Commemorated on October 18
The Holy Disciple
and Evangelist Luke, was a native of Syrian Antioch, a Disciple from
amongst the Seventy, 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 here he fervently accepted
the preaching of salvation from the Lord Himself. Included amidst the number of
the Seventy Disciples, Saint Luke was sent by the Lord with the others for the
first preaching about the Kingdom of Heaven while yet during the earthly life
of the Saviour (Lk. 10: 1-3). After the Resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ
appeared to Saints Luke and Cleopas on the road to Emmaus.
The Disciple 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 co-workers had left the
Apostle Paul, the Disciple Luke stayed on with him to tackle all the toiling of
pious deeds (2 Tim. 4: 10-11). After the martyr's death of the First-Ranked
Apostles Peter and Paul, Saint Luke left Rome to preach in Achaeia, Libya,
Egypt and the Thebaid. In the city of Thebes he finished his life in martyrdom.
Tradition ascribes to
him the writing of the first icons of the Mother of God. "Let the grace of
He born of Me and My mercy be with these icons", – said the All-Pure
Virgin in beholding the icons. Saint Luke wrote likewise icons of the First-Ranked
Apostles Peter and Paul. His Gospel was written by Saint Luke in the years
62-63 at Rome, under the guidance of the Apostle Paul. Saint 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,
In the theological
content of the Gospel of Luke there stands out first of all the teaching about
the universal salvation effected by the Lord Jesus Christ, and about the
universal significance of the preaching of the Gospel [Lat.
"evangelum" with Grk. root "eu-angelos" both mean
The holy disciple
likewise wrote in the years 62-63 at Rome, the Book of the Acts of the Holy
Apostles. The Acts, which is a continuation of the Four Gospels, speaks about
the works and effects of the holy Apostles after the Ascension of the Saviour.
At the centre of the narrative – is the Council of the holy Apostles at
Jerusalem (year 51 A.D.), a Church event of great critical significance, with a
dogmatic basis for 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-Economy of the Holy
Spirit, actualised in the Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ, from the
time of the Ascension and Pentecost to the Second Coming of Christ.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.