mercredi 7 octobre 2015

Saint MARC, Pape et confesseur

Saint Marc

Pape (34 ème) en 336 ( 336)

Romain d'origine, il ne fut évêque de Rome que durant huit mois. Il édifia deux petites basiliques et la tradition lui prête la décision de réciter le symbole de Nicée après l'Évangile. 

À Rome,  en 336, saint Marc, pape, qui construisit un titre dans le quartier de Pallacine au cœur de la ville, et une basilique au cimetière de Balbine sur la voie Ardéatine, où il fut inhumé.

Martyrologe romain

Saint Marc

Pape (34e) en 336

Le Liber pontificalis en fait un Romain, fils de Priscus. Marc ne participa pas aux disputes qui suivirent le Concile de Nicée. Mais sous son règne, saint Athanase d'Alexandrie (296-373) était en exil à Trêves ; Marcel d'Ancyre († 374) et d'autres chefs de file de l'orthodoxie nicéenne étaient déposés. Arius était sur son lit de mort. On a de bonnes raisons de croire que c'est sous son règne que débuta la compilation des listes anciennes des évêques et des martyrs de Rome connues sous le nom de Depositio episcoporum et de Depositio martyrum. Son court pontificat fut de dix mois. Il est vénéré par l'Église comme saint et fêté le 7 octobre.

Saint Marc (336)

Son pontificat ne dura que quelques mois.

Il s’employa à lutter contre l’hérésie arienne.

Pope St. Mark

Date of birth unknown; consecrated 18 Jan., 336; d. 7 Oct., 336. After the death of Pope Sylvester, Mark was raised to the Roman episcopal chair as his successor. The "Liber Pontificalis" says that he was a Roman, and that his father's name was Priscus. Constantine the Great's letter, which summoned a conference of bishops for the investigation of the Donatist dispute, is directed to Pope Miltiades and one Mark (Eusebius, Church History X.5). This Mark was evidently a member of the Roman clergy, either priest or first deacon, and is perhaps identical with the pope. The date of Mark's election (18 Jan., 336) is given in the Liberian Catalogue of popes (Duchesne, "Liber Pontificalis", I, 9), and is historically certain; so is the day of his death (7 Oct.), which is specified in the same way in the "Depositio episcoporum" of Philocalus's "Chronography", the first edition of which appeared also in 336. Concerning an interposition of the pope in the Arian troubles, which were then so actively affecting the Church in the East, nothing has been handed down. An alleged letter of his to St. Athanasius is a later forgery. Two constitutions are attributed to Mark by the author of the "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 20). According to the one, he invested the Bishop of Ostia with the pallium, and ordained that this bishop was to consecrate the Bishop of Rome. It is certain that, towards the end of the fourth century, the Bishop of Ostia did bestow the episcopal consecration upon the newly-elected pope; Augustine expressly bears witness to this (Breviarium Collationis, III, 16). It is indeed possible that Mark had confirmed this privilege by a constitution, which does not preclude the fact that the Bishop of Ostia before this time usually consecrated the new pope. As for the bestowal of the pallium, the account cannot be established from sources of the fourth century, since the oldest memorials which show this badge, belong to the fifth and sixth centuries, and the oldest written mention of a pope bestowing the pallium dates from the sixth century (cf. Grisar, "Das römische Pallium und die ältesten liturgischen Schärpen", in "Festschrift des deutschen Campo Santo in Rom", Freiburg im Br., 1897, 83-114).

The "Liber Pontificalis" remarks further of Marcus: "Et constitutum de omni ecclesia ordinavit"; but we do not know which constitution this refers to. The building of two basilicas is attributed to this pope by the author of the "Liber Pontificalis". One of these was built within the city in the region "juxta Pallacinis"; it is the present church of San Marco, which however received its present external shape by later alterations. It is mentioned in the fifth century as a Roman title church, so that its foundation may without difficulty be attributed to St. Mark. The other was outside the city; it was a cemetery church, which the pope got built over the Catacomb of Balbina, between the Via Appia and the Via Ardeatina (cf. de Rossi, "Roma sotterranea", III, 8-13; "Bullettino di arch. crist.", 1867, 1 sqq.; Wilpert, "Topographische Studien uber die christlichen Monumente der Appia und der Ardeatina", in "Rom. Quartalschrift", 1901, 32-49). The pope obtained from Emperor Constantine gifts of land and liturgical furniture for both basilicas. Mark was buried in the Catacomb of Balbina, where he had built the cemetery church. His grave is expressly mentioned there by the itineraries of the seventh century (de Rossi, "Roma sotterranea", I, 180-1). The feast of the deceased pope was given on 7 Oct. in the old Roman calendar of feasts, which was inserted in the "Martyrologium Hieronymianum"; it is still kept on the same date. In an ancient manuscript a laudatory poem is preserved (unfortunately in a mutilated text), which Pope Damasus had composed on a Saint Marcus (de Rossi, "Inscriptiones christ. urbis Romae.", II, 108; Ihm, "Damasi epigrammata", Leipzig, 1895, 17, no. 11). De Rossi refers this to Pope Mark, but Duchesne (loc. cit., 204), is unable to accept this view. Since the contents of the poem are of an entirely general nature, without any particularly characteristic feature from the life of Pope Mark, the question is not of great importance.


