Although the date of Saint Luke the Evangelist’s birth is unknown, it is thought to have been sometime during the 1st century A.D. Luke lived in Antioch, was of Greek descent, and was converted to Christianity by Saint Paul the Apostle. In Colossians 4:14, Paul tells us that, before his conversion, Luke was a medical man when he refers to him as “Luke the beloved physician”.
Paul and Luke were inseparable for many years. Luke was involved in the shipwreck that took place when Paul was journeying to Rome and also remained with him in prison for two years. There was at least one occasion when Luke was Paul’s only companion. In 2 Timothy 4:10-11, Paul talks about how Demas had abandoned the Faith and that Crescens and Titus could not be with him: “Luke is the only one with me”.
After the martyrdom of Saint Paul, Luke completely disappeared from history. Tradition says that he never married and that he wrote his Gospel in Boeotia, Greece where he died at the age of eighty-four.
Despite the lack of details about his life, the existence of Saint Luke has never been disputed because of the writings attributed to him. He is the author of the Gospel According to Luke and of the Acts of the Apostles. Saint Luke was the only evangelist who did not know Jesus personally. Also, he was the only one who was not Jewish. He gained material for his gospel by speaking to people who knew Our Lord. According to tradition, the source for the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke was the Blessed Virgin Mary herself.
The symbol of Luke’s Gospel is the winged ox. The ox is supposed to be a symbol of the ancient Hebrew sacrifices and, therefore, of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
It is also thought that Saint Luke was an artist. There are several ancient statues and pictures that are attributed to him including the world-famous picture of Our Lady of Czestochowa.
What tradition says are the relics of Saint Luke are kept in two separate shrines: one in Padua, Italy and one in Thebes, Greece.
Saint Luke the Evangelist is venerated by nearly every Christian denomination. In the Roman Catholic Church, he is considered the patron saint of artists and physicians. His feast day is October 18.
Sources: Butler’s Lives of the Saints
New American Translation of the Holy Bible