October 19, 2016

The Wonderworking Sarcophagus of Saint Luke the Evangelist

The wonderworking sarcophagus of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke is located in Thebes of Boetia. Though some sources say Saint Luke died here in peace in his eighties, other sources say he was crucified here to an olive tree and died a martyric death.

The ancient Roman sarcophagus of the Apostle Luke once contained his relics. Following his death, God wanted to glorify His servant Luke, so He rained upon his tomb collyrium, which was an ancient eye-salve, as a sign of his artistry as a physician. For this reason, the tomb of the divine Apostle became known to all people. Emperor Constantius (337-361), the son of Constantine the Great, transferred the relic of this Apostle from Thebes to Constantinople, by means of Saint Artemios the great duke of Egypt and Martyr. It was treasured in the Church of the Holy Apostles beneath the Holy Altar, together with the honorable relics of Andrew and Timothy the Apostles. This placement of the relic is celebrated on June 20th, while the primary feast of Saint Luke is on October 18th.

Till this day the marble sarcophagus of the Apostle miraculously issues forth the healing eye-salve and continues to work numerous miracles for those who have various eye problems. The relic of the Apostle Luke can be found in Padua, Italy near Venice, having been taken there by crusaders in 1204 from Constantinople, and is located in the Church of Santa Justina.