Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Feast of St. Mark & Greater Litanies!


St. Mark the Evangelist by Il Pordenone

Today, 25 April, is the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, the companion of St. Peter, first Patriarch of Alexandria, and patron saint of Venice. He died in 80AD in Alexandria, Egypt.

For more on St. Mark, you might note:
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Mark

Catholic Saints Info: St. Mark

                                    

Above: A painting of the Lion of Venice, the Symbol of St. Mark.
Below: The Flag of Venice, Italy -- featuring the same Lion of St. Mark. 
The book reads: Pax tibi Marce Evangelista Mea / Peace to you, Mark my Evangelist.

The winged lion, symbolic of St. Mark's Gospel, a Gospel which begins with that voice crying in the wilderness, is also the emblem of the city of Venice, Italy. The relics of the holy Evangelist were evacuated from Alexandria in Egypt, where he had been the first patriarch and bishop, to the Most Serene Republic of Venice, where they rest today in the famous Basilica of San Marco. To this day, the winged lion of St. Mark graces the flag of Venezia!


The Basilica of St. Mark in Venice, Italy.  Painting by Canaletto.

Here is the official webpage of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice: Basilica of San Marco, Venezia

Finally, 25 April is traditionally the day of the Greater Litanies!

The Old Catholic Encyclopedia notes:
"When peace was granted to the Church after three centuries of bloody persecution, public devotions became common and processions were frequently held, with preference for days which the heathens had held sacred. These processions were called litanies, and in them pictures and other religious emblems were carried....[T]he "Litania Major", or "Romana"... was held on 25 April, on which day the heathens had celebrated the festival of Robigalia, the principal feature of which was a procession. The Christian litany which replaced it set out from the church of S. Lorenzo in Lucina, held a station at S. Valentino Outside the Walls, and then at the MilvianBridge. From thence, instead of proceeding on the Claudian Way, as the heathens had done, it turned to the left towards the Vatican, stopped at a cross, of which the site is not given, and again in the paradise oratrium of St. Peter's, and finally in the basilica itself, where the station was held (Duchesne, 288)."
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Litanies

In honor of that traditional observance, here is musical setting of the litany of the saints:





For more on the Litanies, you should check out:



Live well!

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