Saint Luke the Apostle
Feast Day: October 18th
Saint Luke painting Jesus and Blessed Mother
The name Lucas (Luke) is probably an abbreviation from Lucanus, like Annas from Ananus, Apollos from Apollonius, Artemas from Artemidorus, Demas from Demetrius, etc. (Schanz, "Evang. des heiligen Lucas", 1, 2; Lightfoot on "Col.", iv, 14; Plummer, "St. Luke", introd.) The word Lucas seems to have been unknown before the Christian Era; but Lucanus is common in inscriptions, and is found at the beginning and end of the Gospel in some Old Latin manuscripts (ibid.). It is generally held that St. Luke was a native of Antioch. Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. III, iv, 6) has: Loukas de to men genos on ton ap Antiocheias, ten episteuen iatros, ta pleista suggegonos to Paulo, kai rots laipois de ou parergos ton apostolon homilnkos--"Lucas vero domo Antiochenus, arte medicus, qui et cum Paulo diu conjunctissime vixit, et cum reliquis Apostolis studiose versatus est." Eusebius has a clearer statement in his "Quęstiones Evangelicę", IV, i, 270: ho de Loukas to men genos apo tes Boomenes Antiocheias en--"Luke was by birth a native of the renowned Antioch" (Schmiedel, "Encyc. Bib."). Spitta, Schmiedel, and Harnack think this is a quotation from Julius Africanus (first half of the third century). In Codex Bezę (D) Luke is introduced by a "we" as early as Acts, xi, 28; and, though this is not a correct reading, it represents a very ancient tradition. The writer of Acts took a special interest in Antioch and was well acquainted with it (Acts, xi, 19-27; xiii, 1; xiv, 18-21, 25, xv, 22, 23, 30, 35; xviii, 22). We are told the locality of only one deacon, "Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch", vi, 5; and it has been pointed out by Plummer that, out of eight writers who describe the Russian campaign of 1812, only two, who were Scottish, mention that the Russian general, Barclay de Tolly, was of Scottish extraction. These considerations seem to exclude the conjecture of Renan and Ramsay that St. Luke was a native of Philippi.
St. Luke was not a Jew. He is separated by St. Paul from those of the circumcision (Col. iv, 14), and his style proves that he was a Greek. Hence he cannot be identified with Lucius the prophet of Acts, xiii, 1, nor with Lucius of Rom., xvi, 21, who was cognatus of St. Paul. From this and the prologue of the Gospel it follows that Epiphanius errs when he calls him one of the Seventy Disciples; nor was he the companion of Cleophas in the journey to Emmaus after the Resurrection (as stated by Theophylact and the Greek Menol.). St. Luke had a great knowledge of the Septuagint and of things Jewish, which he acquired either as a Jewish proselyte (St. Jerome) or after he became a Christian, through his close intercourse with the Apostles and disciples. Besides Greek, he had many opportunities of acquiring Aramaic in his native Antioch, the capital of Syria. He was a physician by profession, and St. Paul calls him "the most dear physician" (Col., iv, 14). This avocation implied a liberal education, and his medical training is evidenced by his choice of medical language. Plummer suggests that he may have studied medicine at the famous school of Tarsus, the rival of Alexandria and Athens, and possibly met St. Paul there. From his intimate knowledge of the eastern Mediterranean, it has been conjectured that he had lengthened experience as a doctor on board ship. He travailed a good deal, and sends greetings to the Colossians, which seems to indicate that he had visited them.
