Saturday, April 25, 2020

Feast of Saint Mark -- Imperial Patriarchate

Jean DuBois

AQUILEIA 25 April 2020 (ORCNS) - The feast of St. Mark the Evangelist is celebrated on 25 April and is a particularly important feast day for the Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarchate since it is the Custodian of the Apostolic See of St. Mark in Aquileia. The feast is also traditionally marked in Catholic custom by a special procession.
St. Mark with his symbol,
the winged lion.

Believed to have been born in Cyrene, St. Mark was not one of the original twelve Apostles, but instead was one of the seventy sent out by Christ. According to the tradition of the Coptic Church, which was founded by St. Mark in Alexandria, he hosted the disciples in his house after the Crucifixion, and when Jesus came to see the Apostles after the Resurrection as detailed in the Gospel of John as well as when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles at the Pentecost, it was in the very same house of St. Mark. Coptic tradition also holds that St. Mark was one of those who poured out the water that Christ turned into wine during the wedding feast at Cana. He was sent by St. Peter the Apostle to Aquileia, where he founded an Apostolic See. Then he founded the Apostolic See in Alexandria. The pagans of Alexandria, in opposition to his efforts to convert people to the Christian faith, tied a rope around his neck and dragged him violently through the streets. Thus he met a martyr’s end. His symbol is a winged lion.
The Apostolic See in Aquileia founded by St. Mark became quite important, with its bishop quickly becoming a Metropolitan by the fourth century A.D. Western Illria (the modern-day coast of the Balkans on the Adriatic, including countries such as Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, and Greece) were under the jurisdiction of Aquileia, as were many key Roman cities in northeastern Italy. During the Ostrogothic and Lombard rule of Italy after the fall of th
Matilda, Margravine of
Tuscany and Imperial
Vice-Queen of Italy.
e Western Roman Empire, the new kings recognised the Archbishop of Aquileia as a Patriarch, with recognition of the Patriarchate's legitimacy of traditional apostolic independence from Rome.

During the Frankish establishment of the Imperial Kingdom of Italy, the Emperor Charlemagne also recognised the status of the Patriarch of Aquileia. In 1077, Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV established the Patriarch as a Prince-Bishop of the Empire, with temporal control over Friuli. The Emperor had the just made peace with the Pope due to the negotiations made by Matilda, Margravine of Tuscany and Imperial Vice-Queen of Italy. It was with this gift of the title of Duke of Friuli to the patriarch that the Imperial Patriarchate of Aquileia became a temporal as well as ecclesiastical state.
Clergy uniform insignia in the
Walsingham Guard bearing the
winged lions of St. Mark

The Imperial Patriarchate of Aquileia eventually came into conflict with Venice, which was within its territory, but was rising as a state power of its own. The patriarchate lasted as a functioning temporal power until the 15th century. In 1420, the last of its territories were taken by the Venetians. Today Aquileia is a titular Roman Catholic archbishopric rather than a regular archdiocese. The traditional Imperial Patriarchate of Aquileia is part of the patrimony of the Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarchate in memory of St. Stephen as Custodians of the Apostolic See of St. Mark in Aquileia. The uniform insignia for clergy in the Walsingham Guard consists of a crowned Barcelona cross of St. George supported by two winged lions on either side in honour of St. Mark the Evangelist.