This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25 -- Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist

1. It is the first of three Rogation Days. These were dropped from the church calendar in 1970, but revived in 1988. They involve dressing up in purple and parading around the boundaries of the parish to establish a zone on which to call for the Lord's blessing. It all sounds like harmless fun to me, but I wouldn't want to do it in the rain. It apparently supplanted an older pagan tradition dedicated to the Roman god Robigus, whose festival (Robigalia) was celebrated on April 25. Robigus was invoked to protect grain crops against blight. He was associated with two goddesses -- Flora and Robigo. Playahs gotta play.

But Mark the Evangelist didn't play, no how, no way. There's a lot of commentary about who actually wrote the Gospels, but one is attributed to this fellow Mark, who may or may not have bounced when Jesus was arrested. It's hard to know how many St. Marks there were, but they all get rolled up in one identity. They include:

1. the Gospel writer
2. disciple of St. Peter
3. traveling companion of St. Paul and St. Barnabas
4. first bishop of Alexandria, Egypt
5. founder of the first Christian school

Even if he only did half that stuff, he'd still be the saint of the day. Oh, and that's not even including his death, which was especially gruesome. When the Alexandrian polytheists had enough of his preaching, they tied a rope around his neck and dragged him through the streets of the city until he was dead.

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