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St. Luke the Evangelist

On October 18, Catholics and other Christians around the world will celebrate the feast of St. Luke, the physician and companion of St. Paul whose gospel preserved the most extensive biography of Jesus Christ.St. Luke wrote a greater volume of the New Testament than any other single author, including the earliest history of the Church. Ancient traditions also acknowledge Luke as the founder of Christian iconography, making him a patron of artists as well as doctors and other medical caregivers.Luke came from the large metropolitan city of Antioch, a part of modern-day Turkey. In Luke's lifetime, his native city emerged as an important center of early Christianity. During the future saint's early years, the city's port had already become a cultural center, renowned for arts and sciences. Historians do not know whether Luke came to Christianity from Judaism or paganism, although there are strong suggestions that Luke was a gentile convert.Educated as a physician in the Greek-speaking city, Luke was among the most cultured and cosmopolitan members of the early Church. Scholars of archeology and ancient literature have ranked him among the top historians of his time period, besides noting the outstanding Greek prose style and technical accuracy of his accounts of Christ's life and the apostles' missionary journeys.Other students of biblical history adduce from Luke's writings that he was the only evangelist to incorporate the personal testimony of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose role in Christ's life emerges most clearly in his gospel. Tradition credits him with painting several icons of Christ's mother, and one of the sacred portraits ascribed to him – known by the title “Salvation of the Roman People�-- survives to this day in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.Some traditions hold that Luke became a direct disciple of Jesus before his ascension, while others hold that he became a believer only afterward. After St. Paul's conversion, Luke accompanied him as his personal physician-- and, in effect, as a kind of biographer, since the journeys of Paul on which Luke accompanied him occupy a large portion of the Acts of the Apostles. Luke probably wrote this text, the final narrative portion of the New Testament, in the city of Rome where the account ends.Luke was also among the only companions of Paul who did not abandon him during his final imprisonment and death in Rome. After the martyrdom of St. Paul in the year 67, St. Luke is said to have preached elsewhere throughout the Mediterranean, and possibly died as a martyr. However, even tradition is unclear on this point. Fittingly, the evangelist whose travels and erudition could have filled volumes, wrote just enough to proclaim the gospel and apostolic preaching to the world.Patronage: artists, bachelors, bookbinders, brewers, butchers, doctors, glass makers, glassworkers, gold workers, goldsmiths, lacemakers, lace workers, notaries, painters, physicians, sculptors, stained glass workers, surgeons.

Brazilian bishop: Yes, Amazon people can understand celibacy...

A retired bishop from Brazil has spoken out against the claim that married priests are necessary in the Amazon region because the indigenous people do not understand celibacy. “It’s not the indigenous culture that finds insurmountable difficulties in understanding celibacy. It's that there was not a real inculturation of the Gospel among them...

Stay away from “ghost hunting” — there are serious spiritual dangers there...

Ever since the original Ghostbusters movie, countless people have tried to hunt for ghosts, with some even becoming professional “paranormal investigators.” Recently this activity has been on the rise, due in part to the popularity of A&E’s Ghost Hunters TV show. The network has even planned to televise the “World’s Biggest Ghost Hunt...

NYC’s Mayor Bill de Blasio refuses statue of Mother Cabrini, so NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo says state will build it instead...

At Monday’s Columbus Day Parade there was a statue standoff between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. This time, a patron saint is at the center of the debate between the two politicians, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported. “We’re also pleased to announce we’re going to build a statue to Mother Cabrini,” Cuomo said...

A solemn warning from St. Paul...

Even if we are unfaithful to the groom of our soul and the Bridegroom of the Church, He will not be unfaithful to us. God will never say to the soul that rejects or hates Him, “I hate you.” The Lord cannot be anything other than Himself. He who is love cannot hate. However, and more soberly, the text means that Lord, who is truth itself...

Pope Francis accidentally tweeted in support of the New Orleans Saints thanks to a hashtag snafu...

Pope Francis accidentally made himself the most popular New Orleans Saints fan on Twitter on Sunday morning, when a hashtag mishap left one of his tweets showing the team's logo in the middle of its text. "Today we give thanks to the Lord for our new #Saints," Francis had tweeted, after canonizing five new saints during a mass in Vatican City...

Who is in the Pan-Amazon Synod’s small working groups?

If previous synods can be taken as a guide for future ones, the circoli minori (small working groups), rather than the general congregations, can be where agendas pursued by a minority can be introduced into the synod proceedings. The German-language group was a particular focus in this regard, both during the 2014 and 2015 synods on the family and at the synod on youth last year...

When we talk about things worth dying for, we’re talking about the things worth living for...

I turned 75 a couple of weeks ago and, as canon law requires, I offered my resignation to Pope Francis. In the next few months the Holy Father will accept it, and Philadelphia will have a new archbishop. Philadelphia is a great city, and it’s been one of the great privileges in my life to serve as the pastor of its Catholic people and clergy...

Did Phoenicians beat Christopher Columbus to the Americas by thousands of years?

It has already been established that Columbus was not the first European to lead an expedition to the “New World,” across the vast Atlantic Ocean to the continents that later came to be known as the Americas. The Viking Leif Erikson is now accepted to have been the first, establishing a settlement in modern day Newfoundland...

Why brooding is a sure way to destroy your relationship...

o you often brood in the presence of your mate? In the long long run, this kind of behavior can destroy your relationship, even more quickly than squabbling. At any given moment, all people, even the most extroverted, are subject to brooding. When you do so, you are willingly acting in a passive-aggressive way. It’s a violation of loving communication...