Mount Athos weathered lithography (icon) of Saint Mark, Bishop of Ephesus, in pine wood with carved decoration.
Saint Mark was born in 1392 AD. in Constantinople by pious parents, who raised him according to Christian education. His baptismal name was Emmanuel and he studied with famous teachers of the time, such as the well-known philosopher and mathematician George Gemistos - Plethon. His love of solitary and ascetic life led Emmanuel to abandon worldly things and become a monk, named Mark, on the island of Antigone in the Princes' Islands. He then went to the Holy Monastery of St. George of Maggan in Constantinople, where he was ordained an elder.
In 1436 AD was elected Metropolitan of Ephesus. At the union meeting in Florence he refused to sign the union of the Western and Eastern Churches. For this attitude the people of Constantinople welcomed him as a confessor of the Church. His enemies, however, wanted to kill him and he was forced to take refuge on Mount Athos. In Lemnos he was arrested and imprisoned for two years by order of the emperor. Overwhelmed and sick, the Saint passed away on June 23, 1444 AD. at the age of just 52 years. The Orthodox Christian Church celebrates his memory on January 19 of each year.
Apolytikion of Saint Mark, Bishop of Ephesus
All-laudable and most divine Mark, * in thee the Church found a great zealot * by thy confession of the holy and sacred Faith; * for thou didst champion the doctrines which the Fathers taught * and didst cast down darkness' boastful pride. * Wherefore pray thou to Christ God for them that honour thee, * that we be granted the forgiveness of sins.