The Life of Saint Luke

Church of Serbia – 1/11/16

Saint Luke was born a Greek and a Gentile in Antioch, Syria. He was a physician and it is believed that he may have also been a slave, as it was not uncommon in his day for slaves to be educated in medicine so the family would have a resident physician.

Luke became a close companion of Paul of Tarsus and accompanied him on his missionary journeys. It is very possible that Luke provided medical assistance to Paul when he had been beaten, stoned or nearly drowned while evangelizing to the Western Roman Empire.

Luke is the only Gentile to have written books in the Bible. He is the writer of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles and his writings have been proven to be historically accurate.

In the third Gospel, Luke emphasizes Christ’s compassion for sinners and for those who suffer. One will also find in Luke’s account of the gospel, a strong emphasis on the role women played in Christ’s ministry.

Luke’s Christian ministry can be followed in the book of Acts. Up until the sixteenth chapter the story of Acts is written in third person, much like an historian recording facts. The voice of the narrator then changes to first person and scholars believe this is done at the time Luke first joined Paul at Troas in the year 51. The book of Acts switches back to third person and scholars believe that this reflects a period in time when Luke was not present during the events that are recorded.

It is believed that Luke lived a long life and died c. 74 in Greece. He was the first Christian physician and was venerated by the Catholic Church as the patron saint of physicians and surgeons. Saint Luke is also considered the patron saint of painters because according to tradition, he had painted images of Mary and of Jesus. This was later proven to be incorrect.

Saint Luke’s feast day is celebrated on October 31th.

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