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Review article

Saint Mark the Evangelist in Croats’ Christian traditional cultural heritage

Marko Dragić orcid id

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Saint Mark the Evangelist (Cyrene around 10 AD – Alexandria April 25th 68 AD) was a member of the Jewish tribe o Levi. He is nephew of Saint Barnabas, close associate of Saint Paul and Peter to whom he was secretary. In the New Testament he is mentioned eight times and Mary mother of John called Mark is mentioned for the ninth time. The first Christian community in Jerusalem gathered in his mother Mary’s home. According to some sources Jesus ate his last supper in Mark’s mother Mary’s house.
He is worshipped by: The Roman Catholic Church, The Orthodox Church, The Coptic Church, the eastern Catholic churches, the Lutheran Church. He is multiple patron. Worship of Saint Mark the evangelist in Croats’ Christian traditional culture is reflected in legends; cathedrals and churches consecrated to that evangelist; toponyms; chrematonyms; processions and blessings of fields, crops, vineyards; folk celebrations (fairs); helping the poor; cult shrines; folk divinations and sayings; bonfires; oral lyrical poems; prayers. The paper cites the results of field research conducted from the year 1997 until the year 2016. About fifty legends, prayers, customs, rituals, processions, divinations have been originally recorded among Croatian Catholics in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.
The paper (re)constructs the life of Saint Mark the Evangelist on the basis of the New Testament, tales and legends. Further, the aim of the paper is to save from the oblivion the old legends, customs, rituals, processions, oral lyrical poems, prayers, divinations and to point out their social and aesthetic function using the multidisciplinary interpretation. Inductive-deductive method and methods of description, comparison, analysis and synthesis are used alongside the filed research work.


legends, customs, processions, divinations, oral lyrical poems

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