St. Luke the Evangelist lived a fascinating life. His incredibly detailed Gospel is also the longest, taking up an entire quarter of the New Testament! It is believed that St. Luke also wrote the Acts of the Apostles.
We know that St. Luke was a doctor as well as an evangelist, because St. Paul described him as a physician (Col. 4:14).
He appears to also have been a capable historian, recording careful details about the many people and places visited by Jesus and His Apostles. Many biblical scholars study this Gospel to understand the historical context of Jesus and first-century Judaism.
Ancient Christian tradition says that St. Luke was an artist who painted the first icons. The oldest painted images of Jesus and Mary are attributed to St. Luke, including Our Lady of Vladimir, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Salus Populi Romani, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Tradition says that St. Luke painted the original Hodegetria image of Our Lady and Jesus. This image was kept at the Hodegon monastery in Constantinople, but is now lost, having disappeared during the Fall of Constantinople. While this painting was in Constantinople, it was said to produce miracles every single day. Many visitors would come to see it.
Icons (like those painted by St. Luke) are important because they raise our hearts and minds to heavenly things. They are “windows” that open our hearts and remind us of the presence of God and His saints!