Luke the Evangelist
Feast Day: October 18
Luke was an Evangelist, the writer of the third Gospel. He never met Christ in person, but in his Gospel he says that he came to know about Jesus by talking to eyewitnesses to the events of Jesus’ life, death, and Resurrection. Hearing those stories helped Luke to become a believer, and he wrote his Gospel so that others would come to know and love Jesus.
Luke was a doctor and he traveled with St. Paul on his second missionary journey. In fact, Paul calls Luke his “beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14). Because he cared for the bodily needs of others, Luke is the patron saint of doctors. He is also the patron saint of artists because it is believed that he painted a famous portrait of Mary, our Blessed Mother.
In his Gospel, Luke helps us to know how concerned Jesus was for the sick, the poor, and anyone in need of help, mercy and forgiveness. Luke tells us that Jesus came to save all people. Through Luke’s Gospel, we learn how compassionate and caring Jesus was. Some of the most famous stories Jesus told are found in Luke’s Gospel: The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) and the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-42).
The symbol for Luke’s Gospel is an ox, an animal that was often sacrificed as an offering to God in ancient times. In his writings about Jesus, Luke reminds us of the great sacrifice Jesus made to save all people through his death on the cross and his Resurrection.
Luke is also the author of the Acts of the Apostles. In Acts, we learn about the coming of the Holy Spirit, the work of the Apostles, especially St. Paul, and how the Church grew in the world. He was the one person who was said to have remained with St. Paul during his imprisonment and until his death.
We celebrate St. Luke’s service to the Church each year on October 18. We remember that his Gospel continues to help us know and love Jesus. Luke’s Gospel also reminds us to look for ways to imitate Jesus by reaching out to help our brothers and sisters in need.
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