The Feast of San Marco of Atina – 1 October

According to tradition San Marco di Galilea, or St Mark of Galilee, was converted by St Peter the Apostle and became one of his disciples. He is said to have accompanied  St Peter to Rome.  St Peter consecrated him as a bishop and entrusted him to spread Christianity in certain regions of Italy such as Marsica, Ciociaria and Campania. Marco sought to convert many of the local people to the new faith and fought passionately against paganism. However during this era the Roman Emperor Domitian persecuted followers of Christianity. According to the Chronicle of the Church of Atina Marco was eventually captured, tortured and put to death in Atina in the year 96 AD.

Marco was subsequently canonized as a saint and a martyr. His liturgical feast day is celebrated on the 28th April.  However in Atina another festival is held on the 1st October of each year. This relates to the dedication of his name to Atina’s Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. This is beacause the former Collegiate of Santa Maria and San Marco, situated near to the cemetery, was destroyed during the bombing in the Second World War. Therefore the Cathedral now houses the relics of San Marco and he has become the patron of the town of Atina. He is also known as the patron saint of earthquakes.

Below is a copy of a 17th century etching depicting San Marco and the old walled city of Atina. The artist was D. Mautone.

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

Festival Decorations

San Marco Inside the Cathedral of Atina

The Statue of San Marco and His Relics

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

photo Archivio Biblioteca di Atina

The Procession of San Marco of Atina

Festival Lights on the Feast of San Marco of Atina

After the procession an orchestra gives a grand concert in an ornate band-stand in Piazza Marconi.

© Italo Caira

© Italo Caira

Fireworks Display

The evening’s festivities are always concluded by a grand firework display. Some beautiful photos by Italo Caira below.

© Italo Caira

© Italo Caira

© Italo Caira

Italian Heart

Photos have been accredited to the photographer / owner.  Images marked * are in the Public Domain.

Photos marked with  are believed to be in the Public Domain due of their age.

All other photos I have taken myself  © Louise Shapcott