This church is built where, tradition says, Saint Mark was driven ashore by a storm on his way back from Aquileia. Here he was told by an angel that the Lagoon was to be his resting place and that the city that shall rise on these lagoons will call you its protector. The original medieval church was built by Franciscans in 1253 on the site of a chapel in a vineyard (vigna) which marked the spot. This church can be seen now only on Barbari's map of the city. Some sources claim that this original small chapel survived until demolition in 1810.