zewela by Pope
Yoannis VIII who departed in 1320 AD. It remained there till
the Seventeenth Century.
6- Again transferred to The Church at Haret Al Rum during
Pope Matthew IV [102] (1660 - 1670) till the early
Nineteenth Century.
7- In 1809 AD, Pope Mark VIII built St. Mark Church in
Azbakia and the seat was transferred there. When the new
Cathedral of St. .Mark was completed in Anba Ruweis
Monastery in Abbassiah, it became Pope Shenouda III's

A: Before The Seat Was tied to monasticism:
St. Anianus was the first to succeed St. Mark. He was
followed by the three priests ordained. by St. Mark. St. Yustus
who was appointed to head the Theological School, was
elevated to this seat, among the many who taught in that school,
became patriarchs.
Graduates of this school also became bishops, and priests. At
that time, monasticism was not yet known, nor flourished.
When monasticism was established, it was essentially to live a
life totally full of prayers, away from the world, in solitude and
silence. Occasionally, some of the monks accepted to be priests
to serve the Eucharist Liturgy in the monasteries and the
When it began, monasticism was far away from having any
authority over priesthood. It was only in the Fourth Century,

after it had flourished, that many great men like Anba Anthony,
Anba Pachonius, Anba Macarius and Anba Shenouda who
established monasticism that things changed. None of the
patriarchs was a monk in this early period. St. Athanasius who
was chosen to be a patriarch, was a deacon and a disciple of
Anba Anthony.
B- When did the monks become patriarchs ?:
The first monk to become a patriarch was Pope Cyril [24], in
412 AD. He followed his uncle Pope Theophilus [23], who
used to visit the monasteries and benefited from the monks'
services. His uncle sent him earlier to the Sciet desert, to call
him later to assist him. After his uncle passed away he replaced
him. He was a monk from Anba Makar Monastery.
Between the time of Pope Cyril [24 ] and Pope Benjamin [38]
there were 14 patriarchs, only five of them were monks. They
were from the monasteries of Anba Makar, Al Zogag, Tabor
and Kabrius.
Pope Yoannis III [ 40 ] was from Abu Makar Monastery,
selected in 680 AD, after whom it became customary to choose
the patriarchs from the monks, to the extent that otherwise was
considered odd..
C- The relation of the monasteries with St. Mark seat:
The first and largest monastery was the Monastery of Abu
Makar, out of which many monks were elevated to the seat of
St. Mark, that it was called, "The father of the patriarchs and
bishops". Traditionally at that time the first visit of the new
patriarch was to go to this monastery in Sciet. Out of this
monastery 28 were elevated to the seat of St. Mark. The first

patriarch from this monastery was Pope Cyril the great [24], or
possibly Pope Yoannis I [ 29 ]. The following patriarchs : 40,
41, 44, 46, 47, 49, 50, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 61, 63, 65, 66,
67, 68, 76, 83, 98, 100, 111 were from this monastery. Their
last was Pope Dimitrius II, who died in 1870 AD.
Al Zogag Monastery: is second to Abu Makar Monastery.
Four were selected there from : the 30, 34, 42, 43 rd. Their last
was Pope Alexandrius II who died in 729 AD.
Al Baramus Monastery: From it there were six patriarchs.
Their first was Pope Christotholus in 1046 AD [66] then the
popes : 96, 102, 112, 113 and Pope Cyril VI [116]
Al Muharaq Monastery: Four were selected from it, their
first was Pope Gabriel IV [86], then the popes 87, 90, 93. and
their last was Pope Yuannis X II who died in 1480 AD.
Anba Anthony Monastery: Is the second largest contributor
for the patriarchs. Twelve patriarchs were chosen from this
monastery. Pope Gabriel VI [91] was the first , then the : 99,
101, 103, 110 popesand their last was Pope Yusab II [ 115]
who died in 1956.
Al Syrian Monastery: from it were Pope Gabriel VII [ 95 ]
(from 1525 - 1568) and Pope Shenouda III [ 117] on 14
November 1971, the present pope.
Anba Bishoy Monastery : Had two,: Pope Gabriel VIII [97] in
1587 and Pope Macarius III [114] who departed in 1945 AD.

Other monasteries not presently existing : Eight patriarchs
came from them, like the Monastery of Tamora in Marietta, the
Monastery of Abu Yehnes, the Monastery of Pofanah
(Epiphanius), the Monastery of Shahran, the Monastery of
Mount Tora and the Monastery of Al Qalamon.
There were eight patriarchs whose monasteries were not
D- Laymen who became Patriarchs:
There was a time when the church, selected laymen. It was a
deviation from the established tradition of selecting the
patriarchs from monks. Among these were Pope Gabriel Ben
Treek [70] in 1131, Pope Abram Ben Zaraa [73] in 1166 AD
and Pope Yoannis VI [74] in 1189 AD.
E-.Popes from among the priests:
Some of the patriarchs were priests as, Pope Zakharius [ 64]
in 1004 AD, who was one of the priests at the Church of the
Angel in Alexandria. The other was Pope Yuannis XI [89] in
1427 AD. He was a priest at Abu Sefyn Church in old Cairo.
1-Nicene & Post Nicene Fathers. Vol. 14.
2-Kinz al Abad Al Thameen Part II p. 553.
3- And so Bishop of Rome. [ Law of Council of Nicea 325 AD].
4- Concise History of The Coptic Nation.
5- Anba Isithirus .
6- Ibid.
7- Ibid.
8- Series of History of Patriarchs, 5th Part p. 34

At the time St. Mark came to Egypt, Alexandria was already
an important center for education in pagan worshipping.
Through its library and school, many philosophers and scientists
were well known. It was proper for the new church to have a
theological school to support the faith in the hearts of its
believers. A school had to stand up against the idolatry. St.
Mark, who himself was fluent in Hebrew, Latin and Greek,
noticed the danger of the idolatry on the faith. He established a
Christian Theological school and appointed Yustus, a scholar,
to manage it.
The new school was based on the "Catechism method", where
education was received through questions and answers. Beside
spiritual and religious subjects, medicine, engineering and music
were taught.
The pagan philosophers studied the Holy Bible, not to believe,
but to be able to criticize and to fight it. It was also the
responsibility of this school to be able to argue their claims and
to respond to them.
Amonius Al Sakat the top of the idyllic philosophers used to
listen to the lectures and enjoyed it.


Justus was the first to manage the school and later became the
sixth patriarch. Others who attended this school and were
distinguished to have high caliber, were also selected to the
seat. St. Mark. At that time monasticism was not yet known.
St. Eumenius succeeded Justus at the school and later was
elevated to the seat to become the seventh patriarch. The same
happened with Mark, who first followed Eumenius at the school
then to be the eighth patriarch.
Pope Julian [ 11 ] was a student of the theological school.
During the Papacy of Pope Dimetrios [12] Yaroclaus was
appointed as a director of the theological school after Origen
and became the 13 th Pope. During his Papacy Dionesius was
teaching at the school, then became the 14 th Pope. Both
Yaroclaus and Dionesius were students of Origen. Also Pope
Peter [17] the seal of martyrs, Pope Archilaus [18] and Pope
Timothy [22] were graduates of the school.
Many graduated from the school and became bishops outside
the seat of St Mark. One of them for example was St. Gregory,
known as the wonder-maker. He was the one who taught
Origen and led him to accept the faith. He wrote extensively
about the school and the benefits he acquired studying there.
Others received the benefit of its education through the books
written by its eminent teachers. Among those was St. Basil the
great , Gregory, the Theologian, John Chrysostom, [ who read
Origen's books, defended him ]. St. John Chrysostom was tried
and suffered in defending Origen.


Athenaghoras was one of the most eminent among them, who
defended Christianity and its apologists.
St. Pentinus preached in India, and in the Arab Peninsula. He
was known of his excellent command in the Coptic language.
St. Clement of Alexandria accepted the faith at his hands and
became one of the famous scholars in Christianity. He wrote
many books, including the well known " Stromata ".
St. Origen became a famous writer through the ages. He
authored many books, studied the Holy Bible for 28 years and
made a comparison between the different translations. He
wrote the "Hexabla" and explained most of the books of the
Bible. Among his famous books were, " Principles ",
"Answering Calsus " and " The Prayers."
Pope Damian [14] became an authority on theology.
Pope Athanasius who attended the school, was considered to
be the father to the scholars. He was credited to be the one
who wrote the Christian Creed. He defended the nature of the
Son in the council of Nicea and throughout his life. He wrote
many books in reply to Arius, the "Incarnation of the Word",
"A message to the idolatry", "Messages about the Holy Spirit"
and the "Life of Anthony". The last four books were translated
to Arabic by Reverend Fr. Morcus Dawoud.
During the era of St. Athanasius, the head of the school was a
great blind scholar named St. Didimus. His fame attracted St.
Jerome to study under him. He translated his book, "The Holy
Spirit" to Latin. St. Anthony the great praised him, saying,
"Don't mourn that you lost your sight, the animals and the
insects have eyes, but rejoice because you have the spiritual
eyes that can see the light of Divinity." He was very effective

in convincing the others, and was decent in his arguments that
many of the pagan philosophers came to study under him. He
left for us many books on Divinity, dogmas and interpretation.
Theugust Piraeus [ known also as the new Origen ] , Serapes,
Makar, Rodon were some of the eminent names among the
school philosophers.
The greatness of the school was in its teachers and not in its
buildings. It didn't have a fixed place at the beginning. The
students followed the teachers where ever they were. Origen
used to rent a place to preach during the time of the
persecution. The places were destroyed from time to time and
they had to seek alternative places.
As there was prosperity and growth in the church, the school
was equally successful. The school unfortunately was neglected
gradually with the pressure on the church. Ultimately it was
closed and that was a catastrophe to the church.
Pope Cyril V , feeling the importance of such school,
established a new school on November, 29 1893.
The new Theological School provided the church in our
recent times with hundreds of priests and preachers. The Holy
Synod, after appreciating its benefits, limited the ordination of
the priests to its graduates only.
Mr. Youssef Mancarius became the first director of the
school, followed by the Archdeacon Habib Guirgis and after
him the Hegomen Attia Ibrahim Attia.

