The winged lion is the traditional symbol for our Patron Saint, the evangelist Saint Mark, for three primary reasons. At the beginning of his Gospel, Saint Mark presents “a voice of one crying out in the desert,” as if the roar of a lion (Mark 1:3), calling for conversion and necessary preparation in welcoming Jesus into the world and our lives. The winged lion also is used to represent Saint Mark because his Gospel reveals Jesus as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Finally, the wings of the lion represent the revelation, from the very beginning of the Gospel according to Saint Mark, of “Jesus Christ [as] the Son of God” (Mark 1:1); the wings signify a connection to the Divine, or, indeed, the Divine itself.
The meaning and significance of this particular depiction of the winged lion for Saint Mark Parish reveals that our parish family is alive and vibrant, strong and on the move, like Jesus in the Gospel. Our winged lion immediately evokes in all of us a sense of strength and vibrancy in our faith, and perseverance in accepting and living the Gospel message of God’s mighty and tender love, most emphatically revealed by the Holy Cross – for at the heart of the lion is the Cross of Christ Jesus.
Sacrifice, signified by the crimson field, is a core value of our parish family which believes we are called to “make holy” all that has been given to us by God, and witness to God’s mighty and tender love for us and the world by our very lives.
Humility, signified in the sandstone colored lion, is a core value of our parish family which believes we are “grounded” by our relationship with Jesus Christ which makes us who we are – sons and daughters of God Almighty.
This depiction of the winged lion – symbol for Saint Mark – appropriately reveals the essence of the Gospel and the essence of our parish family: strength, vibrancy, sacrifice and humility, and at the heart of it all, the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ the Lord which reveals the profound reality of His mighty and tender love.