Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle
The Martyrdom of Saint Andrew -
by RIBERA, Jusepe de -
from Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
A former disciple of Saint John the Baptist, it was the Galilean
Saint Andrew who introduced his brother Simon to Our Lord (John 1:40-42). Andrew first met
Jesus when the Messiah was
baptized by the Baptizer at the River Jordan. Because he was
the first, the Greeks called him the "Protoclete" or "first-called."
After introducing his brother, whom Jesus called "Simon Cephas " ("Simon
Peter") - the rock, both brothers followed Jesus throughout
His public ministry.
Fishermen by trade, Jesus promised to make them fishers of men: "Come, follow Me,
and I will make you fishers of men ", (Matthew 4:19).
After the Ascension,
Andrew traveled to Scythia and Greece to preach the Gospel. Tradition says he was
at Patras, Acaia in southern part of Greece around the year
60 A.D. He was crucified on an
X-shaped cross which ultimately came to be known as Saint Andrew's Cross. In
357 A.D. his
relics were brought to Constantinople to reside there. It was the beginning of intense
devotion to this saint within the Byzantine Church. This great devotion was one reason
Pope Paul VI, in an ecumenical gesture, returned the relics to Patras in
1964 after they
had resided in Amalfi, Italy since 1208 A.D. with Andrews skull in Rome since
Andrew is the patron saint of both Russia and Scotland where legend persists that Andrew
was spirited to both places, as well as Poland, to preach the gospel.