The holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostle and Evangelist Luke is the author of the Gospel of Luke, the companion of the Apostle Paul (Phil 1:24, 2 Tim 4:10-11), and is numbered among the Seventy Apostles. He was a native of Syrian Antioch and a physician, and is the founder of iconography.
His emblem is the calf, the third symbolical beast mentioned by Ezekiel (1:10), which is a symbol of Christ's sacrificial and priestly office, as pointed out by St. Irenaeus. His feast days are celebrated on October 18; on April 22 with Apostles Nathaniel and Clement; on June 20 on which day his relics, among others, were translated to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople; and on January 4, the synaxis of the Seventy.
Saint Luke, was of Greek origin born in the Hellenistic city of Antioch,  and was extremally educated. His studies included Greek philosophy, medicine, and art in his youth. He was also a professional physician. St. Luke came to Jerusalem where he came to believe in the Lord. He and Cleopas met the resurrected Lord on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24).
After Pentecost, Luke returned to Antioch and worked with the Apostle Paul, traveling with him to Rome, and converting Jews and pagans to the Christian Faith. "Luke, the beloved physician, ... greets you," writes the Apostle Paul to the Colossians (Colossians 4:14). At the request of Christians, St. Luke wrote his Gospel in the first century. According to some accounts this took place around 60 A.D., and according to others around 80 A.D. After St. Paul's martyrdom, St. Luke preached the Gospel throughout Italy, Dalmatia, Macedonia, and other regions. He painted icons of the Most-holy Theotokos—not just one, but three—as well as icons of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. For this reason, St. Luke is considered the founder of Christian iconography. In his old age, he visited Libya and Upper Egypt; from Egypt he returned to Greece, where he continued to preach and convert many with great zeal despite his age.
In addition to his Gospel, St. Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles and dedicated each of these works to Theophilus, the governor of Achaia. Luke was 84 years old when the wicked idolaters tortured him for the sake of Christ and hanged him from an olive tree in the town of Thebes, in Beothia of Greece .
- Speechless be the lips of impious ones,
- Those who do not reverence
- Your great icon, the sacred one
- Which is called Directress,
- And was depicted for us
- By one of the apostles,
- Luke the Evangelist.
The Relics of St. Luke
His miracle-working relics were transported to Constantinople during the 4th-century, under the reign of Emperor Constantius (357AD), the son of Constantine. In 1204, the Crusadors of the IV Crusade stole the relic from Constantinople and transported it to Padova in Italy and it is still located there in the Catholic church of Santa Justina at the centre of the city.
In 1992, the then Metropolitan Ieronymos of Thebes and Levathia (currently the Archbishop of Greece) requested the return of a "a significant fragment of the relics of St. Luke to be placed on the site where the holy tomb of the Evangelist is located and venerated today". This prompted a scientific investigation of the relics in Padua, and by numerous lines of empirical evidence confirmed that these were the remains of an individual of Syrian descent who died between 130 and 400 A.D. The Bishop of Padua then delivered to Metropolitan Ieronymos the rib of St. Luke that was closest to his heart to be kept at his tomb in Thebes, Greece.
The tomb works miracles even today. In December 22, 1997 at 1.30pm myrrh appeared on the tomb's marble and since then the interior of the marble sarcophagus is fragrant.The olive tree is still living to the right side of the cemetery in Thebes. On the right side of the sanctuary of this church is tthe roman sarcophagus where the body of St. Luke had been placed. This tomb belonged to a Roman family of the 2nd-century BC but later on it was emptied and the Christians of Thebes used it as "honour" for St. Luke's relic since it was a majestic tomb.
- Let us praise with sacred songs the Holy Apostle Luke,
- The recorder of the Joyous Gospel of Christ,
- And the scribe of the Acts of the Apostles,
- For his writings are a testimony of the Church of Christ:
- He is the Physician of human weaknesses and infirmities.
- He heals the wounds of our souls,
- And constantly intercedes for our salvation!
Kontakion (Tone 4)
- You became a disciple of God the Word,
- With Paul you enlightened all the world,
- Casting out its darkness by composing the Holy Gospel of Christ.
Kontakion (Tone 2)
- Let us praise the godly Luke:
- He is the true preacher of piety,
- The orator of ineffable mysteries
- And the star of the Church,
- For the Word who alone knows the hearts of men,
- Chose him, with the wise Paul, to be a teacher of the gentiles!
- ↑ According to the book of the "Life of the Saints" of the Orthodox Church"
- ↑ Nikiphoros-Kallistos Xanthopoulos, Eccles. History XIVth c. AD., Migne P.G. 145, 876
- Apostle and Evangelist Luke, October 18 (OCA)
- Apostle and Evangelist Luke of the Seventy, January 4 (OCA)
- October 18: Feast of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke (GOARCH)
- Luke the Evangelist (GOARCH)
- Icons of St. Luke by Dr. Alexander Roman
- Icon and Story of St. Luke, Evangelist & Iconographer