St. Luke first appears in the Acts at Troas (xvi, 8 sqq.), where he meets St. Paul, and, after the vision, crossed over with him to Europe as an Evangelist, landing at Neapolis and going on to Philippi, "being assured that God had called us to preach the Gospel to them" (note especially the transition into first person plural at verse 10). He was, therefore, already an Evangelist. He was present at the conversion of Lydia and her companions, and lodged in her house. He, together with St. Paul and his companions, was recognized by the pythonical spirit: "This same following Paul and us, cried out, saying: These men are the servants of the most high God, who preach unto you the way of salvation" (verse 17). He beheld Paul and Silas arrested, dragged before the Roman magistrates, charged with disturbing the city, "being Jews", beaten with rods and thrown into prison. Luke and Timothy escaped, probably because they did not look like Jews (Timothy's father was a gentile). When Paul departed from Philippi, Luke was left behind, in all probability to carry on the work of Evangelist. At Thessalonica the Apostle received highly appreciated pecuniary aid from Philippi (Phil., iv, 15, 16), doubtless through the good offices of St. Luke. It is not unlikely that the latter remained at Philippi all the time that St. Paul was preaching at Athens and Corinth, and while he was travelling to Jerusalem and back to Ephesus, and during the three years that the Apostle was engaged at Ephesus. When St. Paul revisited Macedonia, he again met St. Luke at Philippi, and there wrote his Second Epistle to the Corinthians.
St. Jerome thinks it is most likely that St. Luke is "the brother, whose praise is in the gospel through all the churches" (II Cor. viii, 18), and that he was one of the bearers of the letter to Corinth. Shortly afterwards, when St. Paul returned from Greece, St. Luke accompanied him from Philippi to Troas, and with him made the long coasting voyage described in Acts, xx. He went up to Jerusalem, was present at the uproar, saw the attack on the Apostle, and heard him speaking "in the Hebrew tongue" from the steps outside the fortress Antonia to the silenced crowd. Then he witnessed the infuriated Jews, in their impotent rage, rending their garments, yelling, and flinging dust into the air. We may be sure that he was a constant visitor to St. Paul during the two years of the latter's imprisonment at Cęarea. In that period he might well become acquainted with the circumstances of the death of Herod Agrippa I, who had died there eaten up by worms" (skolekobrotos), and he was likely to be better informed on the subject than Josephus. Ample opportunities were given him, 'having diligently attained to all things from the beginning", concerning the Gospel and early Acts, to write in order what had been delivered by those "who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word" (Luke, i, 2, 3). It is held by many writers that the Gospel was written during this time, Ramsay is of opinion that the Epistle to the Hebrews was then composed, and that St. Luke had a considerable share in it. When Paul appealed to Cęsar, Luke and Aristarchus accompanied him from Cęsarea, and were with him during the stormy voyage from Crete to Malta. Thence they went on to Rome, where, during the two years that St. Paul was kept in prison, St. Luke was frequently at his side, though not continuously, as he is not mentioned in the greetings of the Epistle to the Philippians (Lightfoot, "Phil.", 35). He was present when the Epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon were written, and is mentioned in the salutations given in two of them: "Luke the most dear physician, saluteth you" (Col., iv, 14); "There salute thee . . . Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke my fellow labourers" (Philem., 24). St. Jerome holds that it was during these two years Acts was written.
