By Christina Hermoso
The Roman Catholic Church will observe on Thursday the Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist (San Lucas Evangelista), the author of two New Testament books: The Third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles.
Known as the patron of physicians, painters, churches, medical schools, and medical facilities, hospitals such as the St. Luke Medical Center in Quezon City and Taguig City were named after him and placed under his patronage.
A native of Antioch, Turkey, St. Luke wrote the Third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles in Greece right after St. Paul’s martyrdom in 64 A.D.
In the Gospel of Luke, he narrated with order and clarity, more than 30 years of Jesus’ earthly life, including His Ascension to heaven. He also gave a complete account of the Annunciation and the Visitation. In the Acts of the Apostles, he chronicled the history of the early Church and narrated the similarities between the life of Christ and the Church.
St. Luke was the first Christian physician on record. He was a missionary companion of St. Paul and was the only gentile or non-Jew to write books of the Holy Bible. He was also a skillful artist, and was believed to have painted the first icon of the Blessed Mother, now displayed and venerated at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, Italy.