The Feast Of St Mark
Observed annually on April 25th in Venice, Italy, The Feast of St. Mark honors the city’s patron saint. This holiday coincides with Liberation Day in Italy. Because of this, many government offices, schools, and businesses are closed on this day.
This day falls on the anniversary of St. Mark’s death—which is the feast day of St. Mark’s in the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches. This holiday is ordinarily observed with religious services, prayer and by some people fasting. It’s also a day on which there are many carnivals and markets.
The History Of The Feast Of St. Mark
Although not much is known about St. Mark, he is known as the author of the Gospel of St. Mark. St. Mark founded the church in Alexandria, Egypt, and is the founder of the church in Africa. It’s believed that he was killed on April 25, 68 AD by Alexandrians who were upset that he tried to replace their gods with the Christian god.
According to legend, when St. Mark was traveling through Europe he stopped at a Venetian lagoon and an angel appeared to him. The angel supposedly said that this would be his final resting place. This prophecy seemingly came true with events that happened in the 9th century.
St. Mark became forever associated with Venice when two Venetian merchants stole the relics of St. Mark from Alexandria when it was under the control of the Abbasid Islamic Caliphate in 828. These relics were then smuggled back to Venice.
The Basilica of St. Marks’ would be built over where these relics were stored. These relics were supposedly stored in a barrel of pig fat because they knew that Muslim soldiers wouldn’t inspect them too closely because Muslim dietary restrictions forbade them from eating pork or pork products.
Observing The Feast Of St. Mark
This holiday is a general day off for the public, and many government buildings, schools, and businesses are closed. There are also church services and other events all across Venice.