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  1. October 18: Saint Luke the Evangelist—Feast. First Century, died c. age 84. Patron Saint of artists, bachelors, bookbinders, brewers, butchers, glassworkers, goldworkers, laceworkers, notaries, physicians, and surgeons. Pre-Congregation canonization. Luke the Evangelist was likely born, raised, and converted to faith in Antioch, the capital ...

  2. Shop St. Luke. Luke, the writer of the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, has been identified with St. Paul's "Luke, the beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14). We know few other facts about Luke's life from Scripture and from early Church historians. It is believed that Luke was born a Greek and a Gentile.

    • Overview
    • Scriptural sources

    According to tradition, St. Luke was a physician and possibly a Gentile. He was not one of the original 12 Apostles but may have been one of the 70 disciples appointed by Jesus (Luke 10). He also may have accompanied St. Paul on his missionary journeys.

    Why was St. Luke influential?

    As the traditional author of two books of the New Testament, St. Luke had great influence in the development of Christianity. His Gospel According to Luke is one of the three Synoptic Gospels and was written for Gentile converts. The Acts of the Apostles documents the early Christian church after Christ’s Resurrection.

    Where is St. Luke buried?

    According to ancient sources, St. Luke was martyred at age 84 in the Greek city of Thebes. His remains were taken to Constantinople about 338 CE and later moved to Padua, Italy, where they are kept in the Basilica of Santa Giustina. A rib is interred at his original burial place in Thebes.

    St. Luke, (flourished 1st century ce; feast day October 18), in Christian tradition, the author of the Gospel According to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, a companion of St. Paul the Apostle, and the most literary of the New Testament writers. Information about his life is scanty. Tradition based on references in the Pauline Letters has regarded him as a physician and a Gentile. He probably accompanied Paul on several missionary journeys. He is a patron saint of physicians and artists.

    Luke is first mentioned in the letters of Paul as the latter’s “coworker” and as the “beloved physician.” The former designation is the more significant one, for it identifies him as one of a professional cadre of itinerant Christian “workers,” many of whom were teachers and preachers. His medical skills, like Paul’s tentmaking, may have contributed to his livelihood; but his principal occupation was the advancement of the Christian mission.

    If Luke was the author of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, the course and nature of his ministry may be sketched in more detail from both texts. He excludes himself from those who were eyewitnesses of Christ’s ministry. He indicates participation in the Pauline mission by the use of the first person in the “we” sections of Acts. They suggest that Luke shared in instructing persons in the Christian message and possibly in performing miraculous healings.

    The “we” sections are analogous in style to travel reports found elsewhere in writings of the Greco-Roman period. They place the author with Paul during his initial mission into Greece—i.e., as far as Philippi, in Macedonia (c. 51 ce). It is there that Luke later rejoins Paul and accompanies him on his final journey to Jerusalem (c. 58 ce). After Paul’s arrest in that city and during his extended detention in nearby Caesarea, Luke may have spent considerable time in Palestine working with the apostle as the occasion allowed and gathering materials for his future two-volume literary work, the Gospel and the Acts. In any case, two years later he appears with Paul on his prison voyage from Caesarea to Rome and again, according to the Second Letter of Paul to Timothy 4:11, at the time of the apostle’s martyrdom in the imperial city (c. 66 ce).

    Further direct information about Luke is scanty in the New Testament, but certain inferences may be drawn. The literary style of his writings and the range of his vocabulary mark him as an educated man. The distinction drawn between Luke and other colleagues “of the circumcision” (Colossians 4:11) has caused many scholars to conclude that he was a Gentile. If so, he would be the only New Testament writer clearly identifiable as a non-Jew. This conclusion, however, rests upon a doubtful equation of those “of the circumcision” with Jewish Christians. Actually, the phrase probably refers to a particular type of Jewish Christian, those who strictly observed the rituals of Judaism. It offers no support, therefore, to the view that Luke was a Gentile. His intimate knowledge of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) and the focus of interest in his writings favour, on balance, the view that he was a Jewish Christian who followed a Greek lifestyle and was comparatively lax in ritual observances.

    Writings from the latter half of the second century provide further information. A number of them—St. Irenaeus’s Against Heresies, the Anti-Marcionite Prologue to the Gospels, and the Muratorian Canon listing the books received as sacred by the Christians—identify Luke as the author of the third Gospel and Acts. The Prologue makes the particular assertion that St. Luke was “a man from Antioch, Syria” who wrote while being “moved by the Holy Spirit”—that is, as a prophet. That interpretation receives a measure of support from the Lukan writings: the city of Antioch figures prominently in Acts, and there is a special interest in contemporary (Christian) prophets and prophecy. Whether Luke is to be identified, as some scholars believe, with the prophet Lucius mentioned in Acts 13:1 and with St. Paul’s “fellow worker” (and kinsman) in the Letter of Paul to the Romans 16:21 is more questionable, although not impossible. Less than certain also is the comment of the Prologue placing the writing of the Gospel and Luke’s death in Greece; but, on the whole, it is more probable than the later traditions locating his literary work in Alexandria (or Rome) and his death in Bithynia. The identification of St. Luke as “a disciple of the Apostles,” although true in a general sense, probably reflects the concern of the 2nd-century church to place all canonical Christian writings under an apostolic umbrella. Later notions that Luke was one of the 70 disciples appointed by the Lord, that he was the companion of Cleopas, and that he was an artist appear to be legendary.

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  3. Luke the Evangelist [a] is one of the Four Evangelists —the four traditionally ascribed authors of the canonical gospels. The Early Church Fathers ascribed to him authorship of both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. Prominent figures in early Christianity such as Jerome and Eusebius later reaffirmed his authorship, although a ...

  4. 2 days ago · St. Luke the Evangelist. On October 18, Catholics and other Christians around the world will celebrate the feast of St. Luke, the physician and companion of St. Paul whose gospel preserved the ...

  5. Though some historians claim that St. Luke was martyred after the death of Saint Paul, others say he lived a long life, dying at the age of 84 after settling in Greece to write his gospel. He was the first Christian physician and was venerated by the Catholic Church as the patron saint of physicians and surgeons.

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  7. St. Luke is always represented by the calf or ox, the sacrificial animal, because his Gospel begins with the account of Zachary, the priest, the father of John the Baptist. He is called a painter by Nicephorus Callistus (fourteenth century), and by the Menology of Basil II, A.D. 980.

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