Saint Andrew the Apostle

Born Early first century AD
Died Mid- to late first century AD
Venerated in All Christianity
Major shrine Church of St Andreas at Patras, with his relics
Feast November 30
Attributes Old man with long (in the East often untidy) white hair and beard, holding the Gospel Book or scroll, sometimes leaning on a saltire
Patronage Scotland, Ukraine, Russia, Sicily, Greece, Romania, Diocese of ParaƱaque, Philippines, Amalfi, Luqa (Malta) and Prussia; Diocese of Victoria, Army Rangers, mariners, fishermen, fishmongers, rope-makers, singers, golfers and performers

Andrew was at first a disciple of John the Baptizer along with John the Theologian. When the Forerunner pointed out Jesus as the Christ, they both became His disciples. Andrew took his brother, Saint Peter, to meet Jesus. He is called the Protokletos (the First Called) because he was the first Apostle to be summoned by Jesus into His service. Andrew and his brother Peter made their living as fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. Both men became Apostles, and while Peter symbolically came to represent the Church of the West, Andrew likewise represents the Church of the East.

The First Called, Apostle to Greece and Beyond
According to ecclesiastical tradition, Andrew began his missionary activity in the Provinces of Vithynia and Pontus on the southern shores of the Black Sea. Later he journeyed to the City of Byzantium and founded the Christian Church there, ordaining the first Bishop of Byzantium, Stachys, who was one of the 70 disciples of the Lord.

After Pentecost, Andrew taught in Byzantium, Thrace, Russia, Epiros, and Peloponnese. In Amisos, he converted the Jews in the temple, baptized them, healed their sick, built a church, and left a priest for them. In Bithynia, he taught, healed their sick, and drove away the wild beasts that bothered them. His prayers destroyed the pagan temples, and those who resisted his words became possessed and gnawed at their bodies until Andrew healed them.

The First Called, Wonderworker
In one of his several missionary journeys to Greece, Andrew visited the City of Patras. Through his preaching and the miracles of healing he performed, in the name of Jesus, many persons were converted to Christianity. Among those healed was Maximilla, the wife of the Roman Proconsul, Aegeates. Seeing this miracle of healing, Stratoklis, the highly intellectual brother of the Proconsul, also became a Christian, and Andrew consecrated and enthroned him as the first Bishop of Patras.

As a prophet, he foretold of the greatness of Kiev as a city and a stronghold of Christianity. In Sinope, he prayed for the imprisoned Apostle Matthias, and his chains fell from him and the cell door opened. The people beat Andrew, breaking his teeth, cutting his fingers, and left him for dead in a dung heap. Jesus appeared to him and healed him, telling him to be of good cheer. When the people saw him the next day, they were amazed and they believed. At another time, he raised a woman's only son from the dead.

The Crucifixion of the First Called
The conversions to the Christian Faith by members of his own family infuriated the Proconsul Aegeates, and he decided, with the urging of the idolators who advised him, to crucify Andrew. The crucifixion was carried out on an X-shaped cross with the body of the Apostle upside down so that he saw neither the earth nor his executioners, but only the sky which he glorified as the heaven in which he would meet his Lord. Aegeates had him tied to the cross in this manner so that he would live longer and suffer more.
Twenty thousand of the faithful stood by and mourned. Even then, Andrew taught them and exhorted them to endure temporary sufferings for the kingdom of heaven. Out of fear of the people, Aegeates came to remove Andrew from the cross. Andrew, however, said that Aegeates could still become a Christian, but that he had already seen Jesus and he would not allow himself to be removed from the cross. Many tried to undo the knots, but their hands all became numb. Suddenly, a heavenly light illumined Andrew for about a half hour. When it left, Andrew had given up his spirit.

His body was tenderly removed from the cross by Bishop Stratoklis and Maximilla, and buried with all of the honor befitting the Apostle. Soon countless numbers of Christians made their way to Patras to pay reverence to the grave of Andrew, and when Aegeates realized that the man he had put to death was truly a holy man of God a demon fell upon him and tormented him so powerfully that he committed suicide.

Re-burial in Constaninople
In the month of March in the year 357 the Emperor Constantine (son of Constantine The Great) ordered that the body of Saint Andrew be removed from Patras and be reinterred in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. With all the magnificence and honor of the Byzantine Empire and the Great Church of Christ at Constantinople, Saint Andrew was returned to the City that had first heard the message of Jesus Christ from his lips. Thus he became in death, as well as in life, the founder of the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople. His relics are in Constantinople along with the Apostle Luke and Timothy, the disciple of Paul, in the Church of the Apostles.

Patron Saint of Scotland
The deeds and preaching of Andrew became known in all parts of the world. According to tradition a part of the remains of Andrew were taken to Scotland, and he was chosen as the Protector of the Scottish people. The Cross of Saint Andrew also adorns the British flag where it was placed after the union of Scotland and England. The skull of Andrew was kept in Patras until the year 1460 when Thomas Paleologos, the last ruler of the Morea, brought the skull to Rome. In 1967, under the orders of Pope Paul of the Roman Church, the skull was returned to Patras with all of the pomp and dignity of the Papal State. He remains the patron saint of Russia, Scotland and Romania to this day.

