St. Luke the Evangelist—Artist, Doctor, Historian, Devout Follower of Christ

St. Luke is the patron saint of many things including artists, doctors and bachelors.

Jean Bourdichon (1457–1521), “Saint Luke the Evangelist”
Jean Bourdichon (1457–1521), “Saint Luke the Evangelist” (photo: Public Domain)

Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us… I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus. ―Luke 1:1, 3

Luke was Gentile Greek from Syria. Although he never met Jesus personally, he embraced Christianity and made a tremendous impact on Christendom. It is written that Luke was a physician, a painter, and fluent in at least two languages. However, his most admirable accomplishment was his work as a Church historian. He crafted two volumes of writing that present the message of Christ and give a historical account of the formative years of Christianity, narratives that ultimately became the third and fifth books of the New Testament: the Gospel according to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.

Luke’s Gospel offered an inviting and encouraging message to the non-Jews of the day, giving them reason to believe that Jesus had come for them as well as for the Jewish people. For example, it was Luke who included Holy Simeon’s prophecy of Jesus being a light to the Gentiles. Also, in chapter 17, Luke told the story of Jesus healing ten lepers, emphasizing how only the Samaritan of the group returned to give thanks, his faith earning him salvation.

It is commonly believed that Luke also wrote the Acts of the Apostles, which gives a wonderful account of the efforts, struggles, and victories within the early Church after Jesus had risen from the dead. Like Luke’s Gospel, the Acts of the Apostles also illustrates how Gentiles were invited to unite with Jewish believers in Christ. In addition, this book recounts much of Paul’s works and travels.

Mixed in with the narratives on Paul’s journeys are a few unique segments that include the pronoun “we.” These are often called “we sections,” which many biblical scholars believe are indicators of times that Luke himself traveled with Paul.

Tradition avows that Luke never married, and he died circa AD 84 in Boeotia, Greece. Over time, Luke’s Gospel became associated with the symbol of the ox―and his Gospel starts in the Temple of Jerusalem, a place where devout Jews sometimes brought oxen as an offering to God.


Bible Journaling with St. Luke

The Feast of St. Luke is October 18—he is the patron saint of many things including artists, doctors and bachelors. Get to know Luke better by reading, studying, praying about, and contemplating the passages below. The “We Sections” are a bit lengthier—break them into smaller pieces if desired. See if the Holy Spirit and St. Luke might enrich your faith journey through these readings.

  • Day 1) Luke 1:1–4
  • Day 2) Colossians 4:14
  • Day 3) 2 Timothy 4:11
  • Day 4) Philemon 24

“We Sections”:

  • Day 5) Acts 16:10–17
  • Day 6) Acts 20:5–15
  • Day 7) Acts 21:1–18
  • Day 8) Acts 27:1–28:16