Theology of the Heart- Life of the Saints- St. Luke



Feast: October 18

Etym.: From the Latin, Lucas, from the Greek, Loukas. "Bearer of light"

Author of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, in which he narrates the beginnings of the life of the Church, until the first imprisonment of Saint Paul in Rome.  

He possibly wrote between 70 and 80 AD, and probably in the two years that Paul was in Caesarea (Acts 20:21) He is known as an evangelist and as a historian. 

Luke received the faith around the year 40 AD.  He had met Paul in Antioch.  Neither of the two knew Jesus during his earthly life.  Nevertheless, Luke knew how to write, carefully guided by the Holy Spirit, what he heard from the eye witnesses of Jesus life and ministry.  He is the only one who narrates the infancy of Jesus and who speaks most of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Perhaps this is because She Herself instructed him in Ephesus. 

Luke writes for the Gentile world.  He emphasizes the universal aspect of Redemption.  Preaching to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem (Cf Lk. 24: 46-47). He is conscious of the dangers of Jewish laws, heresies, and pagan frivolity.  His Gospel gives special attention to the poor, repentant sinners and to prayer. 

Luke was born to pagan parents in Antioch, and he is the only writer in the New Testament who is not an Israelite.  He is from the Greek culture and directs his writings to Greek Christians.  He was well educated in literature and was a doctor. 

Saint Luke was a faithful disciple of Saint Paul, who writes the following about him; “Luke, the beloved physician” (Col 4:14).  From prison in Rome Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy, “Only Luke remains with me”.  Saint John Chrysostom called him “Untiring in work, anxious to know and to suffer, Luke was not to separate himself from Paul”   In Acts of the Apostles, Luke is included in the accounts of the journeys of Saint Paul.  “We went to… we sailed for…”  On one of these journeys they set off from Troas for Phoenicia.  They took another journey from Phoenicia to Rome.  Later they went together to Rome, and suffered a shipwreck and other dangers of their journey.  

According to tradition, he died a martyr in Achaia (Greece) by being nailed to a tree.  His relics are located in the Basilica of Saint Justina in Padua, Italy.  Studies conducted there in 1998 showed the remains to be consonant with the dates of Saint Luke known to tradition. 

Patron of: artists, doctors, surgeons, bachelors, butchers, bookbinders, brewers, sculptors, notaries…
Represented in art with: a book, a winged-bull, a doctor, painting an icon of Our Lady. 

According to tradition he was also the painter of Our Lady. 


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