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Commentary from 




Rivingtons, London, 1884



The festival was dedicated in honour of St. Luke, as of the other Evangelists, at a very early period of Christian history, and is found in an ancient Calendar [earlier than A.D. 484] of the Church of Carthage.  St. Jerome says [De Script. Ecc.] that the remains of St. Luke were translated to Constantinople in the twentieth year of Constantine the Great, and there laid in the magnificent church which he had built in honour of the Apostles; but whether the present festival commemorates this event or not there is no evidence to shew.


Little is indicated to us by Holy Scripture of St. Luke's personal history.  His native place appears to have been Antioch; and as St. Paul calls him "the beloved physician" [Col. iv. 14.], it seems clear that these words represent his profession.  Yet ancient traditions have connected him with the art of painting, and several portraits exist which are attributed to him, shewing how general this tradition is.  The Evangelist was probably one of St. Paul's converts; for though there is a tradition that he was one of the seventy, the dedication of his Gospel seems to exclude himself from the number of those who had been eye-witnesses of our Lord's life and works.  After the separation of St. Paul from St. Barnabas, the Evangelist constantly accompanied the former in his journeyings and missions; and the latter half of the Acts of the Apostles records not only what he heard from others, but the events which had occurred within his own experience while sharing St. Paul's work and dangers.  Hence St. Paul speaks of him in affectionate terms as his "fellow-labourer," "the Beloved physician," and "the brother whose praise is in the Gospel throughout all the churches."  He continued his missionary labours long after the death of St. Paul, and is believed to have reached his rest through martyrdom, being crucified upon and olive-tree at eighty years of age.


INTROIT. --The mouth of the righteous is exercised in wisdom: and his tongue will be talking of judgement.  The law of his God is in his heart.  Ps. Fret not thyself because of the ungodly, neither be thou envious against the evil doers.  Glory be.