Liber Pontif., ed. DUCHESNE, I, 202-4; URBAIN, Ein Martyrologium der christl. Gemeinde zu Rom am Anfang des V. Jahrh. (Leipzig, 1901), 198; LANGEN, Gesch. der rom. Kirche, I, 423.

Kirsch, Johann Peter. "Pope St. Mark." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 7 Oct. 2015 <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Mark A. Banach. Dedicated to my wife, Margaret D. Banach; and my children, Andrew and Ashley.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

October 7

St. Mark, Pope and Confessor

See the Pontifical published by Anastasius ap. Muratori inter Italiarum Rerum Scriptores, t. 3, p. 112; also Baron. ad an. 336; Bosius and Aringhi, l. 2, c. 15.

A.D. 336

ST. MARK was by birth a Roman, and served God with such fervour among the clergy of that church, that, advancing continually in sincere humility and the knowledge and sense of his own weakness and imperfections, he strove every day to surpass himself in the fervour of his charity and zeal, and in the exercise of all virtues. The persecution ceased in the West, upon the abdication of Dioclesian and Maximian, in the beginning of the year 305; but was revived for a short time by Maxentius in 312. St. Mark abated nothing of his watchfulness, but endeavoured rather to redouble his zeal during the peace of the church; knowing that if men sometimes cease openly to persecute the faithful, the devil never allows them any truce, and his snares are generally most to be feared in the time of a calm. The saint contributed very much to advance the service of God during the pontificate of St. Sylvester; after whose demise he was himself placed in the apostolic chair on the 18th of January, 336. He held that dignity only eight months and twenty days, dying on the 7th of October following. According to the Pontifical published by Anastasius, he built two churches, one on the Ardeatine Way, where he was afterwards buried; another within the walls, near the capitol. He was interred in the Ardeatine Way, in the cemetery of Balbina, a holy martyr buried there. It was originally called of Prætextatus, probably from some illustrious person of that name, and was situate without the Ardeatine gate, not far from the cemetery of Calixtus, on the Appian Way. St. Mark had very much beautified and adorned this burial-place, out of respect to the martyrs there interred; and he being buried there, it from that time bore his name. Pope Damasus, in his epitaph, extols his extraordinary disinterestedness and contempt of all earthly things, and his remarkable spirit of prayer, by which he drew down on the people abundant spiritual blessings. His name occurs in the Liberian Calendar, compiled soon after his death, and in all other Martyrologies of the Western church. A church bore his name in Rome in the fifth century. His remains were translated into it by the order of Gregory VII. The pontificals mention that the church was repaired by Adrian I., Gregory IV., and Paul II. This last pope built near it a palace which was the summer residence of the popes till Sixtus V. preferred the Quirinal hill, or Monte Cavallo.

It was by constant watchfulness over themselves, by assiduous self denial, and humble prayer, that all the saints triumphed over their spiritual enemies. They never laid down their arms. A Christian ought to be afraid of no enemy more than himself, whom he carries always about with him, and whom he is not able to flee from. He therefore never ceases to cry out to God: Who will preserve me from falling through myself! Not my own strength. Unless thou, O Lord, art my light and support, I watch in vain.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume X: October. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.

Also known as
  • Marcus

Son of Priscus. Chosen 34th pope; he reigned less than a year. Believed to have built the basilica of San Marco in Rome, Italy and the Juxta Pallacinis basilica just outside the city. Issued a constitution confirming the power of the bishop of Ostia to consecrate newly elected popes. Little else is known of his life or reign.

Papal Ascension