In 828 CE, the Muslim ruler of Alexandria, Egypt supposedly planned to destroy all the Christian relics in the city. Two monks from Venice who happened to be in Alexandria at the time decided that they had to save the most important Christian relic in the city. The body of Saint Mark, author of the earliest New Testament Gospel, was kept in the Church of Saint Mark. The monks convinced the local priests that the only way to save Saint Mark’s holy relics was by stealing them away to Venice.
The monks hid the relics buried under a layer of pork and cabbage. The Muslim officials could not touch the pork, and so the relics were carried out of Alexandria to Venice, where they reside today in San Marco (Och 2011). Today, Saint Mark’s holy remains and his church in the center of Venice are defining features of the city. The legend of the monks hiding the relics in pork is a story told with pride and as a factual piece of the city’s history (“The Annunciation” 2012). Continue reading Saint Mark