We have no information about St. Luke during the interval between St. Paul's two Roman imprisonments, but he must have met several of the Apostles and disciples during his various journeys. He stood beside St. Paul in his last imprisonment; for the Apostle, writing for the last time to Timothy, says: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course. . . . Make haste to come to me quickly. For Demas hath left me, loving this world. . . . Only Luke is with me" (II Tim., iv, 7-11). It is worthy of note that, in the three places where he is mentioned in the Epistles (Col., iv, 14; Philem., 24; II Tim., iv, 11) he is named with St. Mark (cf. Col., iv, 10), the other Evangelist who was not an Apostle (Plummer), and it is clear from his Gospel that he was well acquainted with the Gospel according to St. Mark; and in the Acts he knows all the details of St. Peter's delivery--what happened at the house of St. Mark's mother, and the name of the girl who ran to the outer door when St. Peter knocked. He must have frequently met St. Peter, and may have assisted him to draw up his First Epistle in Greek, which affords many reminiscences of Luke's style. After St. Paul's martyrdom practically all that is known about him is contained in the ancient "Prefatio vel Argumentum Lucę", dating back to Julius Africanus, who was born about A.D. 165. This states that he was unmarried, that he wrote the Gospel, in Achaia, and that he died at the age of seventy-four in Bithynia (probably a copyist's error for Boeotia), filled with the Holy Ghost. Epiphanius has it that he preached in Dalmatia (where there is a tradition to that effect), Gallia (Galatia?), Italy, and Macedonia. As an Evangelist, he must have suffered much for the Faith, but it is controverted whether he actually died a martyr's death. St. Jerome writes of him (De Vir. III., vii). "Sepultus est Constantinopoli, ad quam urbem vigesimo Constantii anno, ossa ejus cum reliquiis Andreę Apostoli translata sunt [de Achaia?]." St. Luke its always represented by the calf or ox, the sacrificial animal, because his Gospel begins with the account of Zachary, the priest, the father of John the Baptist. He is called a painter by Nicephorus Callistus (fourteenth century), and by the Menology of Basil II, A.D. 980. A picture of the Virgin in S. Maria Maggiore, Rome, is ascribed to him, and can be traced to A.D. 847 It is probably a copy of that mentioned by Theodore Lector, in the sixth century. This writer states that the Empress Eudoxia found a picture of the Mother of God at Jerusalem, which she sent to Constantinople (see "Acta SS.", 18 Oct.). As Plummer observes. it is certain that St. Luke was an artist, at least to the extent that his graphic descriptions of the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Shepherds. Presentation, the Shepherd and lost sheep, etc., have become the inspiring and favourite themes of Christian painters.
St. Luke is one of the most extensive writers of the New Testament. His Gospel is considerably longer than St. Matthew's, his two books are about as long as St. Paul's fourteen Epistles: and Acts exceeds in length the Seven Catholic Epistles and the Apocalypse. The style of the Gospel is superior to any N. T. writing except Hebrews. Renan says (Les Evangiles, xiii) that it is the most literary of the Gospels. St. Luke is a painter in words. "The author of the Third Gospel and of the Acts is the most versatile of all New Testament writers. He can be as Hebraistic as the Septuagint, and as free from Hebraisms as Plutarch. . . He is Hebraistic in describing Hebrew society and Greek when describing Greek society" (Plummer, introd.). His great command of Greek is shown by the richness of his vocabulary and the freedom of his constructions.
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX
Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910, Remy Lafort, Censor
Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York
Text Courtesy of TraditionalCatholic.net
Saint Luke, Evangelist
from the Liturgical Year, 1903
The goodness and kindness of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men (Tit. ii. 11; iii. 4.). It would seem that the third Evangelist, a disciple of St. Paul, had purposed setting forth this word of the Doctor of the Gentiles; or may we not rather say, the Apostle himself characterizes in this sentence the Gospel wherein his disciple portrays the Saviour prepared before the face of all peoples; a light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of... Israel (St. Luke ii. 31, 32). St. Luke's Gospel, and the words quoted from St. Paul, were in fact written about the same time; and it is impossible to say which claims priority.
Under the eye of Simon Peter, to whom the Father had revealed the Christ the Son of the living God, Mark had the honour of giving to the Church the Gospel of Jesus, the Son of God (St. Mark i. 1). Matthew had already drawn up for the Jews the Gospel of the Messias, Son of David, Son of Abraham (St. Matth. i. 1). Afterwards, at the side of Paul, Luke wrote for the Gentiles the Gospel of Jesus, Son of Adam through Mary (St. Luke iii. 38). As far as the genealogy of this First-born of His Mother may be reckoned back, so far shall extend the blessing He bestows upon His brethren, by redeeming them from the curse inherited from their first father.
