Mark was a cousin of Barnabas and the son of Mary, at whose house the Apostles stayed on their frequent visits to Jerusalem. He was a Levite and perhaps a minor minister in the synagogue. Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas to Antioch and a Christian tradition says that he was the first bishop of Alexandria. He is the author of the second Gospel which is based on the teaching of Peter. St. Mark is shown in his role as evangelist with the symbol of the Lion visible on the scroll in his left hand. His right hand is raised in the gesture of blessing, the fingers forming the monogram of Christ (IC XC). The original of this Icon was created in the traditional Russian manner using ground stone pigments suspended in an egg yoke medium and 23K gold leaf.
The Image of the Evangelist has always been a powerful one for they are the bringers of the Word, something we are all called to do by how we live in the world. In the Eastern tradition prayer begins by gazing, or looking with fixed attention until one sees beyond the physical image to what is truly there. In gazing upon the Image of the Evangelist, a human vessel, the viewer opens him or herself to the presence and power of the Divine in our midst.
(This narrative is printed on the back of Note Cards. A copy is included with each plaque.)
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