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Saint Luke the Evangelist

FEAST OCTOBER 18

Luke was not a Jew but a Gentile, and thought to have been a Greco-Syrian, probably born in Antioch.

Though one of the four Gospel writers – known as the Evangelists – he was not one of Christ’s Twelve Apostles.

Whether he converted to Christianity from Judaism or paganism is not certain.

He was a disciple and companion of the Apostle Paul who mentions that he was also a medical man, “Luke, the most dear physician” and he probably helped St. Paul with his much-tried health. Luke was certainly with the great apostle in his first two imprisonments in Rome.

According to tradition, the physician and Evangelist was also an artist and painted several pictures of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Among the most famous is the Salus Populi Romani enshrined in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.

Not only is the third Gospel, written in Koine Greek, attributed to Luke by the early fathers, but Biblical scholars are in wide agreement that he also wrote the Acts of the Apostles.

While traditional Christian scholarship dates the writing of his Gospel to the 60’s, others place it in the last decades of the first century. St. Luke is believed to have died a martyr though accounts of his death vary. He is venerated as St. Luke the Evangelist and his symbol is the bull.

He is patron saint of artists, physicians, surgeons, students, and butchers.