Saturday, June 7, 2014


St. Luke the Younger
 (also known as Luke Thaumaturgus or the Wonder-worker)

Feast day: February 7

Death: 946

Hermit and wonder-worker whose solitary hermitage in Thessaly, Greece, became known as the Soterion, “the place of healing.” Luke tried to become a religious but was arrested as an escaped slave and imprisoned for a time. He finally became a hermit on Mount Joannitsa. near Corinth. There he was revered for his holiness and miracles, which earned him the surname Thaumaturgus .

 Saint Luke is known to the Greek Church as Luke the Wonderworker. His parents were farmers or peasant proprietors on the island of Aegina, but were forced off their land by attacking Saracens. They settled in Thessaly, Greece. Luke was the third of the seven children of Stephen and Euphrosyne. Although Luke was a pious and obedient boy generally, he often made them angry because of his charity to those poorer than himself. In childhood he often gave his meal away to the hungry, or would strip off his clothes for a beggar. When sowing seed, for instance, Luke the Wonderworker spread at least half of it over the fields of the poor instead of over his parents' fields. Later it was said that one of wonders God worked on Luke's behalf was to make his parents' crops yield more than anyone else's, even though he had given away half the seeds. But at the time his mother and father were extremely angry.

 After Stephen's death, Luke left the fields and gave himself for a time to contemplation. When he told his family that he wanted to enter a monastery, they tried to stop him. But Luke ran away. Unfortunately, some soldiers caught him and for a time put him in prison, thinking he was a runaway slave. When he said that he was a servant of Christ and had undertaken the journey out of devotion, they refused to believe him. He was shut up in prison and cruelly treated until his identity was discovered. He was allowed to return home where he was scolded for running away.

 In the end, however, Luke got his way. Euphrosyne provided hospitality to two monks on their way between Rome and the Holy Land. They managed to persuade his mother to let him accompany them as far as Athens. There Luke was admitted as a novice in a monastery, but he didn't stay long. One day the superior sent for him and told the young saint that Luke's mother had appeared to him in a vision and that, as she needed him, he must return home to help her. Luke went home once again and was received with joy and surprise. After four months Euphrosyne herself became convinced of her son's calling and no longer opposed his entering religious life. So, age the age of 18, he built himself a hermitage on Mount Joannitsa near Corinth and lived there happily for the rest of his life. Luke is one of the earliest saints to be seen levitating in prayer. He worked so many miracles there that the site was turned into an oratory after his death and became known as Soterion or Sterion (place of healing) and he himself as the Thaumaturgus

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