... All that is written in his eloquent but restrained Gospel he acquired from hearsay, from witnesses, from the Mother of Christ, from disciples, and from the Apostles. His first visit to Israel took place almost a year after the Crucifixion.
Yet he became one of the greatest of the Apostles. Like Saul of Tarsus, later to be known as Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, he believed that Our Lord came not only to the Jews but to the Gentiles, also. He had much in common with Paul, because Paul too had never seen the Christ. Each had had an individual revelation. These two men had difficulty with the original Apostles because the latter stubbornly believed for a considerable time that Our Lord was incarnated, and died, only for the salvation of the Jews, even after Pentecost.
Why has St. Luke always obsessed me, and why have I always loved him from childhood? I do not know. I can only quote Friedrich Nietzsche on this matter: "One hears--one does not seek; one does not ask who gives--I have never had any choice about it."
This book is only indirectly about Our Lord. No novel, no historical book, can convey the story of His life so well as the Holy Bible. So the story of Lucanus, or St. Luke, is the story of every man's pilgrimage through despair and life-darkness, through suffering and anguish, through bitterness and sorrow, through doubt and cynicism, through rebellion and hopelessness to the feet and the understanding of God. This search for God and the final revelation are the only meaning in life for men. Without this search and revelation man lives only as an animal, without comfort and wisdom, and his life is futile, no matter his station or power or birth.
A priest, who helped us write this book, said of St. Luke, "He was Our Lady's first troubadour." Only to Luke did Mary reveal the Magnificat, which contains the noblest words in any literature. He loved her above all the women he had ever loved.
Read the entire Foreword to Dear and Glorious Physician: A Novel About Saint Luke by Taylor Caldwell: