St. Luke is shown in this icon writing his Gospel as he was one of the four Evangelist who, inspired by God, set down this wonderful work of a literary icon of Jesus for all to behold and learn. His symbol of the calf is from the four living creatures seen in a vision by the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezek 1:10) and again seen by the Apostle John (Rev 4:7). St. Luke is one of the Seventy Apostles of the Lord and wrote the Acts of the Apostles besides his Gospel.
St. Luke’s name is a short form of Loukas, a Greek name, and he was born in Antioch, Syria of pagan parents. He was well educated, a physician, and the first painter of icons, several of the Virgin Mary which are still preserved to this day. He came to Jerusalem during the Lord’s ministry and was one of the two disciples mentioned in Acts who saw the Resurrected Lord on the way to Emmaus the day that He arose. St. Luke traveled to Sebaste and Antioch, and then with the Apostle Paul to Greece and Phillipi, Asia Minor, Phoenicia, and Rome, where St. Paul died a martyr. He then went to Italy, Dalamatia, Gaul, Macedonia, Achaia, and Egypt, dying a martyr’s death at the age a.d 84 in Boetia, Greece.