Jesus was truly one of ourselves, a Man conversing with men and living their life. He was seen on earth in the reign of Augustus; the prefect of the empire registered the birth of this new subject of Caesar in the city of His ancestors. He was bound in the swathing-bands of infancy; like all of His race, He was circumcised, offered to the Lord, and redeemed according to the law of His nation. As a Child He obeyed His parents; He grew up under their eyes; He passed through the progressive development of youth to the maturity of manhood. At every juncture, during His public life, He prostrated in prayer to God the Creator of all; He wept over His country; when His Heart was wrung with anguish at sight of the morrow's deadly torments, He was bathed with a sweat of blood; and in that agony He did not disdain the assistance of an Angel. Such appears, in the third Gospel, the humanity of God our Saviour.
How sweet too are His grace and goodness! Among all the children of men, He merited to be the expectation of nations and the Desired of them all: He who was conceived of a humble Virgin; Who was born in a stable with shepherds for His court, and choirs of Angels singing in the darkness of night: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of goodwill. But earth had sung the prelude to the angelic harmonies; the precursor, leaping with delight in his mother's womb, had, as the Church says (Vesper Hymn for the Feast of St. John Baptist), made known the king still resting in his bride-chamber. To this joy of the bridegroom's Friend, the Virgin Mother had responded, by the sweetest song that earth or heaven has ever heard. Then Zachary and Simeon completed the number of inspired Cantioles for the new people of God. All was song aTound the new-born Babe ; and Mary kept all the wcrds in her heart, in order to transmit them to us through her own Evangelist.
The Divine Child grew in age and wisdom and grace, before God and man; till His human beauty captivated men, and drew them with the cords of Adam to the love of God. He was ready to welcome the daughter of Tyre, the Gentile race that had become more than a rival of Sion. Let her not fear, the poor unfortunate one, of whom Magdalene was a figure; the pride of expiring Judaism may take scandal, but Jesus will accept her tears and her perfumes; he will forgive her much because of her great love. Let the prodigal hope once more, when worn out with his long wanderings, in every way whither error has led the nations; the envious complaint of his elder brother Israel will not stay the outpourings of the Sacred Heart, celebrating the return of the fugitive, restoring to him the dignity of sonship, placing again upon his finger the ring of the alliance first contracted in Eden with the whole human race. As for Juda, unhappy is he if he refuse to understand.
Woe to the rich man, who in his opulence neglects the poor Lazarus! The privileges of race no longer exist: of ten lepers cured in body, the stranger alone is healed in soul, because he alone believes in his deliverer and returns thanks. Of the Samaritan, the levite, and the priest, who appear on the road to Jericho, the first alone earns our Saviour's commendation. The pharisee is strangely mistaken, when, in his arrogant prayer, he spurns the publican, who strikes his breast and cries for mercy. The Son of Man neither hears the prayers of the proud, nor heeds their indignation; He invites Himself, in spite of their murmurs, to the house of Zacheus, bringing with him salvation and joy, and declaring the publican to be henceforth a true son of Abraham. So much goodness and such universal mercy close against Him the narrow hearts of his fellow-citizens; they will not have him to reign over them; but eternal Wisdom finds the lost coin, and there is great joy before the Angels in heaven. On the day of the sacred Nuptials, the lowly and despised, and the repentant sinners, will sit down to the banquet prepared for others. In truth I say to you, there were many widows in the days of Elias in Israel, . . . and to none of them was Elias sent, but to Sarepta of Sidon, to a widow woman. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet, and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian (St. Luke iv. 25-27).
