Single leaf from Jacobus de Voragine’s The Golden Legend. Westminster: Wynkyn de Worde, 1527. RPRF Eng. 1527/1
St. Luke, author of the third Gospel and the Book of Acts, is here portrayed writing his Gospel and wearing a physician’s hat, a sign of his former profession. Kneeling before his desk is St. Luke’s emblem, a winged ox.
The ox, a sacrificial animal which represents strength, service and sacrifice, was chosen for St. Luke because his Gospel begins with an account of Zechariah sacrificing in the temple and gives a full description of Christ’s sacrifice in his Passion and Crucifixion.