It is agreed among scholars that the Book of Mark was the
first of the Gospels, however they differed about the time it was
written. Ibn Akbar estimated it to have been written in 45 AD.
St. Irenaeus stated that it was written after the martyrdom of
both St. Peter and St. Paul, that is after 67 AD.
St. John Chrysostom said that it was written in Egypt, that is
about 61 AD. It was written in Greek, which was a spoken
language in both Egypt and Rome at that time and later it was
translated to Latin and Coptic.
He wrote it in detail regarding the names, the time, the place
the numbers, the colors, with such an inspiration, proving that
he was present in all its events.
Examples: In the names, he referred to Matthew to be a Levi,
the son of Alphae, [Mark 2 : 14]. For the blind Bartimae, he
said, he was the son of Timae [Mark 10 - 46]. About Simon,
he described him as a Cyrenian and the father of Alexander and
Rufus [Mark 15 : 21 ] and so. on.
As for the places, these are some examples: "And again,
departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the
sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis."
[Mark 7 : 31] and his saying "He entered into a ship and sat in
the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea." [Mark 4 :1]

He wrote about the miracle of the five loaves in a marked
detail, "And he commanded them to make all sit down by
companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks,
by hundreds, and by fifties." [Mark 6 : 39, 40] Other examples
in describing Christ when he slept in the ship on a pillow, or
when He was transfigured before Peter, James and John saying,
"And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so
as no fuller on earth can white them." [Mark 9 : 3]
The same is true when he described healing the sick, [Mark 8
: 7 ; 7 :28 ; 1 :13]
He described the feelings and expressions and here we have
some examples like : Jesus moved with compassion, [Mark 1 :
41] ; and straily charged him, [Mark 1 : 43] ; when Jesus
perceived in his spirit, [Mark 2 : 8] ; looked round about on
them in anger being grieved, [Mark 3 : 5] ; that virtue had gone
out of Him, [Mark 5 : 30] ; He sighed,[Mark 7 : 34], have
compassion on the multitude, [Mark 8 : 2] ; and sighed deeply
in His Spirit, [Mark 8 : 12] ; then Jesus beholding him loved
him, [Mark 10 : 21] ; and began to be sore, and to be very
heavy, [Mark 14 : 33] ; and he took them up in his arms, put
His hands upon them, and blessed them, ( the children) [Mark
10 : 16]

His gospel wasn't written for the Jews , as St. Matthew did.
He addressed the Gentiles and particularly the Romans, as he
shared in the establishment of the church in Rome with Paul.
Following are some proofs:-

a- He translated the Aramaic words in his writing, like the name
of Boanerges, which meant the sons of thunder. [Mark 3 :17]
At the same time he didn't translate the name of Peter or other
Latin words. He mentioned that ( Talitha cumi is interpreted,
Damsel, I say unto you , arise) [Mark 5 : 41] ; that "Corban
meant "Gift" [Mark 7 : 11] and " Ephphatha" is be opened.
[Mark 7 : 34] He followed after the word "hell" an explanation
that it was the fire that never be extinguished. [9 : 43] ; and the
word "Abba", was followed by father. [Mark 14 : 36]. He
explained that " Eloi, Eloi, lamasabachthani", meant "My God, my
God, why have you forsaken me?". [Mark 15 : 34].
He had no need to translate, if he was writing to the Jews.
b- Explaining the customs of the Jews and their places.
He explained what was meant by (defile), " And when they
saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say,
with unwashed, hands, they found fault.... as washing of cups,
and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables." [Mark 7 : 2 - 4] He
explained ,"The first day of unleavened bread, when they
slaughtered the Passover." [Mark 14 : 12] ; and explained, "
And now when the even was come, because it was the
preparation, that is the day before the Sabbath." [Mark 15 : 42]
He explained the value of the " two mites which make a
farthing" and he didn't do that for the dinar which was Roman.
[Mark 6 : 37]
When he talked about "Sadducees", he explained its meaning
to the Roman readers, that they were the people who said 'no
resurrection'. This was known of course to the Jews. When he
spoke about the "Syrophenician", he said "The woman was a
Greek, 'a Syrophenian by nation'. That was the style the
Romans understood.

As for the places, the Jews had no problem in understanding
them. He defined the 'Jordan' as a river, [Mark 1 : 5], that
'mount of Olives' was over against the temple. [Mark 13 : 3]
and both 'Bethphage' and Bethany were near Jerusalem. [Mark
11 : 1]
c: Little reference to the Old Testament:
The Book of Matthew quoted many references from the Old
Testament, as it was written essentially to the Jews. On the
other hand, St. Mark wrote his Book to the Gentiles with very
limited little reference to the Old Testament compared to
Matthew's and Luke's.

St. Mark, realizing the fact that the Romans were people of
action, he introduced Christ to them with His work and power.
He concentrated on His deeds more than His speech. The
Romans were the rulers of the world and people of authority,
thus he showed them the powerful Christ, the Son of the
Almighty God, Who has the authority on every thing.
Without introduction, he gave his message. They were
people who were on the move, they travel, trade, and go to
war. He didn't say who Christ was, nor gave a preparatory
preface such as the annunciation, Baptism, St. Mary's visit to
Elizabeth, the Nativity and His birth etc., but he began directly
to pronounce His work.

He began his Book saying :"The beginning of the gospel of
Jesus Christ, the Son of God" , versus St. Matthew who began
his with "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of
David, the son of Abraham."
The road was prepared for the kings, so he described it that
way , "I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare
thy way before." [Mark 1 : 2] The voice of one crying in the
wilderness. [Mark 1 : 3] For the remission of sins. [Mark 1 : 4 -
John the Baptist said, "The latchet of whose shoes I am not
worthy to stoop down and unloose." [Mark 1 : 7] , "And there
came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased." [Mark 1 : 11] The evil spirits
confessed that He was "The Holy One." [Mark 1 : 24] , "And
was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him."
[Mark 1 : 13]
As Matthew began to record Lord Christ's miracles of healing
and casting out the unclean spirits in his 8 th. chapter, we find
St. Mark recording them in the first chapter, showing the overall
authority of Christ.
He mentioned his authority over the evil, the unclean spirits,
ordering them to obey him. [Mark 1 : 27] His power on
sickness, [Mark 1 : 34], with authority, not like the scribes.
[Mark 1 : 22] He mentioned His popularity and how the people
came to Him from every quarter. [Mark 1 : 45] and how he had
disciples who came after Him and followed. [Mark 1 : 16 - 20]
All these were mentioned in the first chapter, where he put it
forcefully and effectively. In effect, he showed them that the
strength of Christ and His Kingdom, were greater than the
Romans and their admired country.

