The Departure of St. Mark 11, 49th Pope of the See of St. Mark
On this day also, of the year 535 A.M. (April 17th., 819 A.D.), the blessed father Pope Mark (Marcus), 49th Pope of the See of St. Mark, departed.
This Pope was from Alexandria, and he a was chaste, learned, and honorable man. Pope John ordained him a deacon, and he was an eloquent speaker. His voice was sweet and all those who heard him rejoiced in him. The Pope handed him the administration of the papal place, and he did nothing without his advice. When Pope John put on him the garb of monks in the monastery, one of the elder monks shouted saying: "This deacon whose name is Mark shall, rightly and fittingly sit upon the throne of his father Mark, the Evangelist."
When pope John departed, the bishops unanimously agreed to choose him Patriarch. He fled to the desert, but they caught up with him, brought him back, and enthroned him Patriarch on the second of Amshir, 515 A.M. (January 26th., 799 A.D.).
He tended to the churches needs, and restored those that were in a ruinous state. He returned many of the heretics to the Orthodox faith, healed many of the sick, and cast out, of many of them, devils. He told them: "What had happened to you was because you dared to partake of the Holy Mysteries with irreverence, so keep yourselves henceforward from the evil words that come out of your mouth." In his days, the Muslim Arabs conquered the Greek Isles, captured many of their women and children, brought them to Alexandria, and started to sell them. The Pope gathered money from the believers, and beside the funds of the monasteries that he had, he was able to pay three thousand Dinars to save and free them. He wrote for them bills of manumission and set them free. He provided those who wished to return to their country with whatever they needed, and those who wished to stay, he gave them in marriage and protected them. He took thought for the church of the Redeemer in Alexandria and restored it, but some evil men burned it, so he restored it again.
When the Lord willed to give him rest, he became sick. He prayed the Divine Liturgy and partook of the Holy Mysteries. He bade the bishops that were present farewell and departed in peace after staying on the Chair 20 years, 2 months and 21 days.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
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