minima maxima sunt

The Small things are the Great things; as in a grain of mustard seed.

Luke and the Ox

St. Luke from an Illuminated Gospel

St. Luke is traditionally known as the writer of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. He was a disciple of the Apostle Paul and also a physician. Born a gentile he is the only non-Jewish writer of a canonical gospel, and for that matter, Luke is the only non-Jewish writer in the New Testament. This is a huge testimony to the claim made by Paul concerning the mystery of which he was to be a minister; that the Gentiles would be fellow heirs and of the same body, and co-partners of the promise in Jesus Christ.

Luke’s writing has often been held in high regard, giving special attention to detail such as names and places. While there will always be critics, especially when the supernatural is the topic, Luke’s offering to the canon fits well within the standards of historical writing of his day.

Another facet of this Saint is the tradition concerning Luke as an artist. It is claimed he was the first Iconographer, “writing” Icons of Mary and Jesus. One Icon still in existence today which is claimed to be authored by the Saint is the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, .

Luke from the Lindisfarne Gospels

The symbol for Luke is the Ox or Bull, which is often shown with wings. Of all the Evangelical Symbols . This one always seemed the most strange. The symbols were derived from an old testament vision of the four living creatures, the man, eagle, lion and ox, and have been used as symbols of the four evangelists in christian art from very early times. The link between Luke and the Ox may be tied in with the idea of sacrifice, especially Christs sacrifice which saved even the gentiles.

The Feast Day of St. Luke is October the 18th. Luke is the patron saint of artists, physicians, surgeons, and strangely enough butchers.

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2 thoughts on “Luke and the Ox

  1. Butchers? (No shoe horn will make that one fit.) Curious, is there a patron for bloggers?

    • Mike LaFountain on said:

      I know! But it’s the ox and sacrifice that are usually tied in with the patronage of butchers.

      St. Francis de Sales is the patron of writers and journalists. That seems like a close one for the blogger.

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