The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist on October 18th. He is the author of the Gospel of Luke as well as the Acts of the Apostles.
While these two works he authored are certainly of great importance for us as Catholics, his life and work can be significant to us for other reasons as well.
Tradition holds that Luke was a physician. Saint Paul refers to him in Colossians 4:14 as “Luke, the beloved physician.” It’s probably largely because of this that he is the patron saint of physicians and of surgeons.
But Luke is also the patron saint of unmarried men.
While we don’t know all the details of Luke’s life, it is fairly likely that he himself was never married since there is no mention of a wife or children in Scripture.
Beyond his marital status, though, Luke can actually be a great saint for singles to look to as an example of how to make great use of our single years in holy living.
Luke loved the poor and ostracized
Most of what we know about Luke comes from his writings. There is a lot of material in Luke’s Gospel that has to do with the poor and the Gentiles.
It is actually believed that Luke was himself a Gentile and a Greek. His Gospel seems aimed at evangelization for a Gentile audience.
Luke’s Gospel is the only one that contains the parable of the Good Samaritan. It’s also the only Gospel that tells of Jesus praising the faith of Gentiles, and the only one that tells the story of the grateful Samaritan leper.
His writings also have a particular focus on the poor. The Gospel of Luke contains the parable of Rich man and Lazarus, and it also contains Mary’s Magnificat in which she says that God has “filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.”
These elements of particular focus in Luke’s Gospel can serve as a great reminder for all of us, but especially for when we are single and don’t yet have families of our own to care for. Inspired by Luke, we can ask ourselves if we are doing all we can in our lives to care for the poor and to reach out to those who might be ostracized in our society.
Luke’s close friendship with Paul
Luke was not one of Jesus’ twelve apostles. It make sense that his knowledge of Christ’s life and of the early Church came from others.
We can tell from the manner in which the Acts of the Apostles was written that Luke was present with Paul during certain times in Paul’s work. Some parts of Acts are written in the third person, while other parts are written in the first person.
We also hear in Paul’s letters that Luke was one of Paul’s companions. Paul even mentions Luke as the one loyal companion who stayed with Paul in prison, when everyone else deserted him (2 Timothy 4:11).
So while we don’t have a ton of information about Luke’s life, it’s clear that he had a holy, brotherly friendship with Paul.
This is a great model for single Catholics to take to heart.
While you might still be waiting to find a spouse and family of your own, that doesn’t mean you need to wait to fill your lives with holy companionship.
Good friendships can go a long way in helping us find our path to holiness.
Learn from his deep love of Our Lady
Luke’s Gospel is the only Gospel that tells many of the details we know of Mary’s life.
It contains the Annunciation, when Gabriel appeared to Mary and she gave her “yes.” His writing also tell of her visit to Elizabeth, her Magnificat, the Presentation of Jesus, and the finding of Jesus in the Temple when he was twelve years old.
It is because of Luke’s Gospel that we have the words for the Hail Mary. Saint Gabriel spoke the first half of the prayer, and the second half is the written exchange between Elizabeth and Mary.
We would all do well to take a cue from Luke and pay more attention to Mary in our lives. The Catholic Church tells us that she has a particular role in leading each of us to a deeper relationship with Jesus.
There’s perhaps no better time than our single years to develop a close relationship with Mary.
During struggles with loneliness and the sadness that can come to us as we await finding our spouse, we can always turn to our loving Blessed Mother for consolation and intercession.
Luke gives us a great example of the esteem we should hold for Mary, and we would certainly do well to imitate his love for her.