With this fact, he began his gospel. When the Roman
centurion saw the crucifixion, he cried and said that "He was
truly the Son of God". [Mark 15 : 39]
The Father said, "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am
well pleased." [Mark 1 : 11], and at the transfiguration, [Mark 8
: 7]. When Jesus was asked by the high priest during His trial,
"Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed. And Jesus said, I
am.." [Mark 14 : 61] and confessed knowing the last day.
[Mark 13 : 32]
Even the unclean spirits, " Fell down before Him, and cried
saying Thou art the Son of God. [Mark 3 : 11] Legion, cried
and said, " What have I to do with thee Jesus , thou Son of the
most high God." [Mark 5 : 6]
When Christ took for Himself the name "Son of man" , he
said that the Son of man had the power to forgive sins. [Mark 2
: 10], that He was also the Lord of the Sabbath. [Mark 2 : 28],
that He also will be sitting on the right of power and coming in
the clouds. [Mark 14 : 62 , 13 : 26]
That was the truth, that St. Mark showed to the Romans, who
realized the unlimited authority of Christ.
St. Mark told them about God's authority to castout unclean
spirits that obeyed Him. They all were amazed. [Mark 1 : 27]
He cast out many devils. [Mark 1 : 34] The unclean spirits
screamed and said, "What have we to do with You. ...You came
to destroy us." [Mark 1 : 24] They even fell down before him.
[Mark 3 : 11 , 5 : 6] Legion, who had manly unclean spirits,

was in the mountains, often bound with fetters and chains and
no one could tame him except Christ. [Mark 5 : 4]
Christ cleaned the people from their unclean spirits, even
without seeing them as when He told the Phqenician woman, to
go her way as the devil had left her daughter. When she went
home, she found the devil had gone out of her daughter. [Mark
7 : 24 - 30]
He gave the same authority to his disciples to cast out the
devil. [Mark 3 :15 , 6 : 7] He didn't stop any one from casting
them out in His Name. [Mark 9 : 39]
St. Mark recorded His healing of the sick and the disabled
with chronic problems. He healed the blind, [Mark 8 : 22 - 26],
[Mark 10 : 46 - 52] , the deaf and mute, [Mark 7 :31 - 37], the
leper, [Mark 1 : 42], cured the sick with palsy, [Mark 2 : 11],
the man with the withered hand, [Mark 3 : 5], and the woman
who had an issue of blood for twelve years, [Mark 5 : 25 - 34].
The people were amazed and glorified God by saying that
they had never seen something like it. [Mark 2 : 12]
The miracles were so numerous to the extend that the people
carried their sick on beds and went to where He might have
gone. [Mark 6 : 55 , 56]
The power of healing was so obvious that they, "might touch
if it were but the border of His garment: and as many as
touched Him were made whole." [Mark 56 :6]
This power was given by Him to His disciples too. [Mark 16 :

He controlled the wind and the waves, "He arose and rebuked
the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind
ceased, and there was a great calm." [Mark 4 :39 - 41] On
another occasion, He came walking upon the sea, "And He
walked up into the ship and the wind ceased, and they were
amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered." [Mark
6 : 48 - 54]
Equally He had authority on the plants, and He cursed the
fruitless fig tree, and the tree became dry. [Mark 11 : 12 - 20]
St. Mark mentioned His authority on death, as he held the
hand of daughter of Jairus, who was dead and asked that He
may lay hand on his dead daughter so she "may heal and live"
and she did. [Mark 5 : 22 - 43]
He mentioned also the resurrection of God Himself, [Mark
16 : 6] and His Ascension to heaven and sitting on the right of
At the time He was on the cross, nature responded, "And
when the sixth hour came, there was darkness over the whole
land, "And the veil of the temple rent in twain from the top to
the bottom." [Mark 15 : 33 - 38]
St. Mark explained how Christ reasoned what others had in
their heart (thoughts). [Mark 2 : 8] He was able to prophesy
about the temple, Jerusalem and the end of the world, [Mark
13] and about His Own death, His Resurrection and the second
coming. [Mark 8 : 31 , 38]
He explained how He fed five thousand with five loaves and
two fishes, that they were filled and what remained was twelve

baskets full of the fragments and of the fishs. [Mark 6 : 23 -
44] A similar miracle happened again. [Mark 8 : 1 - 9]
With the power of His purity, He entered the temple leaving
the high priests helpless in resisting his authority. [Mark 11 :
33]. St. Mark stated that Lord Christ said that He was the Lord
of the Sabbath. [Mark 2 : 28] ; that He was the Lord, [Mark 11
: 3] and He has the power on earth to forgive sins. [Mark 2 :
Beside the wonderful power that St. Mark portrayed Jesus
Christ with, he recorded how the multitudes followed Him and
said , "Immediately His fame spread abroad throughout all the
region round about Galilee. And all the city gathered at His
door. [Mark 1 : 28-33].
When He left with His disciples to the sea, "And a great
multitude followed Him from Judea and Jerusalem and from
Dumaea and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and
Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things
He did, came unto Him. And He spoke to His disciples, that a
small ship should wait on Him because of the multitude, lest
they should throng Him." [Mark 3 : 7 -9]
"And He began again to teach by the sea side and there
gathered unto Him a great multitude, so that He entered into a
ship and sat at the sea, and the whole multitude was by the sea
on the land." [Mark 4 : 1 , 2]
Even when He went with His disciples alone to a deserted
place, "And the people saw them departing and many knew
Him and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and out went them,
and came together unto Him. And Jesus, when he came out,
saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward

them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd."
[Mark 6 : 32 - 34]
Many people followed him, [Mark 5 : 24] " And all the
people, when they beheld Him, were greatly amazed and
running to Him saluted Him. [Mark 9 : 15] Each time that He
"Entered a house , and would have no man know it; but He
could not be hid." [Mark 7 : 24]
St. Mark mentioned that whenever the multitude gathered
around him He taught them. His gospel mainly mentioned
Christ's work more than His teaching, yet he stated His
greatness as a teacher and the people's admiration.
He was preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God. [Mark
1 : 14] He was teaching them differently. They asked Him
about His wisdom and how He got it? [Mark 6 : 2] , "and the
common people heard Him gladly." [Mark 12 : 37], "All the
people were astonished at His doctrine." [Mark 11 : 18]
All the people called Him "Master". This was repeated
twelve times in the Book of Mark. He was called the same by
His enemies, the Pharisees, the Herodians and the Sadducees,
[Mark 12 : 14 , 19, 32] and also by the people, [Mark 5: 35 ,
9 : 17 , 10 : 17 , 20]. He Himself called Himself the same.
[Mark 14 : 14]
St. Mark introduced Him as a King of a Spiritual Kingdom,
preaching the Kingdom of God. In the gospel there was a great
difference between Herod the King with his commanders living
in fun and the King Christ who gathered the people teaching

them the path to God, healing and filling the hungry .... [Mark 6
: 1 - 29]

St. Mark recorded all Christ's services that made the leaders
of the Jews jealous. They fought Him, but were unable to stop
him from convincing the people in His Ministry, so they killed
Him. It was He Who was peaceful, but they worked against
As much as the people gathered around Him and were pleased
with His teaching, the more the leaders of the Jews were
annoyed because of His fame and popularity. They didn't
benefit from His teaching, nor His miracles. They followed Him
and even invited Him to their homes, just to watch and were ready
to catch a wrong of Him.
In the case of the man with the Palsy, the scribes reasoned in
their hearts, "Why does this man speak blasphemies", He replied
"Why reason you these things in your hearts." [Mark 2 : 6 , 7]
When they began to reason again they asked His disciples,
"How is it that He ate and drank with the publicans and the
sinners ?" He replied " They that they are whole have no need
of the physician, but they that are sick." [Mark 2 : 16 , 17]
Gradually the Jews began to speak and asked His disciples why
they didn't fast? Why they had to pluck the ears of the corn
on the Sabbath ? He replied from the Book so they held their
peace. When He healed the man with the withered hand on a
Sabbath, He looked at them with anger for the hardness of their
hearts, he healed the man and "The Pharisees went forth and
straightway took council with Herodidians against Him, how
they might destroy Him." [Mark 3 : 1 - 6]

St. Mark with his style, clearly and speedily explained in the
third chapter, how the relation between Christ and the leaders
of the Jews changed from doubt to a plot to destroy Him. Lord
Christ too, changed and became angry, as it was impossible to
make peace with those who wanted to stop the work of God.
They later accused Him that He was the prince of the devils
with Beelzebub, but He replied that a kingdom if divided against
itself, that kingdom would not stand. [Mark 3 : 24]
At one point they thought that He was caught by a mistake,
that His disciples ate without washing their hands. He replied,
"Well Isaiah prophesied of you it is written the
people honored me with their lips, but their heart is far from
me." " For laying aside the commandments of God, you hold
tradition of man. That they broke the fifth commandment for
that tradition, [Mark 7 : 6 - 23] and stopped honoring their
fathers and took the money from the temple.
We notice here that the Lord Christ began to attack them and
He warned His disciples, " Take heed, beware of the leaven of
the Pharisees and of the leaven of Herod." [Mark 8 : 15] . He
then entered the temple without fear, " And sought how they
might, for they feared Him. [Mark 11 : 18] He resembled
them as the bad men of the vineyard, who killed the prophets
and the messengers of God and they wanted to kill his son also.
They knew that He meant them. " And they sought to lay hold
on Him, but feared the people." [Mark 12 : 1 - 12]
They entered with Him in another phase and asked a question
to embarrass Him. He replied the Pharisees and the Herodians
by His famous reply " Render to Caesar the things that are
Caesar's and to God the things that are God's." 12 : 13 , 17]
Then came the Sadducees asking Him about resurrection and
marriage and He replied that in heaven they neither marry nor
are given in marriage, but like angels who are in heaven. He

ended by saying "You therefore do greatly err." [Mark 12 : 28 -
As they were unable to reason they began to plan to destroy
Him. He was killed not through weakness but because He came
"To His life a ransom for many." [Mark 10 : 45]
With tremendous power St. Mark represented Christ to the
gentile nations as The Son of God with all His Might, yet He
accepted the cross without shame. It took him half the book to
explain its purpose. He mentioned His journey to Jerusalem,
His crucifixion, His resurrection were to him equivalent to the
rest of the Christian Ministry as a whole. The Redemption is
the basis of the Christian faith. The effect of crucifixion was
reflected in the Book of St. Mark, beginning in its third
chapter. [Mark 3 : 6] The struggle with the leaders was only
the first step to crucifixion.
St. Mark described how the Lord Christ walked with extreme
courage to be crucified. He went with His own will to
Jerusalem knowing that the Jews were plotting against Him. He
went to [Jesimanee] knowing that they will arrest Him there.
St. Mark didn't picture Him to the Romans as a weak person.
Neither that He was finished by His death. He had risen and
appeared to many. He said that He will come "In the glory of
the Father with the holy angels." [Mark 8 : 38] ; "Sitting on the
right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heavens."
[Mark 14 : 62." ; " And then shall they see the Son of man
coming in the clouds with great power and glory .. And then
shall he send his angels, and shall gather together His elect from
the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the
uttermost part of heaven." [Mark 13 : 26 , 27]


