The Holy Apostle Luke was of Greek origin and was born in Antioch, Syria. He studied philosophy, science, and art, as well as many languages, and was trained as a professional physician. He came to Israel and heard Christ preach, and then immediately left everything to follow him as one of the Seventy Apostles. St. Luke, along with St. Cleophas, met the Risen Lord on the road to Emmaus and wrote of their hearts burning upon hearing Christ explain the Holy Scriptures to them. He wrote his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles and dedicated them to Theophilus, the governor of Acaia. St. Luke is the first iconographer and painted the Virgin Mary from life, and she was pleased with these icons.
St. Luke traveled with St. Paul and was with him in Rome converting Jews and pagans. After St. Paul was martyred, he preached of the Divine Word in Italy, Dalmatia, Macedonia, Lybia, Upper Egypt, and Greece. When St. Luke was 84 years old, he was martyred in Greece at Thebes in Beothia in 84 a.d. by idolaters who tortured him and then hanged him from an olive tree. Healing myrrh, known for healing eye ailments, flowed from his relics.
Apostle and Evangelist Luke commemorated on October 18.