If you have ever seen images of winged lions associated with St. Mark, whose feast day is April 25, you may have wondered why this creature represents the evangelist. The association with the lion is quite strong—not only does the winged animal represent St. Mark, but it also is the symbol of the city of Venice, where it is believed that St. Mark’s remains now rest. This tradition of symbolism actually has its roots in scripture and sacred art.
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” – Genesis 2:15
During Holy Week, bishops from dioceses around the world celebrate the Chrism Mass. Though the Chrism Mass is usually on the morning of Holy Thursday, it can fall on another day of the week if need be. During the Mass, three types of oil are blessed for each church in the diocese to use throughout the coming year. In addition to the blessing of the oils, all the priests and bishops of the diocese publicly renew their priestly promises at the Chrism Mass.