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"Now it was the turn of Zechariah's section to serve, and he was exercising his priestly office before God when it fell to him by lot, as the ritual custom was, to enter the Lord's sanctuary and burn incense there. And at the hour of incense the whole congregation was outside, praying."

Luke 1:8-10

St. Luke RC Church

Saint Luke

Evangelist, artist, physician, author, traveller and historian.

According to the early Church historian Eusebius, Saint Luke was born in Antioch of Syrian or Greek parents in 31 A.D. The earliest Church tradition identifies Luke as the author of the third gospel that bears his name, and the Acts of the Apostles.

Saint Luke prayer cardAs one of the first Gentile converts to Christianity, he became a travelling companion of Saint Paul on his many missionary journeys. Even after everyone else had deserted Paul, Luke was with him in his last days and final imprisonment in Rome. What happened to Luke after Paul's martyrdom is not certain, but according to a fairly early and widespread tradition, Luke was unmarried and wrote his gospel in Greece at Boeotia, where he died at age 84.

Because Luke's gospel was believed to be an accurate account of the life of Christ, and especially of Christ's birth, Luke was taken as one of the patrons of notaries. Luke's is the gospel of the poor and social justice. The Acts of the Apostles is also attributed to Luke.

Trained as physician, St. Luke is also the patron of medical profession. He was reported to have been a fine painter (although this has not been proven), and is also patron of artists, painters, sculptors, craft workers and lace makers. His feast day is on October 18.

Symbol of St. Luke

The symbol for St. Luke is the ox (or bull). This may account for his also being patron of butchers. In art, Luke is represented by a winged ox because he begins his gospel (left sidebar) with an account of the priest, Zachary, (Zechariah), sacrificing in the temple. The ox represents Christ's sacrifice.

This symbol is found on our Altar of Reservation (the tabernacle) at the front of the church. We've used it at the bottom of each page on this web site.

And, on the lighter side ...

October 18 – St. Luke's Day

Like many saints' days, St. Luke's Day was believed to be a good day to divine a future husband. According to lore, a young woman should create a powder of flowers, spices and vinegar to spread on her stomach, breasts and lips before going to bed, and repeat three times:

St. Luke, St. Luke, be kind to me
In dreams let me my true love see.

If the young woman's future husband appears in her dreams and smiles, he will be true! If instead, he is rude, he is likely to be a philanderer.

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