St. Mark the Evangelist

On 31st January 828 the relics of the Patron Saint Mark were brought from Alexandria, not without adventure, to Venice where they were received by the Doge Giustiniano Particiaco.

In those days relics were a powerful social and economic unifier, attracting pilgrims and merchants. So all relics were welcomed, and those of St. Mark particularly so in Venice since it was precisely this saint who had evangelised the people of the Veneto, becoming their patron saint and emblem in the form of a winged lion armed with a sword, and with a book in which the words Pax Tibi Marce Evangelista Meus (Peace to You Oh Mark My Evangelist) could be read in peacetime, but which was closed threateningly when the sword, rather than discriminating between good and evil, was stained with the blood of war.