It has been a while since our parish considered three, seven-inch models and voted on the design of the St. Luke statue. Since that time while creating the sculpture itself, I've learned some rich traditions that surround our patron saint. In the finished sculpture I have woven traditions together with symbols we associate with St. Luke in the hope that we all may get to know him better.
St. Luke was a gentile of Greek origin. His name, written in Greek on the base translates to Evangelist Luke. The ancient symbol for Luke the Evangelist is the ox. This symbol is also located on the statue’s base.
St. Luke was a dynamic man, a traveler on a journey he shares with all of us – the quest for the eternal. Sometimes God is symbolized by the first and last letters of the Greek Alphabet, the Alpha and the Omega, recognizing God as both the Beginning and the End. I have represented St. Luke’s quest for the eternal by his active pose, the right foot climbing higher – a journey toward the Omega. In his journey through life, Luke wrote not only his own gospel addressed to pagans thirsty for knowledge of Jesus and His Way, but he also traveled with St. Paul, and wrote the Acts of the Apostles. In the figure’s pose I’ve included our parish logo, originally designed by parishioner Roy Dupnick, which shows the flame of divine inspiration in Luke’s writings. Luke was an educated man, a doctor. He is the patron saint of doctors. The caduceus, the Greek symbol we now use for doctors, is at his left foot.
St. Luke never met Jesus during his lifetime. He is believed to have stayed with Mary and learned from her stories of her son. It is said that he painted a portrait of Mary. He is the patron saint of artists, so I have a symbolic artist’s hand holding brushes at the statue’s base. St. Luke’s warmth and special regard for Mary and all women is reflected by the image of Mary on the statue. This symbol is taken from Candace Knapps’s wood bas relief sculpture which depicts the Annunciation and is hanging in our church.
My sculpture of St. Luke is made of cement over a styrofoam and reinforced steel core. It is over seven feet tall and weights over half a ton. My prayer is that by weaving all the symbols and rich traditions of our patron saint together in the sculpture, we will all find the joy and peace of St. Luke as worshiping members of our Catholic Community. St. Luke, the evangelist, the person and the parish, present us all with exciting possibilities right here, right now. Enjoy.
Mary Ellen Rouen, Artist