BOOK OF COMMON
Edited by JOHN HENRY BLUNT
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.