Hymns for the feast of St Luke, Evangelist (18 October)

This is a selection of hymns for the feast of Saint Luke, Evangelist and gospel-writer.

The hymn suggestions below are either directly about Luke or based on the themes from his/her life and ministry.

About St Luke

Luke, whose name means "bringer of light", is best know as the author of the third Gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles.

A Greek-speaking Gentile and an early convert from paganism, Luke is believed to have been a medical doctor from Antioch in Syria:   He was referred to as a physician by Sts. Paul, Jerome and Irenaeus,

Luke was not an apostle, and he never met Jesus in person. But he accompanied Paul to Macedonia after Jesus' resurrection, on a many of his missionary journeys, and while he was in prison in Rome. So his descriptions of these events given in the book of Acts, is firsthand. According to St. Jerome, Luke died in Greece aged 84, and the church venerates him as a martyr.

Luke's Gospel emphasises mercy and Christ as the salvation of all people, especially of the lowly and the repentant sinner. Because he was a doctor, it also provides a degree of insight into the health issues which affected Jesus and those who he came into contact with, as well as details of Jesus' childhood.

Tradition believes that he was an artist as well as a writer, and that he painted the Blessed Virgin's portrait as well as some of the most beautiful word-pictures of her.

He is the patron saint of artists; bachelors; bookbinders; brewers; butchers; glassworkers; goldsmiths; lacemakers; notaries; painters; physicians; sculptors; stained glass workers; surgeons.

Symbols which have been used to represent him include the Winged ox; winged calf; ox; picture of the Virgin; palette and brushes; phials of medicine; physician's robes; easel; book and pen; hatchet; wooden horse; books of his Gospel and of the Acts; bishop; painting an icon of our Lady.


First: 2 Timothy 4:10-17B - Paul writers to Timothy about his trials, and notes that Luke is the only one of the disciples still with him.

Psalm  145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18 - Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. / Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord / Making known to men your might / The Lord is just in all his ways

Gospel: Luke 10:1-9 - Jesus sends the 72 disciples out in pairs ahead of him, saying "the harvest is many but the labourers are few" - he tells them to travel light, and accepts whatever welcome they receive.

Free-use hymns

By all your Saints Still Striving
With verse 2:
For that beloved physician, all praise,
Whose Gospel shows the healer of the nations,
the sharer of our woes.
Thy wine and oil, O Saviour,
and bruised hearts deign to pour,
and with true balm of Gilead
Anoint us evermore.

O God, Whose Will Is Life and Good

Saviour who Didst Healing Give

Thine Arm, O Lord, in Days of Old

Hymns which may still be copyright

Go Tell Everyone - Dale / Richards

Holy and Learned Great Saint Luke

Hymn for St Luke - Marshall (author's page about the hymn)

O God Who Longs to Make us Whole

Saint Luke Beloved Physician - Dudley-Smith

Take it to God in Prayer - Morgan (suitable for less-formal situations - video)

More resources for church-music selection ....

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