St. Mark, the second Evangelist, was the son of a certain Mary and the cousin of Barnabas. He was probably converted to Christianity by St. Peter, and his house in Jerusalem served as meeting place for Christians in time of persecution (Acts 12:12).
During the first missionary journey, he was associated with Paul and Barnabas, whom he deserted at Perga in Asia Minor. A few years later, Paul still felt hurt and refused to take him on the second missionary journey. So sharp was their disagreement that they separated: Barnabas and Mark sailed to Cyprus, while Paul and Silas went to Syria (Acts 15:38). Thereafter, Mark acted as secretary and interpreter of Peter, who used to call him son (1 Peter 5:13). Mark accompanied Peter to Rome, where he also reconciled with Paul, who was taken there as a prisoner.
According to tradition, Mark wrote his Gospel in Rome, basing it on Peter’s teachings. Having finished it he went to Alexandria in Egypt, where he preached the Gospel and founded the Church. Afterwards, he was arrested for his faith in Christ and tortured by being dragged over stones. Then, while in prison, he was comforted by the vision of our Lord, who called him to his heavenly kingdom. In the 9th Century, the body of St. Mark was taken from Alexandria to Venice and enshrined in the golden basilica dedicated to his name.