Saint Luke

18th October

Mark, Matthew, Luke and John are the four evangelists named as authors of the Four Gospels. Besides having the third Gospel attributed to him, St Luke is also named as the author of the Acts of the Apostles.

Luke’s Gospel is based on Christ’s Life on earth: His teachings, His parables and miracles, Death and Resurrection. Luke never met Jesus in person and he was not one of the twelve Apostles. He talked to eye witnesses of the life of Jesus and he believed.  Luke’s Gospel was written so that other people would also believe and come to know and love Jesus.

Every Gospel is represented by a symbol. Luke’s Gospel is represented by an ox with wings. The ox was often offered as a sacrifice to God in Jewish rituals. In Luke’s Gospel we get to know how Jesus Himself was the “Great Sacrifice” who saved us all through His Suffering, Death and Resurrection. The wings represent the spreading of this “Good News” through the Gospel.

It is only in Luke’s Gospel that we find detailed narratives of the Nativity and Childhood of Jesus. It seems that these detailed narratives come from the perspective of Our Lady! Luke puts emphasis on Christ’s love for those that are marginalised by society: the poor, the lepers, the gentiles (those who were not Jews), the Samaritans (people not befriended by Jews) and women who were looked down upon in a society dominated by men. Luke shows how Jesus was concerned about those who not only needed help in their bodily needs but also those who yearned for mercy and forgiveness.

Discuss with the children: Do we still have people who are marginalised (scorned and put down) in our society? This dialogue could develop from simple perspectives of the young ones (probably that would include even stray cats and dogs!) to a more mature perspective with the older ones, so that they realise that even in 2020 we still have people who are pushed to the edges of our society: the poor are still with us, the homeless, coloured people, illegal immigrants, people with special needs both physical and mental.

 Have their opinions as to what could be their positive contribution within their immediate circles and beyond. Luke’s Gospel contains beautifully narrated parables. The most famous are  ‘The Good Samaritan’ (Luke 10, 29-37)  ‘The Lost Son’ ( Luke 15, 11-32). Luke based the narratives of miracles on manifestations of faith. Examples are ‘The calming of the storm’ (Luke 8, 25), ‘the healing of the lepers’ (Luke 17, 19) with Simon Peter ( Luke 5,5). You might encourage children to make a drawing of one of these anecdotes with a caption of their choice. Take a photo of your drawing and send it to us.

The Acts of the Apostles  focuses on how the Church grew in the world as it was known in those times. In Acts we are told about the coming of the Holy Spirit and the work of the Apostles, especially that of St. Paul. Luke met St Paul and accompanied him on several missionary journeys. He was accompanying Paul on his journey to Rome, when he was shipwrecked in Malta. This is related in Acts 28. Paul stayed on the Island for some time. He preached to the inhabitants the Good News and he worked miracles. Consequently the Maltese people became Christians, believers in Christ. St. Paul refers to Luke as “his beloved physician” (Cor. 4,140.) Luke remains known for the caring of others in their bodily needs. For this reason, he is known as the Patron Saint of doctors. Luke was a missionary as he travelled with St. Paul. We too can be missionaries by spreading the Word of God. We spread the message of the Gospel when, with the way we behave, we love people in God’s way. When we are kind, helpful, when we greet others (not only our friends!) with a smile, being ready to forgive and ask for forgiveness, not being afraid to voice Christian views with others, we mirror the message of the Gospel. (Elicit examples from the children’s daily life.)

For family prayer time dedicate a time to acknowledge the fact that Jesus blessed those who like Luke, believe, even though “they have not seen.”(John 20,29). Encourage children to make a personalised profession of faith. Eg. “Jesus  I believe in You, I believe that you died and suffered for us, I believe you rose from the dead . . .”

Offer prayers of thanks for the services of doctors and nurses who attend to the sick in various situations, sometimes at a risk of their own safety. During this time of the Covid-19 Pandemic let us ask for the intercession of St Luke to guide them, support and protect them in their work.

He is the author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts in the New Testament. He worked a lot with St Paul, in fact St Luke also visited Malta, when St Paul’s shipwreck happened in Malta. St Luke is the patron saint of artists, physicians and surgeons.

This week let’s learn more about Luke the Evangelist. If you wish you may share your research with us, with your friends at school and your catechism centre. These are some ideas you can research on:

  • What’s the animal we find on the pictures of St Luke?
  • What are his origins?
  • Mention two things we only find in the Gospel of the St Luke.
  • What was his profession?
  • Write four facts about the Gospel of St Luke. 

You may also wish to draw our picture of St Luke! 

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.