Saint Andrew

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Saint Andrew (Greek: Andreas, "manly"), called in the Orthodox tradition Protocletos, or the First-called, is a Christian Apostle, brother of Saint Peter.

According to Christian Doctrine, Andrew was born at Bethsaida on the Lake of Galilee. Since he was a Jew, Andreas was almost certainly not his given name, but no Hebrew or Aramaic name is recorded for him. He had been a disciple of John the Baptist (John 1:37-40) and was the first to follow Jesus. He lived at Capernaum (Mark 1:29). In the gospels he is referred to as being present on some important occasions as one of the disciples more closely attached to Jesus (Mark 13:3; John 6:8, 12:22); in Acts there is only a bare mention of him (1:13).

Eusebius quotes Origen as saying Andrew preached in Asia Minor and in Scythia, along the Black Sea as far as the Volga. Hence he became a patron saint of Romania and Russia. Traditionally, he was the first bishop of Byzantium, a position which would later become Patriarch of Constantinople.

He is said to have suffered crucifixion at Patras in Achaea, on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross) and commonly known as "St Andrew's cross". St Andrew is the patron of Patras. According to tradition his relics were removed from Patras to Constantinople, and thence to St Andrews (see below). Local legends say that the relics were sold to the Romans by the local priests in exchange of the Romans constructing a water reservoir for the city. However, the small finger and part of the top of the cranium of St Andrew remain up to this day in the Church of St Andrew at Patras in a special tomb, and are reverenced in a special ceremony every November the 30th.

The apocryphal Acts of Andrew, mentioned by Eusebius of Caesarea, Epiphanius of Salamis and others, is among a disparate group Acts of Apostles that were traditionally attributed to Leucius Charinus. "These Acts may be the latest of the five leading apostolic romances. They belong to the third century: ca. A.D. 260," was the opinion of C.R. James, who edited them in 1924. The Acts, as well as a Gospel of St Andrew, appear among rejected books in the Decretum Gelasianum connected with the name of Pope Gelasius I.

Andrew is represented in art as an old man with long white hair and a beard, holding the Gospel in his right hand, and leaning on his characteristic saltire cross. Relics: St Andrew Basilica - Patras (Greece), St Andrea Dome - Amalfi (Italy), and St Andrew & St Albert church - Warsaw (Poland)

Scottish legends

About the middle of the 8th century, Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland. Concerning this there are several legends which state that the relics of Andrew were brought under supernatural guidance from Constantinople to the place where the modern St Andrews stands.

St Andrew's Day is observed on November 30 in both the Eastern and Western churches, and is the national day of Scotland.

External links

Preceded by:
Bishop of Byzantium
before 38
Succeeded by:
Stachys the Apostle