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St. Luke The Apostle

Luke, the author of one of the four Gospels and of the Acts of the Apostles, was probably born in Antioch. He was well-educated and well-versed in the Greek language and many scholars believe he was Greek. He was St. Paul’s companion throughout many of his missionary travels and from Paul we learn that Luke was a physician. St. Jerome notes that Luke was distinguished in his profession. Some sources say that Luke was a skilled painter and painted a portrait of the Blessed Virgin, but the historical truth of this cannot be confirmed. It is thought that he must have interviewed the Mother of Jesus as he was writing his Gospel, for many intimate details of the Annunciation and Incarnation are found only in his Gospel and he writes that Mary “kept all these things in her heart.” It is not known when Luke converted to Christianity. Some sources say that he was a disciple of Jesus, but most scholars believe he was converted after the Resurrection. It is not known whether he was a Jew or a pagan at the time of his conversion; it is unlikely that he was a Jew by birth, but he may have been a convert to Judaism. In his writing St. Luke demonstrates profound knowledge of Judaism. It is thought that he was baptized by someone other than St. Paul, for Paul usually calls his converts his sons in Christ and he does not call Luke a son. Luke was with Paul during the Apostle’s imprisonments in Rome. After Paul was martyred in A.D. 63, some sources say that Luke preached in Italy, Gaul, Dalmatia, and Macedon. Some sources say that he was crucified for the faith, but other ancient sources indicate that he lived into old age and died of natural causes. St. Luke is depicted in art as an ox—an animal for sacrifice because his Gospel opens with the sacrifice of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist and continues on the theme of the Priesthood of Jesus. St. Luke’s feast is October 18.




 
 
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