The Call of Saint Andrew
Today the voice of Saint Andrew continues to call on all Christians, especially the Orthodox Christians throughout the world, who celebrate his memory on November 30th in the liturgical year. His unstilled spirit beckons across the centuries proclaiming: "The Saviour of the world has come! He is the Christ, the Son of God!" This is the call of Saint Andrew to all men for "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow" (Hebrews 13:8).


St. Andrew Cross 

One of the most famous symbols, St. Andrew's Cross is shaped like a big X.
Saint Andrew was martyred by crucifixion at Patras in Achaea in Greece. Because St. Andrew deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross on which Christ had been crucified, he asked to be tied to a Crux decussata or an X shaped cross. Thus the Saltire became known as Saint Andrew's cross.

The Scottish flag proudly displays the Cross of St. Andrew. In 832 AD, King Angus MacFergus had a dream the night before a battle, where Andrew appeared to him. During the battle the next day, a saltire or x-shaped cross like that of the St. Andrew's cross appeared on the battlefield giving the Scots encouragement and causing their opponents the Northumbrians to flee the field. Saint Andrew's cross is known as the Saltire and it began to appear not only on the flags but also on the coins and clothing of the Scots.

Saint Andrew's medals depict St. Andrews cross beside him. St. Andrew medallions and jewelry are a wonderful way to honor St. Andrew and remember him as he took up his cross to follow Christ unto death.


Saint Andrew the patron Saint

Patron St. Andrew
Scotland Flag
Around 300 years after St. Andrew's death, the Roman Emperor Constantine, a Christian, ordered that the Saint's relics be moved from Patras to his new capital, Constantinople, on the site of Byzantium. One version of the story goes that it was at this time that St. Rule brought some of st. Andrew's relics to Scotland, because he was warned by an angel in a dream to take the Saint's bones to “the ends of the Earth.”
The Scottish people adopted St. Andrew Patron Saint of Scotland and his X-shaped cross (the Saltire) as their symbol. 

History does not recall what became of the relics of St Andrew that were brought to Scotland, but it is likely that they were destroyed in a frenzy of religious uproar in the 16th century by protestant reformers, who saw the veneration of such relics as idolatry, forbidden by the teachings of the Bible. The remainder of his relics were taken from Constantinople to Amalfi in southern Italy. 

Saint Andrew patron saint of Amalfi, Malta and Sicily as well as the patron saint of Russia and Romania, where he is believed to have preached during his life. Greece, whose patron is St. Andrew, is the site of his martyrdom.
St. Andrew had told Proconsul of Greece, Aegeates wife that she did not have to suffer abuse from her drunken husband and did not have to give herself to him under those conditions. For this, Aegeates had him crucified, stretched and tied to the Saltire cross, where he suffered for two days until he died.

Due to the support he gave to Aegeates wife, unmarried ladies or maidens; patron saint is St. Andrew.

Saint Andrew patron saint of Fishermen, fishmongers, mariners, Army Rangers, rope makers, singers and performers.

St Andrew's Day, the 30th of November, is marked by celebrations around the globe. Many cities hold celebrations of St. Andrew's feast day, and his status as patron saint of fishermen is observed with a feast of St. Andrew in fishing villages as well.

Happy St. Andrew Day
Germany and Austria have their own traditions and folklore surrounding St Andrews Day, or Andreasnacht as it is known to locals. St. Andrews feast day is near to, and some years coincides with, the start of Advent (the first Sunday following the 26th of November) Among his many responsibilities, St Andrew is patron saint of unmarried women, so Andreasnacht is regarded as a particularly auspicious occasion for girls and young women to perform the various folkloric rituals designed to reveal the identity of future husbands. Austrian Girls would traditionally perform the ritual, which might be anything from divining by pouring molten lead into water, to kicking a straw bed in the nude, while reciting the Andreasgebet or St. Andrew's Prayer. All the while looking for a lucky sign of love at their feast of St. Andrew.

St Andrew's Day, however, is best known as a celebration of Scottish culture. Since 2006, it has been officially recognized as a national holiday in Scotland, with events such as celebratory St. Andrew Feast dinners happening around the nation, and is marked around the world by the many St Andrew's Societies from the Americas to the Far East composed of Scottish expatriates, descendents of the Scots diaspora, and others who simply have an interest in all things Scottish. The town of St. Andrews celebrates its patron in style with the weeklong St. Andrews Festival, incorporating music, arts, dance and drama.

You and your family can celebrate your own Saint Andrew feast. Let the main course be fish and perhaps include some Scottish traditions. Giving your guests St. Andrew's medals or jewelry is a special way to honor St. Andrew and your guests on this day. Recite the prayers of St. Andrew, reflecting on how he lived his life, the first-called apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When St. Andrew saw the cross on which he was to die, he exclaimed: ”Welcome, O good cross, made beautiful by Christ’s body!” We can ask St. Andrew to help us recognize our particular cross. He’ll strengthen us to accept that cross generously. 

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