The collect for today, the Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist, from The Book of Common Prayer (Canadian, 1962):
ALMIGHTY God, who calledst Luke the Physician, whose praise is in the Gospel, to be an Evangelist, and Physician of the soul: May it please thee that, by the wholesome medicines of the doctrine delivered by him, all the diseases of our souls may be healed; through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Virtually all that we know of Saint Luke comes from the New Testament. He was a physician, a disciple of St. Paul and his companion on some of his missionary journeys, and the author of both the third gospel and Acts.
It is believed that St. Luke was born a Greek and a Gentile. According to the early Church historian Eusebius, Luke was born at Antioch in Syria. In Colossians 4:10-14, St. Paul speaks of those friends who are with him. He first mentions all those “of the circumcision”–in other words, Jews–and he does not include Luke in this group. Luke’s gospel shows special sensitivity to evangelising Gentiles. It is only in his gospel that we hear the Parable of the Good Samaritan, that we hear Jesus praising the faith of Gentiles such as the widow of Zarephath and Naaman the Syrian, and that we hear the story of the one grateful leper who is a Samaritan.
St. Luke first appears in Acts, chapter 16, at Troas, where he meets St. Paul around the year 51, and crossed over with him to Europe as an Evangelist, landing at Neapolis and going on to Philippi, “concluding that God had called us to preach the Gospel to them” (note especially the transition into first person plural at verse 10). Thus, he was apparently 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 recognised by the divining spirit: “She followed Paul and us, crying out, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation’”.