It is generally agreed that the Mark mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles is identical with the Mark referred to by St Peter in his first Epistle (5:3) and by St Paul in Colossians 4:10, 2 Timothy 4:11 and Philemon 24. He was the son of Mary, a prominent member of the Christian community at Jerusalem and an old friend of St Peter's, in whose house the brethren were accustomed to assemble. We first hear of Mark when Paul and Barnabas take him along to Antioch in the year 46 and then on the first apostolic journey to Cyprus. Here Mark separated himself from Paul and Barnabas and returned to Jerusalem on account of certain disagreements.
Paul refused to have Mark as his companion on his second missionary journey. This caused Barnabas also to separate himself from Paul. Paul went on his way, while Barnabas and Mark went once more to Cyprus. But soon after Mark and Paul resolved their differences and became friends again. Around 60, Mark was in Rome with the great apostle, preparing to return to the Churches of Asia Minor, where he had become well known in the interim through his own apostolic labours. It appears that he also evangelized the region of Aquileia at the northern extremity of the Adriatic whence the inhabitants fled some 400 years later at Attila's approach and founded the famous lagoon city of Venice. Mark is considered a great Patron Saint of the city, his body having been stolen from Alexandria, Egypt, by Venetian soldiers in 815; and in Venice it has rested ever since under the high altar of the magnificent basilica named after him.
Mark seems to have gone to Egypt from Aquileia and there founded the See of Alexandria. In 61 Paul wrote to Timothy at Ephesus, asking him to bring Mark with him to Rome, and it was while Mark was in the Eternal City that he wrote his vivid Gospel account which is a faithful record of the oral teaching of St Peter, for whom he seems to have acted as secretary and interpreter. An ancient tradition claims that this second Gospel was, at the request of the Roman Christians, originally written in Greek. St Mark is Patron of notaries and is invoked against lightning and hail.
Reflection :"If any man wishes to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all" (Mark 9:33).