The Holy Apostle and Evangelist, Luke the Physician


Troparion of St Luke Tone 3
Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke,/ intercede with our merciful God,/ that He may grant to our souls/ the forgiveness of our sins.

Kontakion of St Luke Tone 2
Let us praise holy Luke, the star of the Church,/ herald of piety and proclaimer of mysteries;/ for the Word Who alone knows the secrets of hearts/ has chosen him with Paul/ as a teacher of the nations.

Orthodox Church in America website:

The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, was a native of Syrian Antioch, a companion of the holy Apostle Paul (Phil 1:24, 2 Tim 4:10-11), and a physician enlightened in the Greek medical arts. Hearing about Christ, Luke arrived in Palestine and fervently accepted the preaching of salvation from the Lord Himself. Included among the Seventy Apostles, St. Luke was sent by the Lord with the others to preach the Kingdom of Heaven during the earthly life of the Savior (Lk 10:1-3). After the Resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Sts. Luke and Cleopas on the road to Emmaus.

The Apostle Luke took part in the second missionary journey of the Apostle Paul, and from that time they were inseparable. At a point when all his coworkers had left the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Luke stayed on with him to tackle all the work of pious deeds (2 Tim 4:10-11). After the martyric death of the First-Ranked Apostles Peter and Paul, St. Luke left Rome to preach in Achaia, Libya, Egypt and the Thebaid. In the city of Thebes, he finished his life in martyrdom.

Tradition ascribes the painting of the first icons of the Mother of God to St. Luke. “Let the grace of Him Who was born of Me and My mercy be with these Icons,” said the All-Pure Virgin in beholding the icons. St. Luke also painted icons of the First-Ranked Apostles Peter and Paul. The Gospel of St. Luke was written in the years 62-63 at Rome, under the guidance of the Apostle Paul. St. Luke in the preliminary verses (1:3) spells out exactly the aim of his work: he recorded in greater detail the chronological course of events in the framework of everything known by Christians about Jesus Christ and His teachings, and by doing so he provided a firmer historical basis of Christian hope (1:4). He carefully investigated the facts, and made generous use of the oral tradition of the Church and of what the All-Pure Virgin Mary Herself had told him (2:19, 51).

In the theological content of the Gospel of Luke the teaching about the universal salvation made possible by the Lord Jesus Christ stands out first of all, and the universal significance of the preaching of the Gospel.

The Holy Apostle also wrote in the years 62-63 at Rome, the Acts of the Holy Apostles. The Acts, which is a continuation of the four Gospels, speaks about the works and the fruits of the holy Apostles after the Ascension of the Savior. At the center of the narrative is the Council of the holy Apostles at Jerusalem in the year 51, a Church event of great critical significance, which resulted in the distancing of Christianity from Judaism and its independent dispersion into the world (Acts 15:6-29). The theological objective of the Book of Acts is that of the Dispensation of the Holy Spirit, actualized in the Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ, from the time of the Ascension and Pentecost to the Second Coming of Christ.

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