St. Mark the Evangelist was the “son” and faithful disciple of the Apostle Peter. Under St. Peter’s direction he became the first preacher of the Gospel, the first bishop of Egypt, and wrote a stirring account of Christ’s life, the first written of the Holy Gospels. In Egypt, St. Mark turned many from the darkness of paganism to the brightness of the Christian True Faith. After establishing the Church in Egypt, ordaining many priests and deacons and working many miracles, St. Mark was seized by the pagans and dragged over the cobblestones until he was badly injured and bloody. As they tortured him, the pagans, driven by evil and cruelty, cried out, “We are taking the ox to the stall!”
That evening the Lord appeared to him in prison and healed St. Mark of all of his injuries, yet the pagans took him out the next day to renew similar tortures once again. In this way St. Mark was martyred. After St. Mark was buried by the Faithful, his holy relics worked many miracles. This icon is one of the six icons that comprise a 16th century set of Russian Holy Doors that are now in the Andrei Rublev Museum in Moscow.