Ordinary Time: October 18th
Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist
Other Commemorations: St. Peter of Alcantara, priest (RM)
St. Luke, the inspired author of the third Gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles, was a native of Antioch in Syria and a physician, and one of the early converts from paganism. He accompanied St. Paul on a considerable part of his missionary journey. He was also his companion while in prison at Rome on two different occasions. His account of these events, contained in the Acts, is firsthand history.Luke's Gospel is, above all, the Gospel of the Merciful Heart of Jesus. It emphasizes the fact that Christ is the salvation of all men, especially of the repentant sinner and of the lowly. Legend says that Luke painted the Blessed Virgin's portrait. It is certainly true that he painted the most beautiful word-picture of Mary ever written.
St. Luke came from Antioch, was a practicing physician when he was converted by St. Paul. He attached himself to the Apostle and accompanied him on most of his missionary journeys and was still with him in Rome when St. Paul was in prison awaiting death. We hear no more of him afterwards and nothing is known of his last years.
- Read the Acts of the Apostles. St. Luke accompanied St. Paul on his missionary journeys — we could spiritually adopt a missionary and accompany him or her with our prayers.
- See St. Luke, Evangelist and Artist for some excellent ideas on how to incorporate this feast into your family life.
- St. Luke depicted Mary vividly in words. Learn and pray the three precious canticles preserved for us by him — the Benedictus, the Magnificat, and the Nunc Dimittis.
- Pray for doctors and those who care for the sick through the intercession of St. Luke, patron of physicians.
- There are four icons that attributed to St. Luke.
- Foods this day to honor St. Luke would include some beef dish, as he is known as the "ox" and is the patron of butchers. For dessert, bake some raisin Banbury Tarts to evoke the festivals of England on this day, or a cake in the shape of a book with decorations of a calf or ox for this evangelist.
- Today is also known as "Sour Cakes Day" in Scotland, because baked cakes were eaten with sour cream in Rutherglen.
- Try some of the fun recipes for St. Luke at Catholic Cuisine.
- Around this feast is known as "St. Luke's Little Summer," a period of summer-like days that occur around October 18 named to honor the saint's feast day. It's similar to the the term "Indian Summer," which officially occurs between November 11-20). St. Luke gives us some golden days before the cold of winter.
- Read more about St. Luke and his writings from the Catholic Encyclopedia.
St. Peter of Alcantara
Peter, surnamed Alcantara after the town of his birth, was eminent among the saints of the sixteenth century for an extraordinary spirit of penance and for attaining the heights of contemplation. He was a great mystic. Born in 1499, at the age of sixteen he entered the Order of Friars Minor. He was an apostle of spiritual reform in his own community and aided St. Teresa in her reform of the Carmelites. God revealed to her that no one would remain unheard who begged in the name of Peter; thereafter she was most eager to have his prayers and honored him as a saint while he was still alive. With great humility Peter shunned all favors from eminent personages, even though they esteemed him as the mouthpiece of God or asked his counsel; for instance, he declined the request to act as confessor to Charles V. Although she was at quite a distance at the time of his death, St. Teresa saw his soul entering heaven. Later he appeared to her and said: "O happy penances which won for me such blessedness!"
- Born of wealthy parents, highly educated, and eminently successful, Peter of Alcantara left all things so that he might find in the poverty of Christ the inestimable riches of God. Meditate on how to be poor in spirit (Fr. Thomas Dubay's book, Happy Are You Poor: The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom, is a good place to start).
- Read more about St. Peter here and here.
- Pray for all those with power, authority, status, privilege and assets, that they will come to Jesus in humility and poverty of spirit and that as a result of this on-going conversion, they will change their ways and manners of living.
- Imitate St. Peter's self-denial by fasting and sacrificing a little sleep so as to attend early morning Mass.