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Saint Luke

Saint Luke
  • Century: 1st Century
  • Patronage: Artists, Physicians, Surgeons, Students, Butchers
  • Feast Day: October 18th

St. Luke was born in Syria, and not sure of the year of his birth, but his death was in the year 84.  He is mentioned in three of the Pauline Epistles including Colossians where he is described by Paul as “Our dear friend Luke, the Doctor”.  Christians believe he was the author of the Gospel of St. Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. 

His earliest notice is in Paul’s epistle to Philemon, Verse 24.  He is also mentioned in Colossians 4:14 and 2 Timothy 4:11.  Luke was a physician by profession, and became a disciple of the Apostle Paul and followed him until Paul’s martyrdom.  He was not married, and never had children, serving the Lord until his death in the year 84.  We have to go to the Acts of the Apostles to follow the trail of Luke’s Christian ministry.  We know nothing about his conversion but know that he joined St. Paul.   We know that Luke is a loyal comrade who stays with Paul when he is imprisoned in Rome, in the year 61, “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends his greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke my fellow workers” Philemon 24.  After everyone else deserts Paul in his final imprisonment and sufferings, it is Luke who remains with Paul to the end, “Only Luke is with me” 2 Timothy 4:11.  

We know that Luke’s inspiration and information for his Gospel and Acts of the Apostles came from his close association with Paul by the introduction to the Gospel, “Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus”, Luke 1:1-3.  

Luke had a unique perspective on Jesus, and this can be seen by the eighteen parables and six miracles not found in the other gospels.  Luke’s gospel seems to focus or highlight social justice and the poor.  He tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man who ignored him.  In the beatitudes, he is the only one who uses “blessed are the poor” rather than “blessed are the poor in spirit”.  Luke’s gospel is the only one that we hear of Mary’s Magnificat.  

It is evident that Luke had a specially connection with Mary.  Luke’s gospel is the only one where we hear the story of the Annunciation, Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, the Magnificat, the Presentation, and the story of Jesus getting lost in the temple.  We thank St. Luke for part of the Hail Mary, “Hail Mary, Full of Grace” spoken at the Annunciation, and “Blessed are you, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus”, spoken by her cousin Elizabeth.  

Tradition teaches that St. Luke died at the age of 84, in Boeotia, Greece, where he settled to write the Gospels.  It was believed that St. Luke’s tomb was located in Thebes, Greece, and eventually his relics were transferred to Constantinople in the year 357.  

Practical Take Away 

St. Luke was the author of the gospel according to St. Luke, as well as the Acts of the Apostles.  He is known to have worked with Paul, remaining with him until his death.  He had a very close relationship with Mary, and brought us many Scriptural teachings on the life of Mary that the other Gospel’s didn’t.  Forgiveness and God’s mercy to sinners is also of first importance to St. Luke, in his writings about the Prodigal Son being welcomed back.  Throughout St. Luke’s gospel, Jesus takes the side of the sinner who wants to return to God’s mercy.  He was one who loved the poor, respected women, and was a physician by profession.  It is believed that he settle in Greece to write his Gospel, where died at the age of 84.