HYMN TO ST. MARK THE EVANGELIST



Already throughout the whole earth there brightly gleams the Light, which shines from the Fathers Throne: the Light which is the fount and source and splendour of the golden light: the Light that never fails, beautifies heaven, and expels darkness from the world.

Blessed Mark, the Evangelical teacher, received into his heart a lovely ray of this sparkling sacred Light. He became as a Lamp reflecting that great Light, and putting to flight the gloom of this world by his brilliant flame.

He was one of the seven fair pillars, and one of the seven golden candlesticks, whose brightness shines as a star throughout the universe. He was one of the foundations that support the lofty structure of the Church.

He was one of the favoured living creatures seen of old by the holy Prophet Ezechiel, and by John, the Disciple that leaned on Jesus' breast. Mark was prefigured under the type of a Lion, whose wild roar is heard in the Wilderness.

He was sent by blessed Peter to Aquileia, that city of ancient fame. There he sowed the seed of the divine Word, and, with joy, garnered into heaven a hundredfold of fruit.

There he speedily raised a Christian Church. He gave it solidity of unshaken faith by building it on that faultless Rock, against which the billows, and storms, and floods, vent their rage in vain.

The soldier of Christ returned, wearing a wreath of fair lilies, with palm and laurel and roses: and thus crowned, he joyfully entered Rome, led thither by Christ.

This done, he sets out for Alexandria, and, filled with the Holy Ghost, traverses the ever fertile land of Egypt, preaching that the Only Begotten Son of the Father Almighty had come into the world for the world's salvation.

A cruel mob, enraged against the soldier of Christ, prepared various torments for him: he was bound with chains, pierced with arrows, and, after his holy flesh was torn by scourges, he was thrust into a dismal dungeon.

Mark was the first that taught Alexandria to know the true God. He there built a Church, which he dedicated to Christ, consecrated by the shedding of his own blood, and fortified by the solidity of holy faith.

Glory, praise and empire be to the Father! To thee, O Jesus, Who reignest in heaven above, and to the Holy Ghost, be honour and power! To the undivided Trinity be adoration paid for endless ages! Amen.

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