Saint Luke

General Information

Saint Luke, traditionally considered to be the author of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, was a companion and fellow worker of Saint Paul. According to Colossians 4:11-14, he was a Gentile and a physician. Later legend made him an artist, and during the Middle Ages the picture of the Virgin Mary in Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, was ascribed to him. He is the patron saint of physicians and artists. Feast day: Oct. 18.

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Bibliography
Evans, F., Saint Luke (1990); Jervell, Jacob, Luke and The People of God (1972); Marshall, I. Howard, Luke: Historian and Theologian (1971; repr. 1989).


Saint Luke

Advanced Information

Luke, the evangelist, was a Gentile. The date and circumstances of his conversion are unknown. According to his own statement (Luke 1:2), he was not an "eye-witness and minister of the word from the beginning." It is probable that he was a physician in Troas, and was there converted by Paul, to whom he attached himself. He accompanied him to Philippi, but did not there share his imprisonment, nor did he accompany him further after his release in his missionary journey at this time (Acts 17:1). On Paul's third visit to Philippi (20:5, 6) we again meet with Luke, who probably had spent all the intervening time in that city, a period of seven or eight years. From this time Luke was Paul's constant companion during his journey to Jerusalem (20:6-21:18). He again disappears from view during Paul's imprisonment at Jerusalem and Caesarea, and only reappears when Paul sets out for Rome (27: 1), whither he accompanies him (28:2, 12-16), and where he remains with him till the close of his first imprisonment (Philemon 24; Col. 4:14).

The last notice of the "beloved physician" is in 2 Tim. 4:11. There are many passages in Paul's epistles, as well as in the writings of Luke, which show the extent and accuracy of his medical knowledge.

(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)


Apostle and Evangelist Luke, the first iconographer

Orthodox Information

(This information may not be of the scholastic quality of the other articles in BELIEVE. Since few Orthodox scholarly articles have been translated into English, we have had to rely on Orthodox Wiki as a source. Since the Wikipedia collections do not indicate the author's name for articles, and essentially anyone is free to edit or alter any of their articles (again, without any indication of what was changed or who changed it), we have concerns. However, in order to include an Orthodox perspective in some of our subject presentations, we have found it necessary to do this. At least until actual scholarly Orthodox texts are translated from the Greek originals!)

The holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostle and Evangelist Luke is the author of the Gospel of Luke, the companion of the Apostle Paul (Phil 1:24, 2 Tim 4:10-11), and is numbered among the Seventy Apostles. He was a native of Syrian Antioch and a physician, and is the founder of iconography.

His emblem is the calf, the third symbolical beast mentioned by Ezekiel (1:10), which is a symbol of Christ's sacrificial and priestly office, as pointed out by St. Irenaeus. His feast days are celebrated on October 18; on April 22 with Apostles Nathaniel and Clement; on June 20 on which day his relics, among others, were translated to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople; and on January 4, the synaxis of the Seventy.

Life

Saint Luke, was of Greek origin born in the Hellenistic city of Antioch, [1] and was extremally educated. His studies included Greek philosophy, medicine, and art in his youth. He was also a professional physician. St. Luke came to Jerusalem where he came to believe in the Lord. He and Cleopas met the resurrected Lord on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24).

After Pentecost, Luke returned to Antioch and worked with the Apostle Paul, traveling with him to Rome, and converting Jews and pagans to the Christian Faith. "Luke, the beloved physician, ... greets you," writes the Apostle Paul to the Colossians (Colossians 4:14). At the request of Christians, St. Luke wrote his Gospel in the first century. According to some accounts this took place around 60 A.D., and according to others around 80 A.D. After St. Paul's martyrdom, St. Luke preached the Gospel throughout Italy, Dalmatia, Macedonia, and other regions. He painted icons of the Most-holy Theotokos—not just one, but three—as well as icons of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. For this reason, St. Luke is considered the founder of Christian iconography. In his old age, he visited Libya and Upper Egypt; from Egypt he returned to Greece, where he continued to preach and convert many with great zeal despite his age. In addition to his Gospel, St. Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles and dedicated each of these works to Theophilus, the governor of Achaia. Luke was 84 years old when the wicked idolaters tortured him for the sake of Christ and hanged him from an olive tree in the town of Thebes, in Beothia of Greece [2].

St. Luke wrote the first icon, of the Most Holy Theotokos Directress or Hodigitria, mentioned in the Paraklesis to the Theotokos:

Speechless be the lips of impious ones,
Those who do not reverence
Your great icon, the sacred one
Which is called Directress,
And was depicted for us
By one of the apostles,
Luke the Evangelist.

The Service of the Small Paraklesis (GOARCH)

The Relics of St. Luke

His miracle-working relics were transported to Constantinople during the 4th-century, under the reign of Emperor Constantius (357AD), the son of Constantine. In 1204, the Crusadors of the IV Crusade stole the relic from Constantinople and transported it to Padova in Italy and it is still located there in the Catholic church of Santa Justina at the centre of the city. In 1992, the then Metropolitan Ieronymos of Thebes and Levathia (currently the Archbishop of Greece) requested the return of a "a significant fragment of the relics of St. Luke to be placed on the site where the holy tomb of the Evangelist is located and venerated today". This prompted a scientific investigation of the relics in Padua, and by numerous lines of empirical evidence confirmed that these were the remains of an individual of Syrian descent who died between 130 and 400 A.D. The Bishop of Padua then delivered to Metropolitan Ieronymos the rib of St. Luke that was closest to his heart to be kept at his tomb in Thebes, Greece. [1]

The tomb works miracles even today. In December 22, 1997 at 1.30pm myrrh appeared on the tomb's marble and since then the interior of the marble sarcophagus is fragrant.The olive tree is still living to the right side of the cemetery in Thebes. On the right side of the sanctuary of this church is tthe roman sarcophagus where the body of St. Luke had been placed. This tomb belonged to a Roman family of the 2nd-century BC but later on it was emptied and the Christians of Thebes used it as "honour" for St. Luke's relic since it was a majestic tomb.

Hymns

Troparion (Tone 5) [2]

Let us praise with sacred songs the Holy Apostle Luke,
The recorder of the Joyous Gospel of Christ,
And the scribe of the Acts of the Apostles,
For his writings are a testimony of the Church of Christ:
He is the Physician of human weaknesses and infirmities.
He heals the wounds of our souls,
And constantly intercedes for our salvation!

Kontakion (Tone 4)

You became a disciple of God the Word,
With Paul you enlightened all the world,
Casting out its darkness by composing the Holy Gospel of Christ.

Kontakion (Tone 2)

Let us praise the godly Luke:
He is the true preacher of piety,
The orator of ineffable mysteries
And the star of the Church,
For the Word who alone knows the hearts of men,
Chose him, with the wise Paul, to be a teacher of the gentiles!

Notes

1 According to the book of the "Life of the Saints" of the Orthodox Church"
2 Nikiphoros-Kallistos Xanthopoulos, Eccles. History XIVth c. AD., Migne P.G. 145, 876

Source

St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid

External links

Apostle and Evangelist Luke, October 18 (OCA)
Apostle and Evangelist Luke of the Seventy, January 4 (OCA)
October 18: Feast of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke (GOARCH)
Luke the Evangelist (GOARCH)
Icon and Story of St. Luke, Evangelist & Iconographer


Also, see:
Gospel According to Luke


The individual articles presented here were generally first published in the early 1980s. This subject presentation was first placed on the Internet in December 1997.

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