Saint of the Day: St. Luke, Evangelist, Pro-life Saint, Pro-life Prayer
Oil on panel, 270 x 217 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp
It is believed that St. Luke was born a Greek and a gentile. A physician at Antioch, and a painter, St. Luke became a convert of Saint Paul and afterwards his fellow-laborer. Luke was the writer of the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles and has been identified with St. Paul’s “Luke, the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14).
Saint Luke shared the shipwreck and perils of Saint Paul’s voyage to Rome, and was with him in his last days. He later died a martyr’s death in Achaia.
As a physician, Luke’s gospel emphasizes forgiveness and the merciful love of Jesus, which heals his children and welcomes all into his arms — especially the sinner, the outcast, the gentile. Luke shows us the compassion of Jesus. It is only in Luke that we hear the story of the Prodigal Son welcomed back by the joyful father.
Luke also has a special connection with the women in Jesus’ life, especially Mary. It is only in Luke’s gospel that we hear the story of the Annunciation, Mary’s visit to Elizabeth including the Magnificat, the Presentation, and the story of Jesus’ disappearance in Jerusalem. It is Luke who gives us the Scriptural parts of the Hail Mary: “Hail Mary full of grace” spoken at the Annunciation and “Blessed are you and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus” spoken by her cousin Elizabeth.
Luke’s gospel is noted for its praise and thanksgiving to God and is a very poetic book. For example, Mary’s song, 1:46-55. Song of Zacharias, 1:68-79, and The Song of the Angels, 2:8-14. Finally, Luke’s is the gospel of Jesus praying, and his parables concerning prayer.
A Few of My Favorite Scripture Passages from Luke:
“When you hold a lunch or dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the ressurection of the righteous.”~ Luke 14: 12- 14
“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”~ Luke 11:9-10
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”~ Luke 1:46
Here is an excerpt: “But it is only Luke who reveals to us the babyhood of Jesus and the attendant mysteries thereto. Luke is one of the Church’s great “Pro – Life” saints! There is no way around it. He alone tells of the conception of Jesus Christ, paints for us the tender mother who opens up her heart and soul to God’s plan and Spirit, then recounts the mysterious encounter between pregnant mothers and unborn children and finally recounts in all its poverty and glory the birth of humankind’s Savior in a manger.”
Pro-life Prayer on the feast of St. Luke (via Terry Ann Modica):
Our Father, Saint Luke was a physician who helped Saint Paul set up young faith communities. Because he is a patron saint of doctors, I ask him to pray for everyone in the medical field. May they see their work as a calling to serve You and become good examples of Your compassion. I ask him to pray especially for those involved in performing abortions or euthanasia. O Lord, teach them that all life is valuable. Soften their hearts and lead them to repentance. Help us who are pro-life to remember to love them always. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing. Saint Luke, pray for us. Amen.