Saint Luke

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Saint Luke

(† First Century)

Saint Luke, a physician at Antioch and a painter, was also an excellent rhetorician in Greek, his native language. He became a disciple of Saint Paul, the Apostle’s fellow-worker and his faithful friend during his two imprisonments, and is best known to us as the historian of the New Testament acts of both Christ and the Apostles. Though not an eye-witness of Our Lord’s life, the meticulous Evangelist diligently gathered information from those who had followed or listened to Jesus of Nazareth, and wrote, as he tells us, all things in order. His command of Greek is much admired. Saint Clement of Alexandria, Saint Jerome and Saint Thomas Aquinas state that it is he who translated Saint Paul’s famous Epistle to the Hebrews, written in the language of the Jerusalem Christians, into the admirable Greek which we presently possess as the only ancient version.

The Acts of the Apostles were written by the Evangelist as a sequel to his Gospel, bringing the history of the Church down to the first imprisonment of Saint Paul in Rome, in the year 64. The humble historian never names himself, but by his occasional use of we instead of he or they, we are able to detect his presence in the scenes of Saint Paul’s life which he describes. We thus find that he sailed with Paul and Silas from Troas to Macedonia, where he remained behind, apparently, for seven years at Philippi. Finally, after remaining near Saint Paul during the time he was imprisoned in Palestine, he accompanied him, still a prisoner, when he was transported to Rome. Thus he shared the shipwreck and perils of that memorable voyage, narrated in Chapter 27 of Acts — which book no Christian should fail to read, along with the four Gospels. He then narrates the two years of Saint Paul’s first imprisonment, ending in his liberation.

There his narrative ends, but from Saint Paul’s Epistles we learn that Saint Luke was his faithful companion to the last. His paintings of Our Lady are still conserved with care in a number of places in Europe. Saint Luke certainly learned from the Mother of Christ Herself, the story of the Annunciation, the Visitation, and the Angelic mission to the shepherds of Bethlehem. After the martyrdom of the Apostle to the Gentiles, Saint Epiphanus says that Saint Luke preached in Italy, Gaul, Dalmatia and Macedonia. Others say he went to Egypt and preached in the Thebaid, the region of the Fathers of the desert. Saint Hippolyte says he was crucified in Greece. His mortal remains were transferred to the Church of the Apostles, built by Constantine the Great at Constantinople, with those of Saint Andrew and Saint Timothy. Some of his relics remain in the Greek monastery of Mount Athos.

The Holy Bible: Old and New Testaments; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Devotion to Mary

Devotion to Mary

CHRIST tells you:

MY CHILD, when My mother received the praises of her cousin Elizabeth, she immediately directed those praises to God, the Source of all good. Amid this admirable outburst of humility, the Holy Spirit inspired her to prophesy her future place in the hearts of My loyal followers. Under divine influence she declared: “Henceforth all generations shall call me blessed!” In honoring My mother, you join the countless multitudes who have sung her praises through the centuries.

2. At the very dawn of creation her greatness was foretold. Satan was told that his head would be crushed by the heel of a woman. Under God, My Immaculate Mother is the most feared enemy of hell.

3. Her greatest praise was expressed even before she became My mother. The Angel Gabriel was instructed to address her as “full of grace,” a title reserved for her alone. The better you understand this holy title, the greater will be your admiration for My mother.

4. To be “full of grace” one must have an all-consuming love for God, a self-dedication so complete that all forms of self-interest are subdued by the pure desire to please God at every moment. Even before she became My Virgin-Mother, she had already achieved this exalted virtue. She was already “full of grace.” 5. Her response to the angel’s message was a perfect summary of her entire life: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word!” She lived with the highest purpose possible to man or angel-to devote herself unreservedly to God’s holy Will. Many have formed this high resolve, but only My mother has fulfilled it to perfection. Only she is “full of grace.”

6. Not only does My mother deserve your admiration and praise, but she also deserves your purest love. In becoming My mother, she also became yours in a very true sense. As your earthly parents cooperated with God in giving you your earthly life, so too did My mother cooperate with God in bringing supernatural life to your soul.

7. She knows and loves you as a true mother, indeed, as the most perfect of all mothers. Her prayers for your needs are frequent and powerful. As she obtained help for the bridal couple of Cana without their knowledge, so does she often obtain help for you in many needs of which you are unaware. As I could not refuse her request in Cana, so too can I not refuse her prayers in Heaven. Her glorious merits bring you many a favor of which you are unworthy, Be a loyal child of your heavenly mother, and your salvation is assured.

Mary’s highest merit was her self-dedication to God. When Jesus heard a woman praising His mother for having such a wonderful Son, He pointed to His mother’s greatest glory: “Blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.” She who was “full of grace” lived these words to perfection. Therefore she deserves my highest praise. And yet, she deserves
something more. As my heavenly mother she has given me her love and attention since my first moment of life. Can I refuse to love her in return? My love will be proved by my obedience to the only command of hers which Holy Scripture records: “Do whatever He (Jesus) tells you.” If I am loyal to this command, Heaven is surely mine.

O Virgin-Mother of Jesus, I cannot ask you to be my mother, since you are already that. I will, however, ask you to help me become a grateful and loving child of yours. My devotion to you is not half so generous as your devotion to me. I shall never tire of singing your praises. Your pure love for me has often gone unnoticed and unrepaid. I desire now to make reparation for such deep ingratitude. You are indeed the perfect mother. You have given me the advice and the example which will lead me to the eternal success of Heaven. Moreover, you can obtain for me the light and strength to walk along your holy way. Help me abandon my daily faults and follow you at last along the way to God. Amen.