The mere fact that he mentioned about the struggle between
Christ and the Jews was in fact an encouragement to the
Gentiles. St. Mark pointed that Christ came for the Gentiles.
He went to Tyre and Sidon to the extent of the ten cities. He
healed the daughter of the Phoenician woman [Mark 7 :24 - 30]
; and said " My house shall be called of all nations." [Mark 16 :
His advice to the Gentiles and the Romans:
St. Mark introduced Lord Christ to the Romans as the
powerful, authoritative man with work, knowledge and
miracles. That was the picture they like as lovers of power and
action. He attracted them also to Christ's teaching which is full
of spirituality and humbleness, picturing Him as the King with a
Spiritual Kingdom.
He mentioned that Jesus asked those who were healed and
saw His miracles not to tell others or to point to Him. [Mark 3 :
12 , 4 : 44 , 5 : 43 , 7 : 36 , 8 : 26 , 9 : 9] He also asked His
disciples to be humble and to carry the cross.
The disciples disputed among themselves, "Who should be the
greatest?" He told them "You know that they which accounted
to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their
greatness exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be
among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be
your minister. But whosoever will be great among you shall be
servant of all . For even the son of man came not to be
ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for
many." [Mark 10 : 35 , 45]

If Christ the Son of God was as such, so it was fair for the
Romans to be humble.
Thus, he wrote about Christ's saying, "Beware of the scribes,
which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the
market places. And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the
uppermost rooms at the feasts... and for a pretense make long
prayers: these shall receive greater damnation." [Mark 12 : 38
- 40] He asked them to leave the wealth and every thing for
God and to be satisfied with small things. [Mark 10 : 17 - 30]

Some of the Westerners tried to claim that the Gospel written
by St. Mark was dictated to him by St. Peter, discrediting him
of that honor. This is absolutely untrue and they ignored facts
and history.
A- Does it mean to them that the great Saint Peter lost the gift
given to him and other apostles by the Holy Spirit on the
Pentecost to speak to the people of, "every nation under
heaven." (Acts 2 : 5) St. Peter was capable to do that and didn't
need to ask someone else to speak for him. He didn't need to
have a translator.
B- Papias claimed that St. Mark didn't hear nor followed the
Lord, however, he did not take the following into consideration:-
1-St. Mark was the young man who followed the Lord, the
night Jesus Christ was arrested, "And there followed Him a
certain young man, having linen cloth cast about his naked

body; and the young man laid hold on him." (Mark 14 : 51 &
2- His mother was one of the Marys.
3- Jesus Christ celebrated the Passover in his home.
4- The Lord washed His Disciple's feet in his house.
5- In his home God gave them His Holy Body and Blood.
6- Almost one quarter of the Gospel according to St. John,
recorded what the Lord said and what He did at St. Mark's
home. (Mark 13 to 17)
C- The claims by Papias are contrdictory to what was written
by the Fathers and the Saints.
D- St. Mark recorded what he personally witnessed in detail.
His home was the destination of the Virgin Saint Mary and the
Apostles, where they gathered in the famous Chamber
of zion. (Acts 1 : 13 & 14) His home was the first Christian
Church in the world.

Many churches, monasteries and schools were named after St.
Mark. Many Popes, bishops and saints were given the name
There was a city in Nuba named after St., Mark, " Morcosa"
which was submerged under water because of the High Dam.
In Ethiopia there is a city called " Debra Morcos" meaning
Mount Mark.
The name 'Mark' meant a 'hammer'. St. Mark was the
hammer that broke down idols. The church called St. Mark
"The breaker of idols"
1- Nineteen popes were named as John, which in Hebrew is
Youhanna and pronounced in Coptic or Greek as Yoannis.
That is the largest group among the popes with the same name,
only followed by the Latin name of St. Mark.
Eight popes were named Mark, including St. Mark himself.
2- Pope Mark II [ 49 ]
He is named as New Mark and was ordained between 20 -23
AD. He was the only Patriarch whose name was mentioned in
the Synaxarium. He died on April 17, 819 AD. His feast is
celebrated on 23 Barmoda.
He was born in Alexandria, went to Abu Makar Monastery,
His seat was at St. Mark Church in Alexandria. Died and was

buried in Nabroa, but his relics were transferred later to
3- Pope Mark III [ 73 ]
He was called Ibn Zaraa, ordained and remained a Patriarch
for twenty years and half, till he died on January 1189 AD. He was
a Syrian and before his ordination he was a layman. His seat
was in Al Mualaqa church in old Cairo. He was buried in Abu
Makar Monastery.
4- Pope Mark IV [ 84 ]
He remained a Patriarch for fourteen years and five months.
Died on January 31, 1363 AD. He was born in Kaliub and
became a monk at the Shahran Monastery. His seat was in The
Church of the Virgin at Haret Zewela. He was buried in the
Shahran Monastery. His period was full of stress and struggle.
5- Pope Mark V [ 98 ]
He was a patriarch for sixteen years and two months. He died
on the First day of the Coptic year " Al Nayrouz" [ September
1619 AD.] He was born in Bayadia and became monk at Abu
Makar Monastery. He was ordained at the Church of St.
Marcurius "Abu Sifyn" in Old Cairo. His seat was The Church
of the Virgin in Haret Zewela. He faced many problems during
his life. One of the problems was the practice of taking more
than one wife. Another problem was the attempt by the
Catholics to take over the church in Ethiopia. He was buried at
Abu Makar Monastery.
6- Pope Mark VI [ 101]
He remained on the seat of St. Mark for ten years and died on
April 20, 1656 AD on Good Friday. He was born in Bahgorah
and became a monk at Anba Anthony Monastery. His seat was

The Church of The Virgin at Haret Zewela. He built an upper
prayer hall which is in existence to this day. He was not on
good terms with some of the pillars of the church and some
monks. He lived a stressful life. He was buried at Abu Sifyn
Monastery in Old Cairo.
7- Pope Mark VII [106]
He was the holiest of the six, selected to the seat and
remained for twenty four years till he died on May 18, 1769
AD, 12 of Bashans [St. Demianah's day]. He was born in
Kolosna and went to Anba Anthony Monastery. He made
frequent visits to the Monastery of St. Paula . He liked to stay
alone and was said that he was pressured to accept his
ordination as a patriarch. His seat was at Haret Al Rum.
He ordained a Metropolitan for Ethiopia and another one for
Upper Egypt. During his period there was an attempt from the
Catholic Church to take over the Coptic Church. They
ordained a monk from Jerusalem to be a Catholic Bishop in
Egypt, but he was unable to come to Egypt and stayed in
Jerusalem. They also ordained Raphael Al Tokhi as their bishop
for Upper Egypt, but he was unable to stay there, so the Pope of
Rome called him to Rome to stay there . He kept writing books
about the Coptic Church.
He was faced with many difficulties and he was a saintly man.
At the time of his death, he saw a vision of Anba Paula and
Anba Anthony, supporting him at that moment.
The people honored him with a big funeral. Anba Yusab,
Metropolitan of Ethiopia and Anba Peter of Upper Egypt
attended the funeral. His body was transferred to the monastery
of Abu Sifyn where he was buried in a special tomb for the

8- Pope Mark VIII [108]
He occupied the seat of St., Mark for thirteen years and two
months. He died on December 21, 1809 AD. Was born in
Tema and became a monk at the Anba Anthony Monastery. His
seat was at Haret Al Rum, then transferred it to Al Azbakia.
During his time the St. Mark Church was built. He was the first
Patriarch to be buried in it.
The Mamlukes, rulers of Egypt then, caused him many
problems. During his time the French invasion to Egypt
happened. After they left, he sent a humble papal message to
the people full of compassion asking them to repent. He
attributed the difficulties they face to the corruption for staying
away from God. He was not criticizing them, but said that he
was equally human like the rest of them, asking them to receive
his message without burden and that he was bitterly obliged to
send it as their kind father.
He asked them to live in purity and with virtues and to pray
for anyone who had deficiency, asking for the mercy of God.
He resembled the situation with the sheep surrounded by
wolves with no shepherd.
During that era, Anba Yusab Al-Abbah, Bishop of Girga and
Ekhmeem was one of the most eminent scholars of the church.
Many bishops were named after St. Mark along the years. It
was mentioned that when Pope Benjamin [ 82 ] was preparing the
Chrism[ Myron] out of the 12 bishops who were present four
were named Mark. They were Bishop Mark of Beheira, Bishop

