St Luke was a gentile, a Greek, who lived in the first century AD. He was a physician and a disciple of St Paul whom he accompanied on some of his missionary journeys. He was the author of the Gospel which bears his name and also the Acts of the Apostles. (1,2)
We can gain some insight into St Luke’s character by studying his writings. In his Gospel Luke emphasises the compassion of Christ; for example, he includes the parables of the Good Samaritan and Prodigal Son. Luke also includes the words of Jesus to the sorrowing women of Jerusalem on his way to Calvary and his words on the Cross to the penitent thief. (3)
It has been said by some that St Luke was martyred (see 4 for sources) but robust evidence to support this is lacking. (5,6)
We celebrate St Luke’s feast day on October 18th. The liturgical colour is red.
1. Attwater, D. (1965) The Penguin dictionary of Saints, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd.
2. Farmer, D. (2011) (5th edition) Oxford dictionary of Saints, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
3. Farmer, D. (2011) (5th edition) Oxford dictionary of Saints, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
4. Butler, A. (edited by Kelly, A.) (1936) The lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and other principal Saints Vol IV, London, Dublin and Belfast: Virtue and Company Limited.
5. Attwater, D. (1965) The Penguin dictionary of Saints, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd.
6. Benedictine monks of St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate (edited by Watkins, B.) (2002) (7th edition) The book of Saints. A comprehensive biographical dictionary, London: A & C Black.
A short talk for St Luke’s Day - Perseverance - is now available in this section of the Holy Faith website.