Marko the Gravedigger

Marko, the Gravedigger is in Russian folklore, a monk who restored the dead to life. Marko was a gravedigger for the Holy Crypt Monastery during the Middle Ages. One day he dug a grave that was not very wide. When the body was brought to the grave, the monks “began to grumble at Marko, for it was neither possible to adjust the dead man’s robes nor to anoint him with holy oil.”

Marko told the monks that he had not felt well when he dug the grave, but they continued to complain until Marko addressed the dead man:

“Brother, your grave is so narrow we cannot even anoint you with holy oil. Take the oil and anoint yourself.”

The dead man rose up slightly, anointed himself with the holy oil, and then lay down and “once more died.” Marko performed other such miracles, and when he died was buried in a grave he had dug for himself.

Marko the Gravedigger


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

Marko the Gravedigger