I have such a thoroughly excellent baptismal patron, I often feel unworthy of him. I guess we could all say the same.
The New Testament makes it clear that St. Mark served the original leaders of the Church with unassuming, faithful friendship. Mark himself had no interest in the spotlight. He delighted in accompanying St. Paul, and then St. Peter, helping them in their work. Mark synthesized Peter’s teaching about Christ, and gave us the shortest and most to-the-point gospel.
Then St. Peter sent St. Mark to Egypt. The evangelist repeatedly risked life and limb to proclaim the kingdom of Christ. Eventually, the pagans got the better of him. They tied him behind a team of oxen and dragged him through jagged rocks on April 24, in the year 68. On April 25, St. Mark succumbed to his wounds.
St. Mark has been a faithful friend to me, like he was to Peter and Paul—through thick and thin, ever since my parents took me to the baptismal font and made me St. Mark’s client.
On the days that I have prayed to my patron, he has prayed for me before God’s throne on high. On the countless other days when I haven’t given St. Mark a moment’s thought, he has prayed for me then, too.
That’s what our patrons up in heaven do. They watch over us, no matter what, loving us like our mothers do. If we ignore them or treat them badly, they patiently endure it, waiting and hoping for the day when we will wake up and smell the coffee. When we finally make even the slightest gesture of appreciation, they rejoice, forgiving and forgetting all the slights.
Thank you, St. Mark. Please keep helping me, even though I don’t deserve it.