The St. Mark Church – Syrian Orthodox is home to the oldest and smallest Christian communities in the city of Jerusalem. It is the well known site for remarkable traditions as it is the claimed site of the Last Supper or the “Passover” tradition. So, on your way to visit the churches in the Holy City, do not forget to visit St. Mark Church for a more rewarding journey.

About the Church
Saint Mark’s Church is a Syriac Orthodox Church that can be found on the northeast portion of the old city wall’s Armenian Quarter most specifically on Ararat Street adjacent to Saint Mark’s Street. Their worship is believed to be the oldest and alive Christian liturgy according to the rituals of the early churches in Jerusalem. Syriac is the language that is being used which is the Aramaic dialect that Christ spoke.

Saint Mark is also called as “John Mark”. He hailed from Cyrene, Libya and was the interpreter and travel companion of St Peter. In fact, he used the sermons of Peter when he wrote certain parts of the Gospel. His mother, called Mary of Jerusalem had an abode where all the early church members met. It is also believed that it was the same house where Peter went when he was released by an angel from the prison.

The followers of the Syriac Orthodox consider that the site of the St. Mark Church – Syrian Orthodox is the place where that house was situated. It was supported by the inscription dating back 6th century that was found at that spot in the year 1940.
Inside the church, there is a painting of Jesus and Mary. It is believed that it has been painted by Luke but archeological experts say it can be traced back to the Byzantine period. The interior of the St. Mark Church – Syrian Orthodox in Jerusalem is semi-dark but is lavishly decorated.

Events and Traditions
The Church of Saint Mark in Jerusalem is related to the Upper Room. The Syriac Orthodox claim that it is the site of the Last Supper as written in the Gospel of Mark. It was also the site where Matthias was elected as one of the apostles in replacement of Judas Iscariot. The post resurrection apparitions of Christ also happened on the site of this church where Jesus showed to his disciples and showed his wounded hands to doubting Thomas. Lastly, at the coming of the Holy Spirit during the Pentecost was also associated with this site.

Other than these, there are also oral traditions that suggest that the Upper Room was the location of the Cenacle which is nearby Mount Zion’s Summit. Furthermore, the Syriac Orthodox also believes that this is the site where the Blessed Virgin was baptized.
Regardless whether these claims are true or not, Saint Mark’s Church remains to be a sacred destination for those visiting Jerusalem.