Mark of Fouwa, Bishop Mark of Sedfa and Al Benwaneen and
Bishop Mark of Abyar.
During the period of Pope Demetrius II [ 111 ] , his deputy
was Bishop Mark of Beheira. At the same time the Bishop of
Abu Teeg was also called Mark.
Our Bishop of Marseilles and Toluene in France was ordained
by Pope Shenouda III as Bishop Mark on the Pentecost day in
June 1974.
In the present Holy Synod, we have Bishop Mark the Bishop
General for Africa. We have also a Sub bishop [ Khory
Episcobes] with the same name, in Shoubra Al-Kheima,
Mentioned here as examples only, are some martyrs,
anchorites, monks and writers who were named after St. Mark.
a- Martyrs;
The father of St. Demianah who was called Mark, was the ruler
over Al Borollos and Zaafaran. Once he denied the faith due to
fear, and his daughter rebuked him. He came back to his
religion and confessed Jesus Christ and he was martyred.
b- Anchorites:
It is reported that at the time of Mark Al Tarmaki's death, God
sent him St. Serapion to see him, bury him, and to write about
his life. This was published in Al Kiraza.
c- Hermits:
St. Mark, a hermit at Anba Anthony Monastery, contemporary
of Pope Matthew I [87]. He had a life full of virtue, education

and wonders. This was mentioned in the third part of History
of Patriarchs.
d- Monks:
Mark, the aseetic and his colleague Nilos were disciples of St.
John Chrysostom. Mark published many books. among them
a work about the "Acts"

[Written by Mr. Nabih Kamel Dawoud]
An extensive research was done regarding places named after
St. Mark. They are classified as :-
A- Beth "Home" of St. Mark.
B- Churches and monasteries not exiting now.
C- Churches present to this day.
A- Beth ST. Mark
His Holiness Mar Aghnatius Yacoub, Patriarch of Antioch for
the Syrian Orthodox(1) wrote under the title " Beth John Mark,
The First Christian Church" :
His mother had a house in Jerusalem, through tradition and
documented history it is confirmed that in it God gathered His
apostles, celebrated the Passover, washed the feet of His
disciples and gave them the mystery of His Body and Blood.
There He talked to them. The apostles waited in it till the Lord
came back to them after His Resurrection, while its doors were
closed. There He gave them the ecclesiastics, and the
priesthood authority. and filled them by His Holy Spirit. (2)
Later the house was consecrated to be a church with the name
of Mother of God.... It became the seat of Jerusalem. St.
James, became the first Bishop of Jerusalem, and stayed there.]
At the present time, the place is known as the Monastery of
St. Mark, or the house of Mary, mother of Mark. It is not far

from the Church of Resurrection and is controlled by the Syrian
It is mentioned in the visit and tour guide brochure of the
Jerusalem League [the Society of Rabtat Al Kods], printed in
1966 some detailed information is inserted. :-
The place at one time was a Coptic property. By agreement,
the Syrian Orthodox Bishopric in Jerusalem looked after the
interests of the Copts in Jerusalem, while the Coptic
Metropolitan in Ethiopia, looked after the interests of the Syrian
Orthodox there. The Syrian Orthodox Bishop in Jerusalem
used the place as his permanent residence in Jerusalem, but
when the Copts ordained Bishop Bacillius in 1237 as the
Coptic Metropolitan in Jerusalem, the Syrian bishop kept
staying in it and claimed the place for himself. The Copts
traditionally when they visit Jerusalem, they go to the place and
praise St. Mark the preacher of Egypt.
The Holy places in it: (3)
1- The door on which Peter knocked on, after the angel
freed him from the prison and went to this house.
2- The Seat of St. James the apostle, the first bishop of
3- The first baptismal place, the first in Christianity.
4- An icon for the Virgin, said to be painted by St. Luke the

In the book, "History of Jerusalem" (4), It is mentioned that
the Monastery of St. Mark, is in the alley of Al Gawa'anah,
between the allies of the Armenians and the Jews. In the
monastery there is a Byzantine church by the name of the Virgin
and a bishopric. The church was ruined during the rule of Al
Hakem Be Amr El lah Al Fatimi. in 1009 AD. The monastery
was abandoned during the Turkish rule, but the Syrians
renovated it in 1855, and also extended it in 1880 AD.
B-Churches and monasteries not in existence now
There were seven churches which were mentioned by Abu Al
Makarem [1208 AD ] and by Al Maqrizi [1441 AD ]
St. Mark The Evangelist, South to Alexandria:
The believers, secretly built this church in the western part of
Alexandria, a place called Al Sawari. It was there where the
pagans tried to burn the body of St. Mark. Both Pope
Theodore and Pope Andronicus [37] stayed in this church.
The Melchites succeeded in taking the church during the time
of Pope Mark [49] as was mentioned by Al Maqrizi [ page 47 ].
It was also mentioned that the Patriarch of the Melchites, who
had good medical knowledge traveled to Bagdad to treat one of
the Khalifa's harem and when she was cured he was awarded by
an order to take all the churches from the Jacobites and he did.]
This church disappeared with time.
2-St. Mark Church ( Al Mualaqa)
Originally it was a temple built by Cleopatra in Alexandria. It
was later converted to a church by the name of Archangel.

Michael. It was originally known as Al Caisaron during the
time of Pope Alexandrus [19] or King Constantine or the
Caisaria Church. (6)
It was still in existence during the Arab conquest, but was
burned during the invasion. It was built on the wall of the city
near one of its towers. Butler (6) wrote about it, " It was near
the port, well built and was important that it replaced the larger
church It had two obelisks in its yard and was over the wall of
the city."
It was also called "Al Mualaqa church" and sometime was
known as Al Kamha Church.
At one time it was rebuilt and named after St. Mark. The
head of St. Mark was kept there after it was stolen in 644 AD.
It was the church, Amr Ibn Al Aas asked to be built to house
the head of St. Mark. Probably, Pope Aghathon [39] ] was the
one who completed it as was mentioned by Al Maqrizi.(7)
This church was destroyed during the 5th battle by the
Crusaders, as it was near the port.
It is the same church where Pope Peter VI [ 104] hid the head
of St. Mark. .
The church was ruined during the French invasion in 1798.
They destroyed it so the British wouldn't use it. The priests
carried the icons, its books and every precious item to another
church in Rosetta. An antique icon for Archangel. Michael, is
still there. Some other items were taken to the Coptic museum
on a later day.
The place of the church was easily recognized by Butler
because of its two obelisks. One of these needles was sent to
London in 1877 AD and the other in Central Park in New York
since 1879. We can locate its place in Alexandria which would
be the right side of the end of Al Nabi Daniel Street, between
the sea and Sultan Heissin and Safia Zaghlol Streets.

3- St. Mark the Evangelist in Giza:
It was built by Ibn Soliman, the scribe during the Ayubian's
Dynasty (1171 - 1250 AD) as was recorded by Abu Al
Makarem (1209 AD page 75,76). It was built with wood taken
from a house on the river he owned and other wood taken from
another church called Martyr Boktor Church. [this was
expanded with a better design.]
Al Maqrizi ( 1441 AD) recorded that it was destroyed
between 1397 - 1398 AD and was rehabilitated during the 15 th
century. This church does not exist now and had no relation to
the present St. Mark Church in Giza.
4- Church of St. Mark in Bahnasa:
It was 12 kilometer to the west of Beni Mazar. Abu Al
Makarem mentioned it twice in his book on pages 93 & 95.
5- St. Mark Church at Sakiet Mahfouz:
Also mentioned by Abu Al Makarem. Its present site is
Sakiet Dakook near Matay,in Minya Governorate.
6- St. Mark Church The Evangelist in Taha Al Madina:
It is near Samalout, province of Minya, also mentioned by
Abu Al Makarem.
7- St. Mark Church in Ashmouneen:
Near Malawi, was mentioned also by Abu Al Makarem.

