Today, November 30, is the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle.
The Gospel According to Matthew gives an account of the call of Andrew and his brother, Simon Peter:
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:18-22
The Gospel According to John identifies Andrew as one of the two disciples of John the Baptist who heard John’s testimony that Jesus was the Lamb of God. Andrew and the other disciple followed Jesus, asking Him where He lived, to which Jesus replied, “Come and see.” After spending the day with Jesus, Andrew found his brother, Simon Peter, and told him, “We have found the Messiah.” It was Andrew who brought Simon to Jesus.
There’s not much else in the Scriptures about Andrew, outside of his being his being from Bethsaida, his being listed among the apostles of Jesus, and his informing Jesus of the boy with the fish and loaves and of the Greeks coming to see Him.
According to Christian tradition, Andrew preached the Gospel around the shores of the Black Sea and throughout Greece and Turkey. He was martyred in Patras, a Greek city on the northern coast of the Peloponnese. Andrew was crucified by request on an X-shaped cross, feeling himself unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord. Today, the X-shaped cross is commonly called “St. Andrew’s Cross” and is included in the national flags of England and Scotland.
Andrew’s relics were originally kept in Patras. Tradition says that St. Regulus, a monk of Patras, was given a vision instructing him to hide some of Andrew’s bones. Shortly after, Andrew’s relics were transported to Constantinople by order of the emperor. St. Regulus received a second vision instructing him to take Andrew’s relics “to the ends of the earth.” He vowed to build a shrine to the Apostle wherever his ship landed, which was on the coast of Fife in Scotland. In 1964, Pope St. Paul VI had all of Andrew’s Vatican relics transferred to Patras, where they remain today along with the cross on which he died, in the Church of St. Andrew. St. Andrew is the patron saint of many countries, including Scotland, Russia and Ukraine, as well as fishermen, singers and miners. It would be well to pray for his intercession for peace between Russia and Ukraine at this time of international tensions.
St. Andrew, like all of the Apostles, dedicated his life to following Jesus after he realized who Jesus was. He then dedicated his life to preaching the Good News of Jesus to distant lands, taking him far from his home. It was his preaching of the Good News that led to his martyrdom. Andrew gave his all for His Savior. He stands as an example of an apostle, one who is sent out to spread the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ. May we be so dedicated!
St. Andrew, pray for us.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.