Marks, St, Day

Mark's, St., Day the 25th of April, observed at least since the 6th century, in commemoration of St. Mark, the evangelist. It is celebrated in most parishes of the Romish Church by a solemn, supplicatory procession, mentioned as early as pope Gregory the Great. Walafrid Strabo states (De reb. eccl. c. 8) that it was instituted by that pope at the commencement of his pontificate, with a view to supplicate God for deliverance from a pestilence which was devastating Rome; and it is certain that Gregory held a procession in A.D. 590, in order to avert the pestilence. But the two ceremonies are clearly not identical. The latter was held in August, and continued during three days; and while, in the procession of St. Mark, the faithful issued from seven separate churches, in this they all proceeded from a single sanctuary. In churches of which St. Mark is the patron, a mass is celebrated in connection with the procession, in which the color used is blue, indicative of the penitential feeling which predominates in the ceremony. An occasional removal of the festival to another day does not set aside the procession, which is always held on the 25th of April, unless Easter Sunday falls on that date. — Wetzer und Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 6:832.

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