C- Existing Churches named St. Mark:
By the year 1975 AD there were 31 Coptic Churches named
after St. Mark. Most of them were recently built.
At the beginning of the Twentieth Century there were only 5
churches after his name. These, beginning with the oldest, were
in : Alexandria, Rosetta, Azbakkia, Cairo, Ben Ady in
Manfalout, and Giza.
Between 1900 -1950, 13 new churches were built.
Since 1950, another 13 churches were added.
Among the provinces, Minya had nine churches, Cairo had 6,
and four in Assuit.
First - The Churches in Alexandria:
1- St. Mark Cathedral in Alexandria: [at the Coptic
Orthodox Patriarchate].
It is located at 19, Coptic Street, Al
Messalla, district of Al-Atareen... It can be reached from Al-
Naby Daniel Street and it isn't far from Al Ramla Tram Station
and Saad Zaghlol Square.
The site of the church was known by different names at
different times. It was called one time or another as Beth
Anianus, Pokalia, Subterranean , St. George Church. Now it is
called St. Mark Church.
Its history began at the days of St. Mark preaching, beginning
with Anianus. Anianus invited him to his home, accepted the
faith and was baptized together with his family. This house
became a church in between 60 - 68 AD. When St. Mark was
martyred, he was buried under this church. Since then the
tradition began to bury the patriarchs beside St. Mark.
Emperor Justinian took over all the churches in Egypt [539 to
540 AD ]. The churches were taken from the Coptic Egyptians

and were given to the Chalcedain followers. When the Arabs
invaded Egypt by Amr Ibn Al Aas in 644 AD, he ordered Pope
Benjamin to return from hiding and garanteed his safety. He
also ordered the return of the churches back to the Copts. At
that time, Pope Benjamin had been in hiding for 13 years.
Abu Al Makarem, recorded that the churches in Alexandria
were divided between the Copts and the Romans. The Al
Kamha church [called also Archangel Michael, Al Mualaqa or
Caisaron] was given to the Copts. The Romans [Rum] got the
subterranean church [the site of the present St. Mark Church
today.] This was returned back to the Copts and Pope
Christozolus consecrated it in 1046 AD and was renamed as
St. George Church. This name was in circulation in all the
books and scripts up to 1800 AD. Probably that name was
chosen because there was another church with St., Mark's name
[ Al Mualaqa], or to protect it from being taken again by the
Romans. Al Mualaqa Church was located in the
northeastern side of Alexandria and served to be the Great
Cathedral for the Copts in the city of Alexandria in the seventh
During the French invasion in 1800 AD, the three churches on
the site of the St. Mark Church were destroyed. The churches
were transferred to Rosetta with their precious items.
Alexandria remained without a Coptic church for a while.
Then what is the history of the St. Mark Church from 1800 AD
to the present time ?
a- In 1804 Pope Mark VIII renewed the church.
b- In 1818 AD, Pope Peter Al Gawli [109] reconstructed St.
Mark Church, replacing the church built by Pope Mark VIII. at
its present site. Mu'allem Saleh Attalla, obtained a decree from

Mohammad Ali the Great to build it. Pope Peter Al Gawly
consecrated it with Saint Anba Serapion, Bishop of Al Monofia
and Al Beheira.
c- In 1869 AD, some church eminent members from Alexandria,
with the cooperation of Anba Mark, Bishop of Al Beheira
during the time of Pope Demitrius [111] began to build the St.
Mark Cathedral in Alexandria replacing its previous small
building. It was completed in 1870 AD. but was demolished in
1960 AD(8) and the tombs of the early fathers the
Patriarchs were discovered.
d- The church which was built in 1870 AD, became unsafe, and
on January 19, 1950 a permit was granted to replace it. It was
rebuilt during Pope Yusab's time. On September 25, 1950 they
put the new foundation and by November 9, 1952 Pope Yusab
II consecrated it in a big celebration.
e- During the time of Pope Cyril VI, another altar was added in
its upper floor towards the southern wing of the church and was
consecrated in June 1963. In 1968 a touristic area was
designated, leading to the tombs of the patriarchs under the
f- Further improvements were done by the direction of H.H
Pope Shenouda III.
2- The Church of St. Mark and St. Peter The last of the
Martyrs in Sidi Bishre in Alexandria:
is located at
Cultural Center Street that off Khaled Ibn Al Waleed Street in
the Sidi Bishre, Al Montaza. The first service was celebrated
on July 12, 1971 AD.

Secondly- The Saint's Churches in Lower Egypt:
3-St. Mark the Apostle, in the city of Rosetta: It belongs to
the Diocese of Al Beheirah at the Army Street, Rosetta.
It has three altars, the eastern is for St. George, the middle is
for St. Mark- and the northern is for Archangel Michael. It
has an old wooden iconstasis with ivory inlets.
Some of the icons in the church were brought from the
Church of St. Mark in Alexandria when it was destroyed during
the expedition of Napoleon in 1800 AD. They are fixed to the
wall in such a way to prevent anybody from stealing them.
There are two very old icons there, one is for St. George and
the other is for the resurrection.
The church was refurbished in 1673 AD. At the end of the
Eighteenth Century, during the rule of Murad Bey, a decree was
issued to remove all the churches in Rosetta.[1785 AD] The
church was renovated by Metropolitan Yoannis of Beheira and
again in 1933 and 1956.
4- Church of St. Mark The Martyr At Zenara, near Tala,
Province of Menofia
: Zenara is to the east of Tala between
Shebeen Al Kom and Tanta. It was built in October 1965 at the
time of Metropolitan Dioscoris Bishop of Monofia.
5- Church of St. Mark in Talkha, province of Dakahlia.: It
was built in 1971 AD.
6- Church of St. Mark in Met Mohsen, near Met Ghamre,
province of Dakahlia.
The building was completed about

7- Church of St. Mark, in Al-Mansheya Al Gadida, in
El Khema in the province of Qaliobia. It is on the
road leading to Bahteem. Its first service was on January 13,
1968 AD.
Thirdly- The Churches of St. Mark in Cairo, and Giza:
8- St. Mark Cathedral in Azbakia, Cairo. St. Mark Church
Street, near Ramses Square, Cairo.
The project to build this
church began in 1795, Mu'allem Ibrahim Al Gawahri obtained a
decree from the Sultan in Turkey . The land was purchased and
it was designed to have a church and a residence for the
On Sunday, September 15, 1800 AD Pope Mark VIII [108]
consecrated the church and it was named St. Mark Church to
compensate for the loss of St. Mark Church which was
destroyed during the French invasion in Alexandria. It became
the residence of the Patriarchs.
This church continued to exist till Pope Cyril IV [110]
replaced it with the St. Mark Church in its present site now.
They began building it on 28 Barmoda 1575 i.e. May 5, 1859
D. It is still in existence.
The church was completed at the time of Pope Demitrius II
[111] and Pope Cyril V [112]. Some improvements were
completed by Pope Yuannis XIX [113] and Pope Cyril VI in
1965 AD.
9- The New Cathedral of St. Mark at the Monastery of
Anba Ruweis in Abbassiah:
It is located on Ramses Street
near El Demerdash [Ein Shams University] Hospital. The
project began during the time of Pope Cyril VI [116]. The
celebration for the foundation stone for this cathedral was

attended by the Late President Gamal Abd Al Nasser on
Saturday July 24, 1965. In August 1967 breaking the grounds
started. Late on Monday June 24, 1968, the Relics of St. Mark
arrived to the cathedral, in the company of the Egyptian Church
Delegation that received it from the Vatican.
On Tuesday morning, July 25, 1968, there was an official
celebration of inauguration of the Cathedral, which was attended also
by President Gamal Abd Al Nasser, the Ethiopean Emperor and
many dignitaries, headed by H. H. Mar Aghnatonius Jacob II,
Patriarch of Antioch for the Syrian Orthodox and His grace
Anba Theophilus Metropolitan of Herrer representing the
Church in Ethiopia, Cardinal De Val representing H. H. Pope
Paul VI.
On Wednesday June 26, 1968 the Liturgy was celebrated on
the altar of the new Cathedral. At the end of the service Pope
Cyril carried the relics of St. Mark to its present location under
the main altar in the eastern side of the cathedral.
H.H. Pope Shenouda III [117] who became the first pope to
be ordained in the new cathedral on Sunday November 14,
During his papacy a tower [Minaret], with its bells rooms, and
offices were added. Under the cathedral there are two
churches, one is on the northern side, called the Virgin and
Anba Ruweis, the other called after Anba Pishoy towards the
south. In 1973 the floor was covered with marble.
St. Athanasius Hall was opened in commemoration of the
1600 years since the departure of the Saint.
10- St. Mark Church in Heliopolis: At 35 Cleopatra Street ,
Heliopolis, Cairo. It was completed in 1925.

11- St. Mark Church at the gardens of Shoubra, " Hadayek
Shoubra in Ard Sheriff"
It began as a temporary building in
1953. The Friends of The Holy Bible Society, completed the
present building.
12- St. Mark Church in Maadi: Its first service was on
December 29, 1970. in a temporary building. A presidential
decree # 1105 for the year 1973 was granted to build the
church. The decree was published in the official journal for
Governmental Documents.
13- St. Mark Church in Helwan: H.G. Bishop Yuannis of
Helwan celebrated the beginning of the project on May 10,
1972. It has a hall under it called Cana of Galilee.
14- Church of St. Mark in Giza: It goes back to 1883, when
Salama Bey Agami built it beside his house. He was the chief
clerk at the Province of Giza, a prestigious job at that time and
he has determined in his heart to build this church.
15- St. Mark Church in Beni Suef. It was built in 1952 AD,
during the Late Anba Athanasius the previous Metropolitan.
16- St. Mark Church in Maghagha, province of Minya. It
belongs to the Diocese of Beni Suef and Bahnasa. The liturgy
service started in November 1972 AD.

