ST. LUKE THE EVANGELIST &NDASH; HALF STATURE
Commemorated on October 18 / 31
According to Bishop Nikolai Velimirovch in The Prologue from Ohrid:
Born in Antioch, he applied himself in his youth to the study of Greek philosophy, medicine and art. At the time that the Lord Jesus was at work upon earth, Luke came to Jerusalem, where he saw the Saviour face to face, heard His saving teaching and was a witness of His wonderful works. Coming to belief in the Lord, St Luke was included among the Seventy and sent forth to preach the Gospel. Together with Cleopas, he saw the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus (Lk. 24). After the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, Luke returned to Antioch and there became a fellowworker with the Apostle Paul, with whom he travelled to Rome, bringing Jews and pagans to the Christian faith. `Luke the beloved physician salutes you`, writes the Apostle Paul to the Colossians (4:14). At the request of the Christians, he wrote his Gospel in about the year 60. After the death by martyrdom of the great Apostle, Luke preached the Gospel all over Italy, Dalmatia, Macedonia and elsewhere. He painted three icons of the most holy Mother of God and also icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and is regarded as the founder of Christian iconography. In old age, he visited Libya and Upper Egypt, and thence returned to Greece, where he set himself with great zeal to preach the Gospel and bring men to Christ, disregarding his great age. St Luke wrote both his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, and dedicated them both to Theophilus, governor of Achaia. He was eighty-four years old when wicked idol-worshippers put him to torture for the sake of Christ and hanged him from an olive tree in the town of Thebes in Beothia. The wonderworking relics of this wonderful saint were taken to Constantinople in the time of the Emperor Constantius, son of St Constantine.