St. Luke the Evangelist – Mass Propers


           October 18

St. Luke the Evangelist

St. Luke, a physician at Antioch, and a painter, became a convert of St. Paul, and afterwards his fellow laborer. He is best known to us as the historian of the New Testament. Though not an eye-witness of Our Lord‘s life, the Evangelist diligently gathered information from the lips of the apostles, and wrote, as he tells us, all things in order. The Acts of the Apostles were written by this Evangelist as a sequel to his Gospel, bringing the history of the Church down to the first imprisonment of St. Paul at Rome. The humble historian never names himself, but by his occasional use of “we” for “they” we are able to detect his presence in the scenes which he describes. We thus find that he sailed with St. Paul and Silas from Troas to Macedonia; stayed behind apparently for seven years at Philippi, and, lastly, shared the shipwreck and perils of the memorable voyage to Rome. Here his own narrative ends, but from St. Paul’s Epistles we learn that St. Luke was his faithful companion to the end. He died a martyr’s death some time afterwards in Achaia.

St Luke Drawing a Portrait of the Madonna (detail)

The Roman Breviary – Matins

Luke was a physician of Antioch, who, as appeareth from his writings, knew the Greek language. He was a follower of the Apostle Paul, and his fellow traveller in all his wanderings. He wrote a Gospel, whereof the same Paul saith We have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the Gospel throughout all the Churches 2 Cor. viii. 18.Of him, he writeth unto the Colossians, iv. 14: Luke, the beloved physician, greeteth you. And again, unto Timothy, II. iv. 11: Only Luke is with me. He also published another excellent book entitled The Acts of the Apostles, wherein the history is brought down to Paul’s two years sojourn at Rome, that is to say, until the fourth year of Nero, from which we gather that it was at Rome that the said book was composed.

The silence of Luke is one of the reasons why we reckon among Apocryphal books The Acts of Paul and Thecla, and the whole story about the baptism of Leo. For why should the fellow traveller of the Apostle, who knew other things, be ignorant only of this? At the same time there is against these documents the statement of Tertullian, almost a contemporary writer, that the Apostle John convicted a certain Priest in Asia, who was a great admirer of the Apostle Paul, of having written them, and that the said Priest owned that he had been induced to compose them through his admiration for Paul, and that he was deposed in consequence. There are some persons who suspect that when Paul in his Epistles useth the phrase: “According to my Gospel” Rom. ii. 16, Tim. ii. 8,he meaneth the Gospel written by Luke.

However, Luke learned his Gospel not from the Apostle Paul only, who had not companied with the Lord in the flesh, but also from other Apostles, as himself declareth at the beginning of his work, where he saith: “They delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word.” i. 2. According to what he had heard, therefore, did he write his Gospel. As to the Acts of the Apostles, he composed them from his own personal knowledge. He was never married. He lived eighty-four years. He is buried at Constantinople, whither his bones were brought from Achaia in the twentieth year of Constantine, together with the relics of the Apostle Andrew.


Feast of St. Luke – Evangelist and Martyr

Double of the Second Class

Red Vestments

Missa – ‘Mihi autem nimis’

INTROIT – Psalm 138: 17

Mihi autem nimis honoráti sunt amíci tui, Deus: nimis confortátus est principátus eórum. Ps. Dómine, probásti me, et cognovísti me: tu cognovísti sessiónem meam, et resurrectiónem meam. Gloria Patri.

Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honourable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Ps. Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up. Glory be to the Father.


May Luke, Thy holy Evangelist, O Lord, we beseech Thee, intercede in our behalf, who for the honour of Thy name bore continually in his body the mortification of the cross. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE  – II  Corinthians 8: 16-24

Brethren, I give thanks to God, Who hath given the same carefulness for you in the heart of Titus, for indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more careful, of his own will he went unto you. We have sent also with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel through all the churches; and not that only, but he was also ordained by the churches companion of our travels for this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord and our determined will: avoiding this, lest any man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us; for we forecast what may be good, not only before God, but also before men. And we have sent with them our brother also, whom we have proved diligent in many things; but now much more diligent, with much confidence in you, either for Titus, who is my companion and fellow-labourer toward you, or our brethren the apostles of the churches, the glory of Christ. Wherefore show ye to them, in the sight of the churches, the evidence of your charity, and of our boasting on your behalf.

GRADUAL – Psalm 18: 5, 2

Their sound went forth into all the earth; and their words to the ends of the world. The heavens show forth the glory of God; and the firmament declareth the work of His hands.

ALLELUIA -John 15: 16

Alleluia, alleluia. I have chosen you out of the world, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit, and your fruit should remain. Alleluia.

The Crucifixion by Leon Bonnat

GOSPEL – Luke 10: 1-9

At that time, the Lord appointed also other seventy-two; and He sent them two and two before His face into every city and place whither He Himself was to come. And He said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send labourers into His harvest. Go, behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house: and if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him: but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house. And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you; and heal the sick that are therein; and say to them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

Manuscript of the homilies on the Gospels by Pope Gregory I

Homily by Pope St Gregory the Great

Dearly beloved brethren, our Lord and Saviour doth sometimes admonish us by words, and sometimes by works. Yea, His very works do themselves teach us for that which He doth silently His example still moveth us to copy. Behold how He sendeth forth His disciples to preach by two and two since there are two commandments to love, that is, a commandment to love God, and a commandment to love our neighbour and where there are not two, the one, being alone, hath not whereon to do the Lord’s commandment. And no man can properly be said to love himself: for love tendeth outward toward our neighbour, if it be the love whereto the Gospel doth oblige us.

Behold, the Lord sendeth forth His disciples to preach by two and two and thus doing, He doth silently teach us that whosoever loveth not his neighbour, such an one it behoveth not to take upon him the office of a preacher. Well also is it said that He sent them before His face into every city and place whither He Himself would come. The Lord followeth His preachers first cometh preaching, and then the Lord Himself cometh to the house of our mind, whither the word of exhortation hath come before and so cometh the truth into our mind.

OFFERTORY – Psalm 138: 17

To me Thy friends, O God, are exceedingly honourable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened.

Luke the Evangelist


By Thy celestial gifts grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to serve Thee with willing hearts, that the offerings we bring may, through the intercession of blessed Luke, Thine Evangelist, procure for us both our healing and our glory. Through our Lord.


It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou wouldst not desert Thy flock. O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying…


Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.

COMMUNION – Matthew 19: 28

You that have followed me shall sit upon seats, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

St. Luke Drawing a Portrait of the Virgin by Rogier van der Weyden - 1435–1440

St. Luke Drawing a Portrait of the Virgin by Rogier van der Weyden – 1435–1440


Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that what we have received from Thy holy altar may, by the prayers of Thy blessed Evangelist, Luke, sanctify our souls, whereby we may be made secure. Through our Lord.


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