17- St. Mark The Evangelist Church in Obbad Sharuna,
Near Maghagha, province of Minya, within the Diocese of Beni
Suef and Bahnasa. It was established in 1929 AD.
18- St. Mark Church in Beni Samet, Near Beni Mazar,
province of Minya, and belongs to the Diocese of Beni Suef and
Bahnasa. It was established in 1927 AD.
19- St. Mark Church in Menshat Abu Aziz, Ezbat Hanzal
:Near Al Faroukiya, in Beni Mazar. Also within the Diocese of
Beni Suef and Bahnasa.. It was established in 1945 AD.
20- St. Mark Church in Kom Matay. near Matay, province
of Minya and also belongs to the Diocese of Beni Suef and
21- St. Mark Church in Maasarat Samalout, Samalout ,
province of Minya. It was consecrated in 1947 AD.
22- St. Mark Church, in Minya. It dates back to 1935 AD.
23- St. Mark Church in Nazlet Beni Ahmad, near Minya. It
goes back to 1950 AD.
24- St. Mark Church in Malawi, province of Minya. Was
built by the late Father Menassa Youhanna in 1927 AD.
25- The Old Small St. Mark Church in Beni Addi Al
near Manfalout, province of Assuit and it goes back to
1835 AD. It belongs to the diocese of Manfalout.

26- The new Great St. Mark Church , near Manfalout,
province of Assuit. It goes back to 1909 AD.
27- St. Mark Church in the old Bishopric Building in
, was established in 1909 AD.
28- St. Mark Church In Abu Teeg, province of Assuit. It
belongs to the diocese of Abu Teeg and was established in 1952
29- St. Mark The Apostle in Al Darb, Sugar Factory, near
Nagh Hamadi, province of Kena. It is on the Western side of
the Nile. It was established in 1932 AD.
30- St. Mark Church in Kena, Al Hameeddat Street, Kena.
Was established before 1927 AD.
31- St. Mark Church in Aswan. Belongs to the new diocese
of Aswan. It is near the High Aswan Dam. It was
establishment in 1971 AD, as a temporary Altar for praying, till
a presidential decree, # 1130 was issued and published in the
official government documentary paper on July 17, 1973.
There are three altars:
a- St. Mark Altar in the Mualaqa Church in Cairo.
It is placed over one of the old Roman towers. The Holy
Chrism used to be made in it. Its iconstasis goes back to the
Tenth Century.

b- An Altar in the Church of the Virgin in Dakados, near
Met Ghamre. It is named after St. Mark and is located on
the Northern side of the church. It is relatively recent.
c- St. Mark Altar at the church of the Virgin in the
bishopric of Luxor.
It was consecrated on February 25, 1934.
Churches Outside Egypt:
In Sudan:
1- The Old St. Mark Church. It is in Om Dorman. It is
located near the present church in the Bishopric in the district of
Al Mosalma, in Om Dorman. It was established in about 1910
AD at the time of Bishop Sarabamon. Nowadays it is used as
site for the burial for the bishops.
2- St. Mark and St. George Church in Khartoum, in one of
the elegant districts in the Sudanese capital on an extensive
area of land [2400 square meter] and was donated as a gift by
the Sudanese Government during the rule of Ser Al Khetm,
Khalifa. The celebration for laying the foundation, was
attended by the Sudanese ministers and the Chief Judge. The
Coptic Society arranged for the collection of donations to finish
the building. The late Anba Yuannis the Metropolitan of
Khartoum consecrated the church on Saturday April 6, 1968.
The first Holy Liturgy was celebrated on the following day,
Sunday the 7 Th.

In Libya:
St. Mark Church in Tripoli. Anba Bakhomius, Bishop of Al
Beheirah visited Algeria, Libya in January and February 1972,
and met with the Copts in Tripoli and Beni Ghazi. Following
this visit, H.H. Pope Shenouda sent Father Wisa Al Syriani to
Tripoli to serve them spiritually. On Monday, March 27, 1972,
H. H. the Pope visited the Libyan Republic and prayed in the
new church at Gomorra Street, Zawyet Al Dahmani, Tripoli,.on
March 31, 1972, the last Friday of the fast.
In Kuwait :-
St. Mark Church in Kuwait H.H. Pope Cyril VI, delegated
Fr. Angelos Al-Muharaki [later Metropolitan Maximus of
Qalyobia] to be the first Priest to serve at St. Mark Church in
Kuwait in 1961. Then Fr. Timothaus Al-Makary served for 9
years. [At present Bishop Timothaus].
The Arab Gulf Churches became under the supervision of
H.G. Late Archbishop Basilios, Metropolitan of Jerusalem and
the Near East. Several churches in the area were founded later
in Basra, Iraq, also in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Duha and Oman.
In Lebanon:
The Virgin and St. Mark Church in Beirut. It was
established by some of the Copts who settled in Beirut. A
Monk from our church in Jerusalem used to visit them monthly
to pray with them in the Church of Lady of Al Wardia, in Forn
El Shebak. Bishop Basilius of Jerusalem, bought 1063 M2 land
near the presidential palace in an area called Sen El Pheel in
1966. On Sunday October 29, 1972 the first Eucharist was

celebrated by H.H. Pope Shenouda III, and was attended by
many bishops.
In France :
1- St. Mark Church in Paris. Since 1972, the Copts attended
the Holy Liturgy in a church they called St. Mark. In 1973,
they had a permanent place that belonged to the Christian
Council in the Sorbonne in the Place de Sorbonne, near the
university. " Communaute cheretienne de sorbonne 8 Place de
la Sorbonne, Paris 5e Metro; Luxembourg."
2- Monastery of St. Mark in Le Revest Les- Eaux. It is the
seat of The Coptic Orthodox Church in France. H.H. Pope
Shenouda ordained Anba Mark, Bishop of Marseilles and
Toulon and all France on Sunday July 2, 1974, assisted by
'Khory Episkopos' Anba Athanasius. This monastery has a
church named after the Mother of God, that has a museum with
Coptic, Greek and Russian icons, chalices crosses and relics of
some saints. Its address : Fontanieu - 83760 - Le Revest Les
In Canada:
1- St. Mark in Toronto. The first to be ordained, was Father
Mark Elias on August 9, 1964.
2- St. Mark in Montreal Father Raphael Yonan was also the
first priest to be ordained for the church in March 1967. The
first service in the church was in June 1967.

In The United States of America
1- St. Mark Church in Jersey City. The Copts in New Jersey
and New York bought an old church, built in 1882 and changed
it to a Coptic Church. Father Raphael Yonan served the first
Liturgy on March 22, 1970. On Tuesday August 1970 the late
Father Ghobrial Ameen was ordained and on Sunday September
13 he celebrated the first Eucharist. Its address is:
Coptic Orthodox Church of Saint Mark, 427 West Side Ave,
Jersey City, N. J. 07304, USA.
2- The Coptic Saint Mark The Apostle Church in The City
of Los Angeles
. It was on the feast of St. Mark, Friday May,8,
1970 that the Copts celebrated the Eucharist at the Church of
Mar Afram , a Syrian Orthodox church. The first Liturgy in St.
Mark Coptic Church was on the Pentecost day, Sunday June
14, 1970. Many priests from Cairo and Alexandria served in
this church till Father Antonious Lateef Henein was ordained.
In Australia:
St. Mark The Apostle Church in Sydney. It began as a large
hall, which was opened by The Late Bishop Samuel, Bishop of
Public, Ecumenical and Social Services, on Saturday, July 8,
1972. Later a permanent church was established and many
priests from Egypt came to serve.
In Ethiopia
There are many churches in Ethiopia named after St. Mark.
The main Church is in Addis Abbaba. There is also the

Monastery of St. Mark in Addis Abbaba, headed by Abba Wed
In Ethiopia there is a city by the name of Debra Marcus, which
means " Mount Mark".
There is a historic church in "Haret al Rum" in Cairo. It
became the seat for the Melchite Patriarchs after it was
transferred from Alexandria to Cairo. At one time their large
library, was brought from Alexandria to Cairo, to be returned
back to Alexandria again.
At the present time the church functions as a nursing home for
the old Greek people. It is possible that this is the church, Al-
Wakdy, referred to as, the Monastery of Mount Mokattam or
the Monastery of St. Mark.
They have another church in Port Sudan, Sudan called St.
Mark Church.
They have one church named after St., Mark in Ismailiah, at
the Monofia and Dakahlia Streets.
They have three churches by the name of St. Mark.
1- St. Mark Church, Shatby, Alexandria. This is near St.
Mark School that replaced St. Katherine School.

