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  • Writer's picturePhil


Among the Marys mentioned in the New Testament, Mary, the mother of Mark (who wrote the second gospel), is spoken of once in Acts 12:12, but in just a sentence we gain an insight into the sort of person she was.

Said to have been John Mark's Mother's house in Jerusalem

Her house, which must have been of an adequate size, was clearly a place where Christians gathered for prayer and safety, a place of Christian worship. It was to this safe and hospitable house that St. Peter made his way after his miraculous escape from prison, knowing that a group of Christians had gathered there to pray for his release. Her home was a prayerful centre of influence, and she provided out of her own resources sacrificially a safe space for Christians living in dangerous times.

Later in Acts (Acts 15:37-40) we hear of a disagreement between St.Paul and St. Barnabas over John Mark. Barnabas took Mark and sailed off for Cyprus, while Paul chose Silas to continue with him. It has been suggested that John Mark and his Mother might have been related to Barnabas, hence the esteem in which both were held in all quarters (apart from St.Paul!).

In the First Letter of Peter chapter 5 verse 13, St Peter writes - “She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.” – “Babylon” was the pseudonym that Christians used for the city of Rome, and it is clear from the beginning of this letter that this is where Peter was.

Mark was clearly with him – so perhaps “She who is in Babylon” might be Mary the Mother of Mark?

Clearly St Peter had a special place in his heart for John Mark and his Mother, as did the early Christian community.

Thanks be to God for faithful quiet people who just get on with leading the best life they can, who look for ways of making others' lives safer and better.

ACTS 12: Peter followed the angel out of the prison, not knowing, however, if what the angel was doing was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed by the first guard station and then the second, and came at last to the iron gate that opens into the city. The gate opened for them by itself, and they went out. They walked down a street, and suddenly the angel left Peter. Then Peter realized what had happened to him, and said, “Now I know that it is really true! The Lord sent his angel to rescue me from Herod's power and from everything the Jewish people expected to happen.” Aware of his situation, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.

ACTS 15:37-40 Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them, but Paul did not think it was right to take him, because he had not stayed with them to the end of their mission, but had turned back and left them in Pamphylia. There was a sharp argument, and they separated: Barnabas took Mark and sailed off for Cyprus, while Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the care of the Lord's grace.

FIRST LETTER OF PETER 5: 7-13. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.

She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.

I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved and he who watches over you will not fall asleep. The Lord himself watches over you; The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; it is he who shall keep you safe. The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in,

from this time forth and for evermore.

Psalm 121

Almighty God, who inspired John Mark’s Mother

to uphold and sustain your Church

by her loving and prayerful life:

Give us the will to love you, open our hearts to receive you,

and strengthen our hands to serve you

for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Dear Jesus, help us to spread your fragrance everywhere we go.

Flood our souls with your spirit and life.

Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly

that our lives may only be a radiance of yours.

Shine through us, that every soul whom we contact

may feel your presence.

Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus!

Stay with us, and then we shall begin to shine as you shine; so to shine as to be a light to others;

it will be you, shining on others through us.

Let us preach you without preaching, not by words but by our example, by the catching force,

The sympathetic influence of what we do.

The evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you.

Radiating Christ by Cardinal Newman:

a daily prayer used by Saint Teresa of Kolkata

and the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity

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