St. Mark

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
Hello All, I was just wondering, do we have St. Mark's body (gassad?)
And if we do where is it. Thanks very much. +


  • It was first put in St. Mark's church in Alexandria, (where he was martyred), then around the 800's it was stolen by Italians.

    I think later though, they reconciled and decided to give the body back to Egypt, but im not sure if they returned all of it.

    I heard that only his head is in Alexandria now and the rest of the body is in Venice, Italy, but im not sure
  • we have only his head but the rest of the body is on rome(fatican)if that is wrong please correct!! :-\ :-\
  • Good Job Sandrahanna,

    You're very right about us only possessing the head and here is a little addition to your reply. ;)

    His head is in a church named after him in Alexandria, and parts of his relics is in St. Mark's Cairo's Cathedral. The rest of his relics are in the San Marco Cathedral in Venice, Italy.

    In his name
  • does anybody know how/why the body was stolen in the first place?? I always been wondering bout that part.
  • i don't know and i really want to know!! ;D
  • I was talking with my mom recently and I asked her about this and she said that St. Mark's body was stolen, however, Pope Kyrillos VI, our previous Pope, talked with the Catholics (don't know who was their pope at the time but i dont think it was pope John Paul II) and we got St. Mark's head back.

    I don't know if their was a definite reason they stole it in the first place, I guess they thought they should have it not sure why. It's like the Italians trying to steal the "Mona Lisa" from the Lourve (sry for the spelling) in Paris, France even though da Vinci was in France when he painted it. +
  • Wow..stealing a saint's body.. ::) Isn't that something?
  • On June 24 th of every year, the Coptic Church celebrates the anniversary of the return of the relics of St. Mark to the newly erected Cathedral in the land of Anba Rewais in Cairo

    The following is the Synaxarium reading of that day:

    On this day, of the year 1684 A.M., that coincided with Monday the 24th of June, 1968 A.D., and in the tenth year of the papacy of Pope Kyrillos the Sixth, 116th Pope of Alexandria, the relics of the great saint, the beholder of God, St. Mark the Apostle, the Evangelist of the Egyptian land and the first Patriarch of Alexandria, were returned to Egypt. Pope Kyrillos had delegated an official delegation to travel to Rome to receive the relics of St. Mark the Apostle from Pope Paul VI. The papal delegation consisted of ten metropolitans and bishops, seven of them were Coptic and three Ethiopians, and three of the prominent Coptic lay leaders. The Alexandrian delegation received the relics of St. Mark the Apostle on Saturday the 22nd of June, 1968 A.D. from Pope Paul VI. The moment of handing over the holy relics, after eleven centuries, during which the body of St. Mark was kept in the city of Venice, in Italy, was a solemn and joyful moment. The next day, Sunday 16th of Baounah (June 23rd), the Alexandrian Papal delegation celebrated a festive pontifical liturgy in the church of St. Athanasius the Apostolic in Rome. The ten metropolitans, bishops, and the priests accompanying the delegation, all served in the liturgy. Members of the Roman Papal delegation, the Copts who accompanied the Delegation, and those who lived in Rome, newspaper and news agency reporters, and many foreign dignitaries attended the liturgy.

    The Alexandrian Papal delegation carrying the holy relics, on Monday the 24th of June, 1968 A.D., went to the airport in an official procession, preceded by the motorcycles and police escort. They boarded a plane which came especially from Cairo. The plane arrived at Cairo airport at ten thirty P.M. of the same day. Awaiting the arrival of the relics were, Pope Kyrillos the Sixth, Mari Ignatius Yacoub, the Antiochian Patriarch for the Syrian Orthodox, a great number of coptic and foreign bishops, the head of various denominations and religions, Egyptian and foreign, and thousands of the Egyptian masses, Christian and Moslems. They sang and chanted enjoyable religious songs, waiting for the arrival of the plane.

    When the plane landed, H.H. Pope Kyrillos went up the stairs of the aircraft, and received the precious box that contained the relics of St. Mark the Apostle, from the head of the delegation. Many, and especially those who were in the balcony of the airport, at this particular moment, saw three white doves flying over the aircraft. Since pigeons do not fly during the night, these were not ordinary pigeons. Perhaps, it was the spirits of the saints welcoming the relics of the great St. Mark. It is worthy to note also that the plane was suppose to arrive at five o'clock but it was delayed for no apparent reason till it was dark. Perhaps also, it was just for the spectators to witness and see these flying doves.

    The Pope disembarked the aircraft carrying the box on his shoulder in the middle of the chanting and singing of the deacons, followed by a tremendous procession of thousands chanting with the deacons in joy and jubilation. The head of the Roman Papal delegation, Cardinal Doval, Cardinal of Algeria, was amazed by this tremendous religious rally. He also expressed that he was deeply touched by the devoutness of the Copts and their great honor and veneration for St. Mark. He said that what he saw far exceeded his expectations, especially that the masses had to wait from five o'clock P.M., the expected time of arrival of the aircraft, till ten thirty or even later.

    Pope Kyrillos returned to the old St. Mark Cathedral in El-Azbakiah with the box of the relics. He placed the box on top of the main altar which was consecrated in the name of St. Mark the Apostle. The box remained there till the third day of its arrival, when the Pope carried it to the new St. Mark Cathedral in its inauguration.

    May the blessings of St. Mark be with us all. Amen.

  • I think I know an explanation. I am not sure if this is the correct reason, but it sort of makes sense...

    The city of Venice, Italy, considers St. Mark the Evangelist as its patron saint. When merchants from Italy came and found the body here, they decided to steal in order to bring it back to Venice, where they thought the body "belonged". Centuries later, Pope Paul VI of the Roman Catholic church agreed to return a part of the body (the head) of St. Mark to Egypt, since at that time, the Roman Catholic church was beginning to acknowledge the Coptic Orthodox church as a "church of God", unlike what they said previously (prior to that period, they believed that the Coptic Orthodox Church preached 'monophysitism', which is considered heretical by the Roman Catholic church).

    During H.H. Pope Shenouda III's visit to Rome shortly after becoming Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Paul VI declared in an official statement that the Roman Catholic Church acknowledges the Coptic Orthodox Church as the church of which St. Mark the Evangelist was the first Patriarch (much like the Roman Catholic church believes that St. Peter was the first Roman Catholic Patriarch). During this historical visit, H.H. signed an official document with Pope Paul VI stating the doctrines and beliefs of which the Roman Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church share, starting a long road of reconciliation of church unity which Pope Shenouda III has continued to work for for so many years...

    God Bless you...
    Sinful Servant
  • kool good information everybody ;) good stuff :)

    GB ALL
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