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Saint Andrew the Apostle

Saint Andrew the Apostle
  • Century: Early 1st Century
  • Patronage: Fishermen, Rope Makers, Golfers, Performers, Many Countries
  • Feast Day: November 30th

In the New Testament, it states that Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter, and that he was a son of John.  He was born in Bethsaida, on the Sea of Galilee.  Both he and Peter were fishermen by trade, in which Jesus called them to be his disciples by saying that he will make them “fishers of men”.  The Gospel of John states that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, whose testimony first led him, and another unnamed disciple of John the Baptist to follow Jesus.  Andrew at first glance, recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and hurried to introduce Him to his brother.    

In the Gospels, Andrew is referred to as being present on some important occasions as one of the disciples more closely attached to Jesus, Andrew told Jesus about the boy with the loaves and fishes, John 6:8.  Andrew along with Philip, told Jesus about he Greeks seeking Him, and was one of the four to hear Jesus’ teaching about what would soon happen.   St. Eusebius tells us that Andrew preached along the Black Sea and became the patron saint of Ukraine, Romania, and Russia.  According to tradition he founded the See of Constantinople in 38 AD, installing Stachys as Bishop.  He preached in Thrace, and his presence in Byzantium is also mentioned in the apocryphal Acts of Andrew, written in the 2nd century.  Andrew is recognized as the patron saint of Constantinople.  

St. Andrew was martyred by crucifixion in Patras, Greece.  Early texts, such as the Acts of Andrew, know to Gregory of Tours, describes Andrew, as being bound, not nailed to a cross of the kind on which Jesus is said to have been crucified.  Another tradition tells us that St. Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called “Crux Decussata”, an X-Shaped cross, now commonly known as the St. Andrew Cross.   It is told that St. Andrew chose to crucified on this style cross, since he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus had been.  Relics of St. Andrew are kept at the Basilica of St. Andrew in Patras, Greece.  There are also numerous smaller reliquaries throughout the world.  The Basilica of St. Andrew in Patras, Greece was built over the place of his martyrdom.  Each year on his feast day, November 30th, there is a special ceremony at this Basilica to honor his life.  

One of the many prayers of St. Andrew, is the “Christmas Novena”.  The St. Andrew Christmas Novena starts on his feast day, November 30th, and is prayed everyday until Christmas.  Its a good way to never lose sight of what this time of year is really all about.    

 

St. Andrew Christmas Novena

(The prayer must be said 15 times a day. You can say the prayer all at once; or divide up through the day)

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.

In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires (state your intention here), through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

Practical Take Away

St. Andrew was on of the Twelve Disciples of Jesus, and was the brother of Simon Peter.  He witnessed first hand, the ministry of Jesus.  He preached in Greece, and along the Black Sea.  He was martyrded in Greece, on a cross shaped in the form of an X.  He deemed himself unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as our Lord.  There are many writings about St. Andrew from the second century, which confirms his life and works.  Without the great work and lives of the Disciples, the faith would not be around for us today.  We would do well in passing the Gospels of Christ on to those around us, in both words and actions.