O Jesus, Thy Evangelist has won our hearts. "We love thee for having taken pity on our misery. We Gentiles were in deeper debt than Jerusalem, and therefore we owe thee greater love in return for thy pardon. We love thee because Thy choicest graces are for Magdalene, that is, for us who are sinners, and are nevertheless called to the better part. We love Thee because thou canst not resist the tears of mothers; but restorest to them, as at Naim, their dead children. In the day of treason, and abandonment, and denial, thou didst forget Thine own injury to cast upon Peter that loving look, which caused him to weep bitterly. Thou turnedst away from Thyself the tears of those humble and true daughters of Jerusalem, who followed thy painful footsteps up the heights of Calvary. Nailed to the Cross, thou didst implore pardon for Thy executioners. At the last hour, as God thou promisedst Paradise to the penitent thief, as Man thou gavest back Thy soul to Thy Father. Truly from beginning to end of this third Gospel appears thy goodness and kindness, O God our Saviour!
St. Luke completed his work by writing, in the same correct style as his Gospel, the history of the first days of Christianity, of the introduction of the Gentiles into the Church, and of the great labours of their own Apostle Paul. According to tradition he was an artist, as well as a man of letters; and with a soul alive to all the most delicate inspirations, he consecrated his pencil to the holiest use, and handed down to us the features of the Mother of God. It was an illustration worthy of the Gospel which relates the Divine Infancy; and it won for the artist a new title to the gratitude of those who never saw Jesus and Mary in the flesh. Hence St. Luke is the patron of Christian art; and also of the medical profession, for in the holy Scripture itself he is said to have been a physician, as we shall see from the Breviary Lessons. He had studied all the sciences in his native city Antioch; and the brilliant capital of the East had reason to be proud of its illustrious son.
St. Luke, Evangelist
(by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876)
Among the holy men whom the Almighty chose to write the Gospel, or the history of the life and death, the teachings and miracles of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, was St. Luke, the third of those who are called Evangelists. He is represented with an ox near him, according to the mysterious revelation made to the Prophet Ezekiel; because he begins his Gospel with the revelation of what happened to Zachary in the Temple, where oxen, sheep and other animals were offered, according to the Old Covenant, in sacrifice to the Almighty. St. Luke is said to have been born at Antioch, in Syria, and his occupation, in his youth, was the study of the liberal arts, especially rhetoric, physic, sculpture and painting. It is believed that St. Paul himself instructed him in the Christian faith; hence, St. Jerome calls him a spiritual son of that holy Apostle. It is quite certain that he accompanied St. Paul in the many and laborious travels which the holy Apostle undertook to convert the infidels. Hence he had a part in all the labors, dangers, hardships and persecutions which the Apostle endured. This, however, caused him to be most warmly beloved and highly esteemed by St. Paul, who mentions him in several of his epistles, and among other praises, calls him an Apostle.
At the desire of St. Paul, Luke wrote the Gospel in Greek, as the Apostle was at that time preaching to the Greeks, and also, because this language was very much disseminated. St. Luke relates, in his Gospel, much that is but slightly mentioned by the other Evangelists, for instance, the mystery of the Annunciation and the Incarnation of Christ: from which the holy Fathers conclude that he must have been on very friendly terms, not only with the Apostles, but also with the Divine Mother, as she could give him the best information concerning these mysteries. Another reason is, that St. Luke lived in chastity, and earnestly endeavored to guard and preserve this virtue. The commentators of Holy Writ have also observed, that St. Luke, more than the other Evangelists, gives sinners the hope of divine mercy, and encourages them to repentance, as is seen in the parable of the Prodigal Son, so lovingly received by his father, as also in that of the Good Shepherd, who with great solicitude sought the lost sheep, and brought it back to the fold; again in the history of the sinner who so mercifully receives pardon: in the Samaritan who cares so kindly for the wounded traveller; but above all in the wonderful conversion of the thief crucified with Christ, to whom, when he had humbly and penitentially begged to be remembered, our kind Saviour promised Paradise. St. Anselm gives the reason for this in the following words: "Luke was at first a physician of the body; hence it is that he speaks more than the other Evangelist, of the mercy of our Saviour, who heals and frees men from diseases of the soul."
