The See of St. Mark

The Coptic Church or the Church of Alexandria is called “See of St. Mark;” on of the earliest sees: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and Rome.

St. Mark is considered the founder of the Coptic Church. However, evidence indicates that Christianity was introduced into Egypt before St. Mark, though undoubtedly, it must have been on a very small scale. The following are some interesting points on this subject:

The Book of Acts refers to the Jews of Egypt who were present at the Pentecost (Acts 2:10). Upon their return home, they must have conveyed what they saw and heard about Christ and their relatives.

The same book mentions an “Alexandrine Jew named Apollos” who arrived at Ephesus… He was described as an eloquent man with sound knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. He preached with great spiritual earnestness and was able to demonstrate from the Scriptures that Jesus was the expected Christ (Acts 18:24028). It is quite possible that Apollos was a member of a small Christian group of Jewish origin who lived in Alexandria.

St. Luke addresses his Gospel to “His excellency Theopilus,” a Christian believer from Alexandria.
The Coptic book of Sinxarum (the day of 15 Bashance) records the preaching of Simon the Zealous in areas of south Egypt and Nubia.
St. Mark The Founder

The Copts are proud of the apostolicity of their church, whose founder is St. Mark; one of the seventy Apostles (Mark 10:10), and one of the four Evangelists. He is regarded by the Coptic hierarchy as the first of their unbroken 117 patriarchs, and also the first of a stream of Egyptian martyrs.

This apostolicity was not only furnished on grounds of its foundation but rather by the persistence of the church in observing the same faith received by the Apostle and his successors, the Holy Fathers.

St. Mark was an African native of Jewish parents who belonged to the Levites’ tribe. His family lived in Cyrenaica until they were attacked by some barbarians, and lost their property. Consequently, they moved to Jerusalem with their child John Mark (Acts 12:12; 25; 15:37). Apparently, he was given a good education and became conversant in both Greek and Latin in addition to Hebrew. His family was highly religious and in close relationship with the Lord Jesus. His cousin was St. Barnabas and his father’s cousin was St. Peter. His mother, Mary, played an important part in the early days of the church in Jerusalem.

Her upper-room became the first Christian church in the world where the Lord himself instituted the Holy Eucharist (Mark 14:12-26).  There also, the Lord appeared to the disciples after His resurrection and His Holy Spirit came upon them.