Saint Luke the Evangelist, Dear and Glorious Physician
Posted by Fr. Gordon J. MacRae on October 16, 2019 3 Comments
The Church honors St. Luke the Evangelist on October 18. Author of a unique Gospel and Acts of the Apostles, Luke is the source of the most cited parables of Jesus.
In “February Tales,” an early post on These Stone Walls, I wrote of some of the books that captivated my imagination in childhood. Working today in a library, I have come across some of them decades later in adulthood and gave them a second look. It’s a testimony to growing up that most of the books I thought were masterpieces of Western literature in my youth are only laughable today. But a rare few have stood the test of time.
One of them is a book I stumbled upon at age 16. It was 1969 and I was in my senior year of high school. I wrote a short biography of what my life was like then against the backdrop of a culture in the early days of its long moral and social decline. You could find those biographical paragraphs early on in my recent post, “Where Were You When Neil Armstrong Walked on the Moon?”
Somehow in 1969, I discovered among the tattered paperbacks of the Lynn English High School Library a historical novel that would leave its mark on my mind and soul for decades to come. Though first published in 1959, it is a testament to its literary stature that its most recent hardcover edition was published over a half century later in 2012, twenty-seven years after the author’s death. The book is Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell who described its long path:
“This book has been forty-six years in the writing. The first version was written when I was twelve years old, the second when I was twenty-two, the third when I was twenty-six, and all through those years work did not cease on this book. It was impossible to complete, as the other versions were impossible to complete, until my husband and I visited the Holy Land in 1956.”