St. Mark's Day

St. Mark's Day

April 25
Although he is often assumed to be one of the Apostles, Mark was much too young at the time to be more than a follower of Jesus. He is known primarily as the author of one of the four Gospels, which biblical scholars believe is based on what he learned from his close friend and traveling companion, St. Peter. St. Mark the Evangelist is also associated with Venice, Italy, where the church bearing his name was built over the place where his relics were taken in 815.
In England, it was believed that if you kept a vigil on the church porch from 11 o'clock on St. Mark's Eve until one o'clock in the morning, you would see the ghosts of all those who would die in the coming year as they walked up the path and entered the church. Young girls believed that if they left a flower on the church porch during the day and returned for it at midnight, they would see a wedding procession, including an apparition of their future husband, as they walked home. Because it involved an all-night vigil, St. Mark's Day eventually came to be associated with various forms of licentious behavior, which is why the parochial clergy in the Middle Ages decided that the day should be one of abstinence.
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 314
BkDays-1864, vol. I, p. 549
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 101
DictDays-1988, p. 104
FestSaintDays-1915, p. 98
OxYear-1999, pp. 170, 172

Celebrated in: Hungary


St. Mark's Day (Hungary)
April 25
In Hungary, St. Mark's Day is also known as Buza-Szentelo or the Blessing of the Wheat, during which people follow their priest or minister in a procession to the wheat fields where the crop is blessed. They return to the village carrying spears of the blessed wheat, which some believe has healing powers. The fields are again blessed when harvesting begins on June 29, Sts. Peter and Paul Day.
SOURCES:
BkFest-1937, p. 169
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 302

Celebrated in: Hungary