Besides the Gospel, St. Luke also wrote a book on the labors of the Apostles,, which is called the Acts of the Apostles. In it he first relates the ascension of Christ and the coming of the Holy Ghost; and after this what and where the Apostles preached, the miracles they wrought, and the sufferings they endured for Christ's sake. He further describes the life of the first Christians, and the martyrdom of St. Stephen and St. James. He then relates the conversion of St. Paul, the labors and sufferings of this holy Apostle, which no one could know better than St. Luke, who was his constant companion. During the two years of St. Paul's imprisonment at Caesarea, Luke aided him in every manner; he also accompanied him to Rome, when St. Paul had appealed to the emperor. At Rome, where the holy Apostle was again imprisoned for two years, St. Luke left him not, and allowed no persecution to separate him from his beloved master. When St. Paul was set at liberty, St. Luke accompanied him as before, wherever the unwearied Apostle preached the Gospel. St. Epiphanius relates, that, after the death of the two Apostles, Peter and Paul, St. Luke preached the Gospel of Christ in Italy, France, Dalmatia and Macedonia, with apostolic zeal. The Greeks assure us that he did the same in Egypt, Thebais and Lybia, and that he had great success in converting the infidels.
It is easy to conceive what hardships, dangers and persecutions the holy Evangelist must have suffered in these many wearisome travels and in consequence of his zealous preaching. Yet he was never discontented, never desponding, but always cheerful; because he always thought of Him for whom he labored and suffered, and of the recompense that was awaiting him. St. Jerome writes that the Saint continued his apostolic labors until he had reached his 84th year. St. Gregory of Nazianzum, St. Paulinus and St. Gaudentius maintain that he ended his life by martyrdom. Nicephorus writes that the heathens hung him to an olive-tree, and that thus he died a martyr. It is certain that his life, full of cares and hardships, was a continued martyrdom, the severity of which he increased by severe fasting and other penances. Hence the Church says of him, in the prayer which she offers up to-day at Holy Mass, that he bore the mortification of the cross ceaselessly in his body, for the love and honor of Christ. He ended his glorious labors and sufferings at Patras in Achaia. His holy relics, with those of St. Andrew were brought to Constantinople at the time of Constantine the Great. Long afterwards, they were removed to Pavia; but the head had, some time before, been taken by Gregory the Great to Rome, and placed in St. Peter's Church. There is a tradition that St. Luke painted several likenesses of Christ and the Blessed Virgin, and left them to the Christians to comfort them. To this day several pictures of the Blessed Virgin are shown, which are supposed to be his works. One of these is at Rome, in the Church of St. Mary Major, and another is at Loretto; both of these are venerated by the whole Christian world.
I. How usefully and beneficially did St. Luke employ his pencil, his chisel, his pen, and his tongue:--the tongue to preach the word of Christ, the pen to narrate the Lord's life and death, the pencil and chisel to make so many edifying likenesses of Jesus and Mary. Happy those who follow him in the good use of their limbs and the art they have learned! Unhappy, however, those who make their pencil and chisel instruments for pictures which give scandal to others; and who use their pen for sensational, slanderous, or otherwise sinful books and writings; who with their tongues, utter lying, slanderous, unchaste or other sinful speeches, and who greedily stretch out their hands to forbidden objects. The same may be said of those who offend God with eyes, ears, lips, feet or other limbs, and thus misuse members which God, in His mercy, gave them only for good. O how much pain such ungrateful beings will suffer in these members, which they now use only as instruments of wickedness! I call them, not without reason, ungrateful beings; for, I ask you, from whom has man his eyes, ears, tongue, hand, and feet? From none but God, the Lord, who gave them out of the abundance of His mercy. This is a great grace, and if you wish to come to the full knowledge of it, look at those who possess not these members, or have not the use of them; at those who are blind, deaf, dumb or lame. How miserable they are! Hence by giving these members to man, and the full use of them, God has surely shown great kindness to him; and man ought to be duly grateful. If man, however, misuses these members to offend God, he commits a horrible deed of ingratitude. He is not worthy to have the use of his limbs; for, as St. Bernard says: "He is not worthy to live, who will not live for Thee, O Jesus!" So is he unworthy to have tongue, ears, hands, or feet, who uses them as means to offend the Majesty of God. Are you one of this kind of men? Ask your conscience, and correct, while time is left to you, what you have done wrong.
