Saint Andrew – was the brother of Saint Peter and is regarded as the first of the twelve apostles. Like Peter, Andrew was a fisherman from Bethsaida in Galilee. Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist who had followed Jesus on John’s recommendation. According to a New Testament account:
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah.” And he brought him to Jesus. (John 1:40-42)
According to tradition, St. Andrew conducted missionary work around the Black Sea. Early apocryphal accounts describing Andrew’s life include the Acts of Andrew, Acts of Andrew and Matthias, and Acts of Peter and Andrew. According to the Acts of Andrew, parts of which are now lost, he was martyred by crucifixion in Patras, Achaia (Greece). His death is generally dated to 60, or perhaps 70, AD. No earlier than the 10th century, St. Andrew’s cross came to be described as X-shaped. Both Catholic and Orthodox churches recognize St. Andrew’s feast day (the traditional day of his martyrdom) on November 30.
Like most important saints, Andrew was not left in his tomb to rest in peace. According to St. Jerome, Andrew’s remains were taken from Patras to Constantinople in the fourth century by order of the Roman emperor Constantine an, according to tradition, a few body parts were taken by St. Rule to Scotland before they made it to Constantinople. These relics were held in St. Andrew’s Cathedral, but were likely destroyed in the Scottish Reformation. In 1208, St. Andrew’s remains were moved from Constantinople to the Church of Sant’ Andrea in Amalfi, Italy. In the 15th century, Andrew’s head was brought to St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
In 1879, the Archbishop of Amalfi sent Andrew’s shoulder blade to the reestablished Catholic community in Scotland. In September 1964, Pope Paul VI returned Andrew’s head to Patras as a gesture of goodwill to the Christians in Greece. In 1969, when Gordon Gray was in Rome to be appointed the first Scottish Cardinal since the Reformation, he was given some relics of St. Andrew with the words, “Saint Peter gives you his brother.” These are now displayed in a reliquary in St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Edinburgh.
Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Russia and Scotland, as well as fishermen, singers, unmarried women, and would-be mothers.
Prayer to St. Andrew:
O Glorious St. Andrew, you were the first to recognize and follow the Lamb of God. With your friend St. John you remained with Jesus for that first day, for your entire life, and now throughout eternity. As you led your brother St. Peter to Christ and many others after him, draw us also to him. Teach us to lead others to Christ solely out of love for him and dedication in his service. Help us to learn the lesson of the Cross and to carry our daily crosses without complaint so that they may carry us to Jesus