November 30 Saint of the Day – Andrew the Apostle

On this day in 1983, police freed kidnapped beer magnate Alfred Heineken in Amsterdam. “Man, am I thirsty,” he said. “You guys wanna grab a Coke? My treat.”

Andrew the First-CalledAndrew the Apostle (I cent.) was the brother of Simon Peter the first Pope of Rome. His name comes from the Greek Ἀνδρέας, “Andreas,” meaning “manly” or “brave.” He is also called Ο Πρωτοκλητος, or “the first-called,” because his phone number was at the top of Jesus’ Rolodex. Of course I kid. Because he was the first apostle to be called by our Lord. In John’s Gospel, the disciples of John the Forerunning Baptist were standing around, doing whatever it was disciples did, when Jesus walked by. John pointed to him and said, “That guy. Lamb of God!” Immediately a detachment (of two) broke off the main wing and flew after him. Andrew (for he was one of them) said, “I gotta tell Peter about this!” He ran and found the future pope and dragged him to where our Lord was staying. “This guy. Messiah!” he said.

In Matthew’s gospel, our Lord sees Andrew and Peter fishing and calls them to be fishers of men. Andrew gets a couple of mentions further along in the Gospels. It is he, for instance, who finds the boy with the basket of loaves and fishes in the Feeding of the 5,000, which tells you that even after he hung up his nets, he was still catching fish. Do you suppose if he had been a goatherd, he would have found a boy with a basket of goat jerky? Don’t be absurd.

Cloisonné from the Holy Crown of HungaryAfter our Lord went up and the Holy Spirit came down (as admirably recounted in Luke’s Gospel and its sequel The Acts of the Apostles: A History in Twenty-Eight Chapters), Andrew was chosen to take the gospel northeastward. It is told in the East that he made it as far as Kyiv (Kiev), or where it would one day be, and set up a cross, telling his disciple, “This hill. Future city.” (If he found the caves, we are not told so.) The legend has him continuing to the future site of Novgorod and saying much the same thing (perhaps adding “great” between “future” and “city”), before returning to Rome and thence to the tiny city of Byzantium, where he founded a church. For this reason he is the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Some call this city “Istanbul” now, but not loudly at the Greek festival, if they know what’s good for them.

In all his wanderings, Andrew performed many healing miracles. In Patras, for instance, we know the names of many of the illustrious citizens he healed from various ailments. Or rather, I do. He preached the Gospel to the prefect of that city, but Aegeatos (for that was his name), remained unmoved. When he had had enough, he ordered that Andrew be crucified. (“Being annoying” was a capital offense in those days.)

Andrew was tied up on a cross (no nails; apparently this would make him die more slowly). For a few days he taught the people who crowded around his feet. “This could get ugly,” Aegeatos thought, so he ordered the apostle taken down lest a riot break out. But when the soldiers came to untie him, they suddenly found that their hands had proclaimed a work stoppage. A searing and presumably Uncreated Light illuminated the saint’s body, and when everybody could see again, he was dead. Maximilla, Aegeatos’ wife (one of the healees), had the body taken down and buried with honor. According to Jerome it was later moved to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. Andrew’s relics now reside in Patras and numerous other places, including Edinburgh and Warsaw. His head is in one of the four central pillars (we’re not telling which) in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Flag of ScotlandAndrew was crucified on an X-shaped cross, and that symbol, called the Cross of St. Andrew (in heraldry, “saltire”), appears on the flag of Scotland, of which (with myriad other places as well as fishermen and ropemakers) Andrew is the patron saint.

Copyright © 2013 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.

This Day in History for 30th November
Apostle Andrew, the Holy and All-Praised First-Called (OCA) – Main source
Andrew the Apostle (Wikipedia)
The Bible (There are many great Bible resources online; my favorite is Bible Gateway .)
Icon of Andrew from OCA (copyright unknown)
Crown of Hungary (detail) via Wikimedia (public domain)
Flag of Scotland from writd.blogspot.com (copyright unknown)


About Your Intrepid Blogger

I live in the Tacoma area. When not writing things some people think are funny, I teach technology to 7th and 8th graders at a local middle school.

2 comments on “November 30 Saint of the Day – Andrew the Apostle

  1. my dear,

    saint Peter was never pope. There was in fact no pope in Rome before the 5th century, nor any patriarch anywhere before that time. These titles belong to the evolution of administration of the Church, from the time of the Pentarchy. Vatican & Constantinople mythology are no match to historical truth.
    Then of course, I prefer not to go too long on the 9th c. myths forged on saint Andrew, to match those the Carolingians were forging on saint Peter. Yourself you mention the scriptural fact that they were 2 and not only saint Andrew, to join Christ on the calling of saint John the Baptist. The title “protoklitos” is part of the 9th c. mythology.
    Just look at the pretention of Church foundation in Istanbul : when Constantine the Great left Triër, in Galia Belgica, between 316 (when he had his basilica built in Triër) and 320, and installed himself in a tiny town called Byzance, giving then his own name to the enlarged renewed town, he didn’t heard about saint Andrew outside of the Bible. Nor him, nor anyone in the clergy. Just try to find _any_ church dedicated to saint Andrew before centuries after the installation of the center of the empire there. Many saints had their church dedicated, but not the pretended founder. Strange, not?
    I believe in Christ, I’m Orthodox Christian, but I don’t believe in fairy tales forged to ensure a theocracy, not the Reign of God.

    just to say!

    but keep on the nice job, I like your chronicles

    Jean-Michel, from Belgium

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