Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Saint Luke

Today is the feast day of Saint Luke, author of the Gospel of Luke as well as the book of Acts.  At the end of Paul's Letter to the Colossians (4:7-18), Paul adds greetings to the church at Colossae, and includes "Luke, the beloved physician," the only direct reference to Luke's occupation.

Today's anonymous Latin hymn (Exultet coelum laudibus) comes from an eleventh century manuscript in the British Museum, translated by Richard Mant and published in his collection Ancient Hymns from the Roman Breviary (1837). Not specifically written for this day, it nevertheless refers to the healing graces of the followers of Jesus.

Let all on earth their voices raise,
Re-echoing heav’n’s triumphant praise
To thee, who gave thy loved ones grace
To run on earth their glorious race.

Thou, in whose might they spake the word
Which cured disease and health restored,
To us its healing power prolong,
Support the weak, confirm the strong.

To us thy heav’nly light impart,
To glad our eyes and cheer our heart.
Jesus, with them pronounce us blest,
And take us to thine endless rest.

Latin, 11th cent.; tr. Richard Mant, 1837; alt.
Catholische Geistliche Gesäsange, 1608

P.S. The window above is from the St. Luke Chapel at Norwich Cathedral, designed by J. Hardman & Co. In some traditions, Luke is also considered the patron saint of stained glass workers.

Eight Years Ago: Come sing, ye choirs exultant

Seven Years Ago: What thanks and praise to thee we owe

One Year Ago: By all your saints still striving

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