The Chancel Windows

St. Luke and St. John

Photograph by Bill Blanchard


The next set of windows depicts St. Luke and St. John. Like Matthew and Mark in our previous set, Luke is holding a codex and a quill pen. John, on the other hand, while holding a codex, also holds a chalice from which a viper is emerging. According to tradition, John was given a cup of poisoned wine to drink. Before drinking, he blessed the cup and the poison departed the cup in the form of a serpent.


Luke, the author of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, is identified with Paul's "Luke, the beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14). We know little of Luke from the Gospels. According to tradition, he was a Greek and a Gentile, born at Antioch in Syria. In Acts, we find Luke accompanying Paul on his missionary journeys, and he shares imprisonment with Paul at Rome. "Only Luke is with me" (2 Timothy 4:11).


Luke has a special connection with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. It is only in his Gospel that we hear the story of the Annunciation, Mary's visit to Elizabeth, the Presentation, and the story of Jesus' disappearance in Jerusalem.


The reports of Luke's life after Paul's death are conflicting. Some early writers claim he was martyred; others say he lived a long life. Some say he preached in Greece, others in Gaul. The earliest tradition we have says that he died in 84 in Boeotia after settling in Greece to write his gospel.


His feast day is October 18. He is the patron of physicians and surgeons.


John the Evangelist, also known as John the Divine and John the Theologian, as well as the "Beloved Disciple," was the son of Zebedee, and his mother's name was Salome (Matthew 4:21, 27:56; Mark 15:40, 16:1). The apostle James the Greater was the elder brother of John. To John was committed by Our Lord the highest of privileges, the care of his mother (John 19:27). John and Peter were the first to receive the news from Mary Magdalene of the Resurrection (John 20:2), and they hastened at once to the sepulcher.


John probably remained at Jerusalem until the death of the Blessed Virgin, though some traditions say he took Mary to Ephesus. He spent time on the island of Patmos, where some traditions say that he wrote his Gospel and the Book of Revelation.


The date of his death cannot be fixed with any precision, but it seems certain that he lived to a very advanced age.


His feast is celebrated on December 27. He is the patron of theologians and is invoked against dangers from poison.