II. St. Luke bore always the mortification of the Cross in his body. He was alwavs cheerful in his work and in his sufferings; never weary or desponding. The love of Christ, and the hope of an eternal reward made everything light and easy to him. If you love Christ with your whole heart, and think frequently on the future recompense, I am confident that you will not become weary at your work, that you will not despond while suffering. Therefore, in future, think often how your Lord suffered for you, and how great a reward He has promised you for your labors and sufferings. "When I see my Lord and God laden with suffering and pain," says St. Bernard, "it becomes impossible for me not to bear with an easy mind and a cheerful countenance, every evil that assails me." St. Augustine writes: "If you consider the reward which will be given to you, all that you have to endure will be but trifling.'' You will be astonished that so great a recompense is given for so little work; for, in truth, to gain eternal rest, one should perform a long work, and earn eternal joys by long suffering. As, however, the Almighty requires of us only a short work and a short suffering, who dares to complain or murmur? Should we not much rather work and suffer cheerfully? Let us work then, as long as we live, and suffer all that God sees fit to send us.
Text courtesy Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals
Prayer to Saint Luke
The symbolical Ox, reminding us of the figurative sacrifices, and announcing their abrogation, yokes himself, with the Man, the Lion, and the Eagle, to the chariot which bears the Conqueror of earth, the Lamb in his triumph. O Evangelist of the Gentiles, blessed be thou for having put an end to the long night of our captivity, and warmed our frozen hearts. Thou wast the confidant of the Mother of God; and her happy influence left in thy soul that fragrance of virginity which pervaded thy whole life and breathes through thy writings. With discerning love and silent devotedness, thou didst assist the Apostle of the Gentiles in his great work; and didst remain as faithful to him when abandoned or betrayed, shipwrecked or imprisoned, as in the days of his prosperity. Rightly, then, does the Church in her Collect apply to thee the words spoken by St. Paul of himself : In all things we suffer tribulation, are persecuted, are cast down, always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus; but this continual dying manifests the life of Jesus in our mortal flesh. Thy inspired pen taught us to love the Son of Man in His Gospel; thy pencil portrayed Him for us in His Mother's arms; and a third time thou revealedst Him to the world, by the reproduction of His holiness in thine own life.
Preserve in us the fruits of thy manifold teaching. Though Christian painters do well to pay thee special honor, and to learn from thee that the ideal of beauty resides in the Son of God and in His Mother, there is yet a more sublime art than that of lines and colors: the art of reproducing in ourselves the likeness of God. This we wish to learn perfectly in thy school; for we know from thy master St. Paul that conformity to the image of the Son of God can alone entitle the elect to predestination.
Be thou the protector of the faithful physicians, who strive to walk in thy footsteps, and who, in their ministry of devotedness and charity, rely upon thy credit with the Author of life. Second their efforts to heal or to relieve suffering; and inspire them with holy zeal, when they find their patients on the brink of eternity.
The world itself, in its decrepitude, now needs the assistance of all who are able, by prayer or action, to come to its rescue. The Son of Man, when He cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth (St. Luke xviii. 8)? Thus spoke our Lord in the Gospel. But He also said that we ought always to pray and not to faint (Ibid. 1); adding, for the instruction of the Church both at this time and always, the parable of the widow, whose importunity prevailed upon the unjust judge to defend her cause. And will not God revenge His elect, who cry to Him day and night; and will He have patience in their regard? I say to you that He will quickly revenge them (Ibid. 2-3).