The Church commemorates Saint Mark Evgenikos of Ephesus.
Saint Mark Evgenikos of Ephesus was born in AD 1392. He studied Theology and Philosophy. He apprenticed to the most famous teachers of his time, John Chortasmenos and the mathematician and philosopher Gemistus Pletho. Cardinal Bessarion was one of his classmate, who was a supporter of the union between the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Catholic) churches.
Mark Eugene was distinguished as a teacher of rhetoric. Some illustrious figures were among his students such as Gennadius Scholarius (the first Patriarch after the Fall of Constantinople), Theodoros Agallianos, Metropolitan Theofanis of Media, and his brother John Eugenikos.
At the age of 25, he abandoned his secular career and became a monk in a monastery in the Princes’ Islands and in AD 1436 he was elected Archbishop of Ephesus.
He accompanied Emperor John VIII Palaeologus and Patriarch Joseph in Ferrara and Florence, where a Synod for the unification of the Eastern and Western Churches was held. There Mark was a staunch supporter of Orthodoxy and refused to sign the term of pseudo-unification, as he was guided by the interest of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
On May 4, 1440, St. Mark was forced to flee Constantinople because his life was in danger and went to Ephesus which was under Turkish rule. There, after shepherding his flock for a while, he traveled to Mount Athos where he had decided to spend the rest of his life. However, when the ship stopped in Lemnos, following an imperial order, Saint Mark was arrested and imprisoned for two years.
After his release, St. Mark could not retire to Mount Athos due to his illness, but returned to Constantinople. From the Monastery of Saint George in Mangana, the new Confessor led the struggle against the unionists, writing letters and encouraging the faithful to keep the right faith and not to cooperate with the superficial unionists.
Due to persecution, exhaustion worsened, so he reposed in the Lord at the age of 52.
Source: Church of Cyprus