Thursday, November 30, 2006

St. Andrew

Today is the feast of St. Andrew, brother of Simon Peter, patron of the Orthodox Churches. Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist, and one of those to who left John to follow Jesus. The synoptic gospels all tell how Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw Andrew and Simon casting their net into the Sea and told them to "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." John tells us a little more. Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist. Andrew was with another follower of John the Baptist and John pointed out Jesus to Them and said "Look, here is the Lamb of God!" John went and found his brother Simon and told him, "We have found the Messiah!"
Little is know for certain of his life after Pentecost. He is not mentioned in Acts, except among the list of Apostles, and no mention is made of him in any of the Epistles.
Legend and tradition say that he was crucified on a decussate cross, that is a cross shaped like an X, was bound and not nailed to prolong his suffering and that he died during the time of Nero, executed by a Roman Governor, named Aegeas at Patrae in Achaia.
Most of his relics are in Rome, transported there just before the fall of Constantinople. Pope Paul VI returned some of them to the patriarchate, to the church at Patras, where they are kept in a crypt at the Amalfi cathedral, along with other relics also believed to belong to Andrew.
He is the patron of Scotland Greece, Russia, Romania, Amalfi, and Luqa - Malta. He was also the patron saint of Prussia.

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