St Luke, St Simon and St Jude

This is the concluding month of the year’s journey through the Seasons and major Holy Days of the church’s calendar. Sunday October 19th is the Last Sunday after Pentecost. The theme that day is appropriately "Citizens of Heaven" for this is the culmination of our life journey of both years and faith. On October 26th we turn again to the Year 2 readings of the ASB.

The two principal Holy Days of October complete our commemoration of the Apostles and Evangelists. St Luke is remembered on 18th October and Saints Simon and Jude on the 28th.

St Luke - 18th October, p.804 ASB - Luke, the author of both the Third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles was a physician by profession ( see Colossions 4.14). He was a Greek and one of the first members of the Christian community. Luke wrote the Gospel for a predominantly Gentile audience and his emphasis on poverty, prayer and purity of heart would have appealed particularly to them. The Third Gospel reveals the compassionate Christ. Luke also highlights the place of women in the revelation of God in the life of Christ, for example Mary Christ’s mother, Elizabeth, the widow of Nain and the woman who was a sinner.

Flemish painters of the 15th and 16th century depict Luke painting the blessed Virgin - this connects with early but doubtful stories that he painted an icon of her. Luke is the patron saint of artists as well as physicians.

The collect for Luke is new for the ASB. It reflects two of Luke’s themes, love and healing. East and West have celebrated his feast on October 18th since the early centuries, there is documentary evidence of this from the 6th century.

St Simon and St Jude - 28th October, p. 807 ASB - Readers of the personal column of the Times will be familiar with St Jude. He is the patron saint of lost causes! This is thought to be because his name was ‘dangerously close to that of Judas the betrayer so no-one dare invoke him except in the most hopeless of circumstances! Little is known of him after Pentecost apart from the view that he is the writer of the Letter of Jude. Western tradition says that he joined Simon the Apostle in Persia where they were both martyred.

He is usually thought to be the apostle sometimes identified as Thaddeus and also Jude, the brother of James. In the East his feast day stands alone on June 19th, in the West it is always linked to St Simon.

Simon (not Peter) the Zealot, or Canaanite also disappears from history after Pentecost. He is thought to have travelled to Egypt before joining Jude but little is known. In the East his feast day is July 1St

It may be that the date chosen for the two Saints to be commemorated together is that of the translation of their relics to St Peter’s Rome. The Collect is Cranmer’s and is based on Ephesians 4.11-13.

Harvest - The ASB calendar does not set aside a specific Sunday for this but allows for it to be celebrated on any Sunday at harvest time. It does not take precedence over a saints’ day. Although readings and collects are set the ASB recognises that the nature of harvest vary from place to place. This year at St Peter’s we will be giving thanks for the harvest of our city, using suitable readings and prayers at the Eucharist, the great thanksgiving of and for all life.

Helen Walker
St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 30th September 1997