St Luke

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Evangelist. Patron of artists and doctors. All we know of St Luke comes from the New Testament. He was a Greek physician, and accompanied St Paul on some of his missionary journeys. According to tradition he was one of the founder members of the community at Antioch.

Luke's Gospels include much of the account of the Virgin Birth of Christ, and some of the most moving parables including the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan. They also include the words of Jesus, at the Passion, to the women of Jerusalem and the Good Thief. All these elements underline the compassion of Christ, which, together with Luke's emphasis on poverty, prayer and purity of heart, make up much of his specific appeal to the Gentiles. Women also figure more highly in Luke's Gospel than in any others.

In the Acts of the Apostles, St Luke gives a very accurate account of events which have been corroborated by archeologists. St Luke is said to have been an artist. According to tradition, the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Poland was painted by him.

In England, 28 ancient churches were dedicated to St Luke and his feast today has been celebrated since the earliest times.