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October 18

Saint Luke the Evangelist - October 18

Saint Luke the Evangelist

Gospel and Acts Author

(Early 1st Century – c. 74)

“He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently, that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.

Saint Luke, as a Medical Doctor is the only Evangelist who describes Jesus sweating blood

Saint’s Life Story

Gospel Author

Luke was a gentile (not mentioned as a Jew by Saint Paul in Colossians 4:10-11), a Greek (according to Saint Jerome), perhaps born in Antioch (per Eusebius), and a medical man by profession – Saint Paul speaks of him as ‘our beloved Luke, the physician’ (Colossians 4:14). He was the author of the Gospel the bears his name and of its continuation – the Acts of the Apostles.

The Gospel was definitely written by a Gentile Christian for Gentile Christians. Though Jesus lived and worked almost entirely among Jews, he also reached out to others. Whenever Jesus has dealings with, for example, Syrians, or praises a Roman centurion, Luke tells us about it. He also shows Jesus’ special friendship with the outcasts of society and his love of the poor.

Aspects of Luke’s Gospel

One of the interesting aspects of Luke’s Gospel is his frequent juxtaposition of a story about a man and then another about a woman. For example, the cure of the demoniac (Luke 4:31-37) is followed by the cure of Peter’s mother-in-law (4:38-39); the centurion’s slave is healed (7:1-10), then the widow of Nain’s son is raised (7:11-17); the Gerasene demoniac is healed (8:26-39) followed by the raising of Jairus’s Daughter and healing of the woman with the hemorrhage (8:40-56).

Luke also mentions the women who followed and assisted Jesus in His ministry (e.g., 8:1-3). Thus, in a way that no other evangelist does, Luke depicts a Jesus who cares for the status and salvation of women quite as much as He does for men. Perhaps this is because Luke probably learned much about Jesus from the Blessed Virgin herself. Only he and Matthew record elements about the hidden life of the Lord before his public ministry.

Luke stresses God’s mercy and love of all mankind. He alone records the parables of the lost sheep, the Good Samaritan, the prodigal son, the Pharisee and the publican, the barren fig tree, Dives and Lazarus. He is also the only one to record Jesus’ forgiveness of Mary Magdalen (Luke 7:47), His promise to the good thief (Luke 23:43), and His prayer for his executioners (Luke 23:34). And Luke is also the only evangelist to record the Ave Maria the Magnificat, the Benedictus, and the Nunc Dimittis, which are all used in the Liturgy of the Hours (Night, Evening, Morning, and Night Prayer respectively). Luke also emphasizes the call to poverty, prayer, and purity of heart, which comprise much of his specific appeal to the Gentiles.

Wrote Acts of the Apostles

Luke also wrote the Acts of the Apostles, which might more appropriately be known as the Acts of the Holy Spirit. This is a continuation of his Gospel account, though the Acts may have been written first. According to Eusebius and Jerome, Acts was written during Paul’s imprisonment, though Saint Ireneaus says after Paul’s death c.66. Eusebius says that the Gospel was set down before Paul’s death, Saint Jerome says after, and an early tradition records it as being composed shortly before Luke’s death.

Legend has him as one of the 72 disciples, and some scholars identify him with Lucius of Cyrene, a teacher and prophet at Antioch (Acts 13:1) and with Lucius, Paul’s companion at Corinth (Rom. 16:21). We don’t know exactly when Luke was converted; perhaps in 42 when Saint Paul and Saint Barnabas came to preach at Antioch, or possibly even earlier when the Christians fled from Jerusalem to Antioch after the stoning of Saint Stephen.

Disciple of Saint Paul

Luke met Saint Paul the Apostle at Troas, Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and evangelized the peoples of Greece and Rome with him. Certain passages of Acts, written in the first person plural, are usually held to show that the writer was with Saint Paul on parts of his second and third missionary journeys and on the voyage to Italy, when the ship was wrecked off the coast of Malta (Acts 16:10ff; 20:5ff; 27-28). Luke was with Paul during both his first and second imprisonments. In his letters, Paul thrice (AD 61-63) refers to Luke’s presence in Rome, writing to Timothy, ‘Luke is my only companion.’

Missionary Journeys

Between the two missionary journeys (AD 51-57), Luke stayed at Philippi as a leader of the Christian community. Then he rejoined Saint Paul on the third trip, meeting him in Macedonia and accompanying him to Jerusalem. Thereafter, Luke was Paul’s constant companion. He was with Paul after his arrest in the Temple and during the two years (57-59) of his imprisonment at Caesarea. When Paul appealed to Caesar, Luke went with him and was shipwrecked with Paul on the coast of Malta. Until Saint Paul’s martyrdom in 67, Luke never left his side.

A writer perhaps as early as the late second century declares that, having served the Lord constantly and written his gospel there, According to a less reliable tradition, Luke died, unmarried, in Boeotia, Greece, at the age of 84, around the year AD 74.  Luke is said to have been martyred , which is very doubtful, but we have no record of his history after the time he was in Rome with Paul.

May Not Have Known Jesus

Though Luke may never have known Our Lord in the flesh, it is possible that he did know the Mother of God and Saint John. He was in Rome at the same time as Saints Peter and Mark and, while in the company of Paul, must surely have known many of the disciples.

Luke’s tomb was located in Thebes, whence his relics were transferred to Constantinople in the year 357. In traditional art and church mosaics, Luke is often accompanied by an ox or bull, usually having wings.

Beatified:           Pre-Congregation

Canonized:        Pre-Congregation

Feast Day:         October 18

Patron Saint:    Artists; Bachelors; Doctors; Painters; Physicians; Surgeons



Jesus always made time to care for those who were rejected, looked down on, or forgotten. Luke emphasizes this compassion in his Gospel.

Do you make time for those in your life who are forgotten, sad, or hurting? Ask Jesus to help you minister to those who need a friend, a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on.

Source: Saint Luke (1st century) | Saint Mary’s Press (


Dear Lord, You inspired St. Luke through the power of the Holy Spirit to comprehend the great mysteries of Your life, death, and Resurrection. Draw me more deeply into these mysteries. Give me light to see truth, wisdom to follow truth, and faith to apply truth. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, Who is the Truth.

Saint Luke, pray for us. Amen.

Source: From Johnnette Benkovic’s Graceful Living: Meditations to Help You Grow Closer to God Day by Day
St. Luke (

Saint Links 

Aleteia – Seven Mediterranean Marian icons that made history

Anastpaul – Saint of the Day – St Luke the Evangelist – 18 October

Angelus – Saint of the day: Luke the Evangelist – Rev. Alban Butler. Volume X: October. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. October 18 St. Luke the Evangelist

Catholic Exchange – St. Luke

Catholic Fire – Saint of the Day: St. Luke, Evangelist, Pro-life Saint, Pro-life Prayer

Catholic Ireland – Oct 18 – St Luke Evangelist , author of Acts

Catholic News Agency – St. Luke the Evangelist Feast Day: Oct 18 – Saint Luke the Evangelist

Franciscan Media – Saint Luke

Independent Catholic News – St Luke

Loyola Press – Saint Luke Feast Day October 18

My Catholic Life – St. Luke, Evangelist & Gospel Writer

New Advent – Gospel of Saint Luke

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Luke (1st century)

Saint of the Day – St. Luke

uCatholic – Saint Luke

Wikipedia – Luke the Evangelist

Video Link

St Luke – YouTube Video (Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network – USA)