St.-Mark-the-ApostleThe merciful, the compassionate one, the Lord Christ, gave himself by the mystery of his Incarnation to save his creatures, and vanquished the mighty by humility and weakness, and speaks through the mouth of his prophets by the Holy Ghost.

When it pleased him to manifest himself on earth and become incarnate, that he might save his creatures whom he had created after the likeness of the image of his majesty, he appeared among them in a human body, born of the Virgin Mary, most excellent of women in creation.

For he had elected her from among the offspring of Adam, the sinner and rebel against his Lord, who obeyed his enemy and broke the commandment of his Creator, so that it was necessary that he should die, as God had said to him when he warned him not to disobey.

But Adam would not listen, desiring to be a god and similar to his Creator, and so was caught in the net of stumbling.

Yet even then God the Word had mercy upon him in pity for him, and became incarnate. He, the uncreated in respect of his Godhead, the man in respect of his humanity, the pure from all sin.

And the Virgin Mary bore him in her womb and brought him forth, by a mystery to which the intelligence of creatures cannot attain, and by which he exalted her above all other created beings in heaven or on earth; above the angels, the powers, the principalities, the cherubim and the seraphim, and all whom God has made in heaven or on earth.

For she became the throne of him who is Lord of the first and the last, without division or change, of him whom no space can enclose, and no time contain.

And when, in his unattainable wisdom, he established his dispensation, and the union of his humanity with his divinity, the mystery of which is hidden from all in heaven or on earth, he chose his disciples, the apostles, and gave them the great commission, authorising them to bind and to loose.

And so likewise their successors after them inherit this gift in all regions of the world, each one following his predecessor. Thus the inheritance of this power, which Christ gave to the great father and evangelist, Mark, the apostle, is carried on to his successor, the patriarch who sits upon his episcopal throne in the great city of Alexandria, in the midst of the regions where he preached.

Severus of Al-Ushmunain (d. 987): History of the Coptic Patriarchs of Alexandria, Second Preface.

The image, found at Pravmir, is a Coptic icon of St Mark, the first of the Coptic Patriarchs of Alexandria in the history written by Severus.

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