Our Holy Father Mark of Trache.

Commemorated April 5 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

He is also known as 'the Athenian' because Athens was his birthplace. When he had finished his higher schooling in Athens, his parents died. He pondered within himself on the inevitability death, and that one must prepare in good time for a holy depart from this world. He gave his goods away to the poor and seated him self on a plank in the sea, with profound faith in God's help and the prayer that God would lead him wherever He desired. And, by the providence of God, he was kept safe and taken to Libya (or Ethiopia), to a mountain called Trache. Mark lived in asceticism that mountain for ninety-five years, seeing neither man nor beast. For thirty whole years he had an intense struggle with evil sprits, and was tormented by hunger and thirst, cold and heat. He ate earth and drank sea-water. After thirty years of the most intense sufferings, the conquered demons fled from him and angels of started bringing him food every day in the form of bread, fish and fruit. St Serapion visited him just before his death, and later recorded the wonderful life of this saint. Mark was asking Serapion if there were in the world any Christians who could say to the mountain they were on: 'Get up and cast yourself into the sea', and it would do so. At that moment the mountain began to move like a wave. But Mark raised a hand and quietened it, such being miraculous power of this man of God. At the time of his death, prayed for the salvation of all men and gave his soul into God's hands. St Serapion saw an angel bearing Mark's soul, and a hand extended from heaven to receive it. St Mark lived for a hundred and thirty years and entered into rest in about 400.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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