2- St. Mark Church, Shoubra, Cairo at Al Be'atha Street. It
belongs to the African Mission and was built in 1907.
3- St. Mark Church within the Jesuit School in Minya.
They have two churches named after St. Mark:
1- One in Alexandria, Midan Al Tahrir. It was established in
1839 AD and was completed in 1855.
2- The other one is in Al Ibrahimia, Hermopolis Street,
There were three monasteries named after him, that do not exist
at this time:-
1- The monastery which was known as The Subterranean,
originally was the site of the present St. Mark Church in
Alexandria. At one time it was in the hands of the Melchites,
but it was returned back to the Copts.
Abu Al Makarem [1208] reported that the churches were
divided between the Copts and the Melchites in 644 AD. The
Melchites took the Subterranean Monastery that contained the
"body" of St. Mark. It is possible that it was called Pokalia
where St. Mark was martyred.] (9)
This monastery was mentioned also by Bernard The Wise, a
French Monk about 870 AD. He said that behind the eastern

door was the Monastery of St. Mark. The monks lived in the
church where his tomb was. (10)
Pierre Biloun de Manz, a French tourist who visited Egypt in
1527, recorded : [There was a Coptic monastery and a
patriarchal building beside their church. This was the place
where the body of St. Mark was placed before it was stolen by
the people from Venice.] (11)
In the Coptic Museum there is a cover for the Altar, on which
it is written, that it belonged to the Monastery of The Great
Saint Mark The Evangelist of "Morcussia", and was made in
1173. (12)
It was mentioned about Pope Peter VI [106], that, "he went
to Alexandria, in 1722 AD, and kissed the head of St. Mark The
Apostle. When he returned, he learned that some gang
members were after the " Head of St. Mark" so he hid it in the
monastery at that time." (13)
In the book written by Tawfik Eskaros, an eminent Copt of
the nineteenth century, this was reported in Part 1, on page 284,
showing the deeds of ownership of the monastery, and the fact
that it belonged to the Copts. including the building and the
The latest renovation of the monastery was done in 1818
AD. In the book, "Making the Chrism" it was mentioned about
Pope Peter Al Gawley, [109]. " The news about the repair of
the Monastery of St. Mark, reached him. This monastery was
destroyed earlier by the French. Later Mohammed Ali Pasha
issued a decree to Mu'allem Saleh Attalla, a rich Copt, to
rebuild it with some assistance from the government."


It belonged originally to the Copts, and was mentioned by Al
Wakdy [823 AD] in his book, "Conquest of Al Sham [Syria]"
He said : "Al Mokawkas forced the Jacobite Monks to accept a
Melchite from Syria, to manage the monastery."
This monastery was recently discovered by the Scientific
French Institute for Oriental Antiquities in Luxor. It is about
4000m2 and consists of a church and small buildings, that goes
back to the Fifth and Sixth Centuries. The excavations began in
1971 and they recovered about two thousand historic items.
Here we report only on the most important three altars, in the
church history:.
This was mentioned in the History of the Patriarchs by Severus
Ibn Al Mokafaa. Abu Al Makarem [1208 AD] said ," Pope
Mina, [61] [956 - 974 AD] established an altar by the name of
St. Mark in Mahalet Daniel, where the patriarchs lived and
made the Chrism".
Mahalet Daniel was a part of Tina, near Kafr Al Sheik. It
does not exist anymore. It was used by the patriarchs as their
residence, during the rule of Al Khalifa Al Mo'ez, [972, 974].
During this period there were many difficulties and hunger. The

Patriarch himself had to live in lower Egypt, where a rich
woman supported him and his staff.
It was mentioned in reference to the making of the Chrism in
the days of Pope Mark III in 1167 AD. It may be related also,
to the time when the head of the Saint was brought to the
Monastery of Abba Makar, when the churches were raided in
1013 AD. Pope Zacharias [64] lived in this monastery.
This altar was renamed later as 'The Altar of John The
Baptist', underneath it, the bodies of both Isaiah, the Prophet
and John the Baptist were buried, after their church was
destroyed in 1321.
This altar was discovered by Professor Wattimoore in 1930. A
wonderful portrait of St. Mark was found there.(14)
1- History of The Syrian Church of Antioch, Part I, pages
93 -94.
2- See Chapter 2, this book.
3- Rabettat Al Kuds Visiting Program.
4- By Aref Pasha, 1951, p. 255.
5- See Synaxarium, 12 Baoona.
6-Butler, "The Arab Conquest" , translated by Farid Abu
Hadid, pages 323 - 325.
7- Al Maqrizi, p. 44.

8- Kamel Saleh Nakhla: St. Mark pages, 111 & 112.
9- Fol. 94 P. & V.
10- As # 6.
11- Watani News Paper, 26-6-1966. p. 5 : St. Mark Church in
12- Guide for the Coptic Museum, 1931, p. 150 : Hall 16, 17,
cabinet # 12.
13- History of Abu Shaker the Monk.
14- Otto Meinardus: Monks and Monasteries, p. 77.

1- The Holy Bible, The Two Testaments.
2- The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, 1952.
3- Eusebius : Ecclesiastical History.
4- St. Jerome : Lives of Illustrious Men.
5- Le Synaxaire Arab - Jacobite, Redaction Copte ed. Rene
Basset (Patrologia Orientalis).
6- Patrologia Orientalis : History of the Patriarchs [ Severus
Ibn Al Mokafaa, Bishop of Al Ashmouneen : History of
7- Scaff : The History of the Christian Church, Michigan, 1955.
8- Les Saints d' Egypte, pat Paul d' Orlean Chineau, Jerusalem,
9- Ibn Al Sebaa ( Scholar, Youhanna Ben Zakaria) : Al
Gawhara Al Nafissa fi Olum Al Kanisa, printed in 1618 M.
10- Ibn Kabar : Misbah Al Zolma fi Eidah Al Khedma.
11-Abu Al Makarem : (The Trusted Sheik Saad Allah Guirgis
Ben Masood) 1208 AD, The printed part, under the name of
Abu Saleh The Armenian., 1895 AD.
12- Dr. Assad Rustom : Book of The Church of the City of
God, Antioch the Great.
13- Mar Aghnatius Yacoub : History of The Syrian Church of
14- Iris Habib Al Masri : Coptic Church History.
15- Anba Isiziros : Al Kharida Al Nafissa fi Tarikh Al Kanisa,

16- Anba Isiziros : Hosn Al Selook fi Tarikh Al Patareka wa Al
Melook 1898 AD.
17- Butler : The Arab Conquest, translated by Farid Abu Hadid.
18- Father Peter Farmaj the Jesuit : Moraweg Al Akhbar fi
Taragem Al Abrar (1880).
19- Habib Guirgis : St. Mark The Apostle, Established of The
Egyptian Church.
20- Dr. Hassan Soliman : Libya Between The Past And The
Present, 1962.
21- Dr. Zaher Riad : Church of Alexandria in Africa, 1962.
22- Francis Al Eter & Selim Soliman : Concise of The Coptic
23- Francis Al Eter : Al Sakhra Magazine, 1951, Articles about
St. Mark.
24- Kamel Saleh Nakhla : History of St Mark The Preacher,
25- History and Lists of The Coptic Patriarchs of Alexandria.
26- Series in History of the Patriarchs, Monastery of Syrian
27- Al Maqrizi : Al Kawl Al Eprizi Lil Alama Al Maqrizi. 1898.
28- Maximus Mazloom : Kinz Al Ebad Al Rhameen fi Akhbar
Al Kidiseen, Beirut 1868.
29-Deacon Menasi Youhanna : History of The Coptic Church.
30 Anba Yusab. Bishop of Fouwa : History of The Patriarchs.
hand written.
31 -Josephus : History of The Jews.
32- Encyclopedia Britannica.
33- La Rousse.
34- The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church by Cross,
London, 1958.

35- Iconographic de l' art Chretien, par Louis Reau,
Universitaires de France, Tome III.
36- Mohamad Ramzy : Geographical Dictionary of Egypt.
37- Coptic Museum Guide.
38- Katomaros Al Kanisa Al Keptia.
39- The Holy Liturgy.
40- The Holy Annual Psaltis
41- Cross & Palm Processions.
42- Holy Books for Praise.
43 Watus & Adam Psaltis
44- Ordination for the Bishops, Metropolitans and Patriarchs.
45- Consecration of the Patriarchs.
46- Hasting's Dictionary of he Bible, 1906.
47- Dr. Botros et al, Dictionary of the Holy Bible.
48- George Post : Dictionary of the Holy Bible.
49- An Introduction to the New Testament by E. Goodspeed,
Chicago, 1937.
50- An Introduction to the New Testament by Baumen,
Philadelphia, 1952.
The Riddle of the New Testament by Sir Edward Hoskyns,
London, 1963.
52- The Birth of the New Testament by C. F. Moule, London,
53- A Guide to the Gospels by Seroggie, London, 1948.
54- The Gospel according to Mark by Campel Morgan,
55- The Gospel of Mark by Erdman.

56- Etefak Al Bashireen.(Beirut 1876)
57- Ibn Al Salibi ( Mar Dionesius Yacoub ) 1149 AD. " Al Dor
Al Farid fi Tafseer Al Aad Al Gadeed.

58- Tafseer Al Mishriki.

In This Book
In the Name of the
Father, the Son and the
Holy Spirit, One God
Pope Shenouda III

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