Part of the Window of the Lamentation in Cologne Cathedral .
Mark the Evangelist (Greek: Μάρκος), is the traditional name of the author of the Gospel of Mark.
Tradition identifies him with the John Mark (Ioannis Markos) mentioned as a companion of Saint Paul in Acts, who later is said to have become a disciple of Saint Peter.
John Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas (Mark’s cousin) on Paul’s first missionary journey. After a sharp dispute, Barnabas separated from Paul, taking Mark to Cyprus.
Later, Paul called upon the services of Mark and Mark was named as Paul’s fellow worker.
Mark’s mother was a prominent member of the earliest group of Christians in Jerusalem. It was to her house that Peter turned on his release from prison; the house was a meeting-place for the brethren, “many” of whom were praying there on the night Peter arrived from prison.
A number of traditions have built up around Mark, though none can be verified from the New Testament.
Traditionally, Mark is said to be the man who carried water to the house where the Last Supper took place (Mark 14:13) and the young man who ran away naked when Jesus was arrested (Mark 14:51-52).
Mark is also said to be the one who hosted the disciples in his house after the death of Jesus, into whose house the resurrected Jesus Christ came (John 20), and into whose house the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples at Pentecost. Coptic tradition also maintains that Mark was one of the servants at the Marriage at Cana who poured out the water that Jesus turned to wine (John 2:1-11), and was one of the Seventy Apostles sent out by Christ.
According to the Coptic church, Saint Mark was born in the Pentapolis of North Africa which would make him Greek, as since the 7th century BC the Greek founded several colonies on its coast and developed several major cities.
This tradition adds that he returned to Pentapolis later in life after being sent by Saint Paul to Colosse (Colossians 4:10) and serving with him in Rome (Phil 24; 2 Tim 4:11) ; from Pentapolis he made his way to Alexandria.
When Mark returned to Alexandria, the people there are said to have resented his efforts to turn them away from the worship of their traditional Egyptian gods.
In AD 68 they placed a rope around his neck and dragged him through the streets until he was dead.