Learn About St. Luke

Historical Note

St. LukeSaint Luke was an apostle, evangelist, physician, and artist. He was born in Antioch, the son of Greek parents. He wrote the Gospel that bears his name and the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, and became the first iconographer. Saint Luke was the first to paint the images of the Holy Virgin and the Lord Jesus, at the request of the Mother of God herself and the main apostles. The Eleousa, which means “merciful Mother of God,” is one of three original icons painted by Saint Luke. According to legend, the Archangel Gabriel gave Saint Luke the boards on which the icons were painted.

The Holy Virgin held and blessed these icons when she said, “The grace of the One born of me be with them through me.” For this reason, the Eleousa is believed to be grace-filled and is dearly loved.

KykkotissaEach year on September 8, the Orthodox Church celebrates the birth of the Theotokos, and on October 18 she commemorates Saint Luke.

You may read more about Saint Luke in The Hermit, The Icon and The Emperor.


Photo of Kykkotissa by Professor Annemarie Weyl Carr.