THE APOSTLE MARK was from Cyrene of Pentapolis, which is near Libya. Having come to the Faith of Christ through the Apostle Peter, he followed him to Rome. While there, at the prompting of Saint Peter himself and at the request of the Christians living there, he wrote his Gospel in Greek. His Gospel account is the generally considered earliest of the four, and it is second in order after Matthew's. He is one of the 70 Apostles.
In AD 49 (about 19 years after the Ascension of Jesus), travelling to Egypt, he preached the Gospel there and was the first to establish the Church in Alexandria (thus he founded the Church in Alexandria and is considered the founder of Christianity in Africa).
Tradition tells us that he completed his life in martyrdom about the year 68. The idolaters, unable to bear his preaching, seized him, bound him with ropes, and dragged him through the streets until he, cut to pieces on rocks, gave up his soul. He is depicted in holy icons with a lion next to him, one of the living creatures mentioned by Ezekiel (1:10), and a symbol of Christ's royal office.
Apolitikion Of Saint Mark - 4th Tone
Saint Peter's companion and sacred partner were you, and servant of Christ – the Logos – and His herald most wise, O Holy Apostle Mark. You, O inspired mystic of the heavens, recorded for all of us the Savior's most divine and Holy Gospel. Therefore, O Evangelist, we lovingly honor you.
Του Πέτρου συνέκδημος, και κοινωνός ιερός, του Λόγου διάκονος, και υποφήτης σοφός, εδείχθης Απόστολε. Οθεν το του Σωτήρος, Ευαγγέλιον Θείον, Μάρκε διαχαράτεις, ως ουράνιος μύστης. Διό Ευαγγελιστά σε, πόθω γεραίρομε.