Saint Mark and Venice

St Mark and the Shoemaker

  The story of the shoemaker Anianus is a tale of a humble man made good. This is the Golden Legend version of his encounter with St Mark in Alexandria.

  And as (St Mark) came into Alexandria, his shoes were broken and torn; when he saw that he said: I see that my journey is a smooth one, for God has not allowed the devil  to obstruct me, for my sins have been forgiven. Then St. Mark went to a shoemaker to mend his shoes. As the shoemaker worked he pricked and injured his left hand with his awl. When he felt the hurt he cried on high: One God! When St. Mark heard that, he said to him: 'Now I know well that God has made my journey prosperous.' Then he took a little clay and spittle and mixed them together and laid it on the wound, and straight away he was whole. When the shoemaker saw this miracle he brought him into his house and demanded him what he was, and where he had come from. St. Mark said that he was the servant of Jesus Christ.  'I would fain see him', the shoemaker replied. 'I shall show him to you' St. Mark said. Then he began to preach to him the faith of Jesus Christ, and  baptized him and all his family. When the men of the town heard  that a man had come from Galilee that despised the sacrifices of idols, they began to plan how they might deliver him to death. When St. Mark learned that, he made his shoemaker, which was named Anianus, bishop of Alexandria. He himself went to Pentapolis where he was for two years. When he came again to Alexandria he found the town full of Christian men, but the priests of the idols were waiting for to take him.

Cima da Conegliano:  St Mark Healing the Cobbler Anianus
Gemalderie Berlin

     After the death of St Mark, Anianus became the patriarch of the church in Alexandria, from 68 until 82.

Giovanni Mansueti: The Baptism of St Anianus
Pinacoteca di Brera Milan

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