Antiphon: Be couragious in battle, and fight with the old Serpent, and you shall receive an everlasting Kingdom. Alleluia.

Vers. They proclaimed the works of God.
Resp. And understood his deeds.

Prayer: May thy holy Evangelist St. Luke, we beseech Thee, O Lord, be an intercessor for us; who, for the Honour of thy Name, always bore in his Body the mortification of the Cross: Through Our Lord, Jesus, Thy Son, Who liveth and reighneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen

Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.

(St. Luke xviii. 38; Indulgence 100 days)


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.


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 honour, 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 colours: 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 minstiry 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).


Common of Apostles and Evangelists, 10th Century Hymn

Exultet orbis gaudiis

Now let the earth with joy resound,
And heaven the chant re-echo round;
Nor heaven nor earth too high can raise
The great Apostles' glorious praise.

O ye who, throned in glory dread,
Shall judge the living and the dead,
Lights of the world forevermore!
To you the suppliant prayer we pour.

Ye close the sacred gates on high;
At your command apart they fly:
Oh! loose for us the guilty chain
We strive to break, and strive in vain.

Sickness and health your voice obey;
At your command they go or stay:
From sin's disease our souls restore;
In good confirm us more and more.

So when the world is at its end,
And Christ to judgment shall descend,
May we be called those joys to see
Prepared from all eternity.

Praise to the Father, with the Son,
And Holy Spirit, Three in One;
As ever was in ages past,
And so shall be while ages last.


Prayer to St. Luke as your Patron of Baptism

O Glorious St. Luke, whose name I have the honor to bear, who wast given me in baptism as a protector and a pattern, and who, although secure of thy own immortal bliss, art nevertheless solicitous about my happiness, assist me by thy powerful intercession, as thou instructest me by the example of thy holy life; for I truly can behold in thy life, as in a bright mirror, what I am to correct in myself, and what I am to practice. Thou hast been, like me, subject to sufferings, encompassed with infirmities, assaulted with temptations; but thou hast surmounted the rage and persecutions of the world, despised its allurements, and triumphed over its malignity. Obtain by thy prayers that I may he endowed with thy spirit, and become a faithful follower of Christ. On the day in which I was buried together with Christ by baptism unto death, thou wast given me for a witness and a guardian of my engagements. I beseech thee, therefore, that thou assist me in thy prayers for me to God, that I may hold fast the confession of my hope without wavering, and that, laboring to make sure by good works my vocation and election, I may obtain the prize of the celestial vocation of God, in Christ Jesus. Amen.


The Magnificat

Magnificat anima mea Dominum. Et exultavit spiritus meus: in Deo salutari meo Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae: ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes, Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est: et sanctum nomen ejus.

My soul doth magnify: the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced: in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done great things unto me: and holy is his name.

Et misericordia ejusa progenie in progenies: timentibus eum. Fecit potentiam in brachio suo: dispersit superbos mente cordis sui. Deposuit potentes de sede: et exaltavit humiles Esurientes implevit bonis: et divites dimisit inanes.

And his mercy is from generation to generation: unto them that fear Him. He hath shewed strength with his arm: He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich He hath sent empty away.

Suscepit Israel puerum suum:recordatus misericordiae suae. Sicut locutus est ad patres nostres: Abraham, et semini ejus in saecula. Gloria Patri, etc. He hath upholden his servant Israel: being mindful of his mercy. As He spake unto our fathers: to Abraham and his seed for ever. Glory be to the Father, etc.

(Luke 1:46-55; Indulgence 100 days)

Litany of the Divine Nativity

(Gloria in Excelsis Deo--the hymn begins with the words that the angel sang
when the birth of Christ was announced to shepherds in Luke 2: 1)

Glory be to God on high.
And on earth peace to men of good will.
We praise Thee.
We bless Thee.
We adore Thee.
We glorify Thee.
We give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory.
Lord God, heavenly King, Father Almighty.
Lord Jesus Christ,
The only-begotten Son.
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.
Who takest away the sins of the world:
Hear our prayers.
Who sittest at the right hand of the Father:
Have mercy on us.
For Thou only art holy.
Thou only art Our Lord.
Thou only, O Jesus Christ, art most high, together with the Holy Ghost, in the glory of God the Father. R. Amen.

Blessed Jesus, true God and true Man, born in the form of a helpless infant,

Praise and glory be to Thee for ever. *

Blessed Jesus, Who, having the heavens for Thy throne, didst yet choose a poor stable for Thy abode, *

Blessed Jesus, Who, being God incomprehensible, wast pleased, in love for us, to be wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, *

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because He hath visited, and hath wrought the redemption of His people.

And He hath raised up to us a powerful salvation in the family of David His servant.

As He spake by the mouth of His holy Prophets who were from the beginning.

That He would save us from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us.

To show His mercy toward our fathers, and to be mindful of His holy covenant.

According to the oath which He swore to our father Abraham to grant to us.

That being delivered from the hands of our enemies, we might serve Him without fear.

In holiness and justice before Him all our days.

Through the bowels of the mercy of our God, the rising Light hath visited us from on high:

To enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shades of death, to direct our feet in the way of peace.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Let us pray:

O Eternal Father, Who, in compassion to lost men, didst send Thy only Son to become our Redeemer from that unhappy state: grant, we beseech Thee, that we, who are assembled to acknowledge the mercy of this time, may find the benefit of it in our souls, in the pardon of all our sins. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost art one God, now and forever, and to ages of ages. Amen.


A Prayer before the reading of any part of the Holy Scripture

(Pius reading of the Sacred Scriptures: An Indulgence of 7 years to the faithful who for at least a quarter of an hour read the Books of of Sacred Scripture as a spiritual reading with the respect that is do the Word of God.)

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts and minds of Thy faithful servants, and inflame them with the fire of Thy divine love.

Let us pray:

O God, Who by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, didst instruct the hearts of Thy faithful servants; grant us, in the same Spirit, to discern what is right, and enjoy His comfort forever: Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth one God, with Thee and the same Spirit, worl without end. Amen.

The Nativity according to St. Luke

And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, fhat the whole world should be enrolled.

This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria.

And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David.

To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.

And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were ac- complished, that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock.

And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear.

And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people:

For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.

And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying:

Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.

And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethle- hem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us.

And they came with haste: and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.

(Luke ii. 1:16)

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 edifiying 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.