Saint Andrew

Andrew was born in Bethsaida.This is a town in Galilee about 70 miles from Jerusalem .

Saint Andrew was the first disciple of the Lord.He is known as "Protocletus," meaning the first called.He and another disciple,commonly taken to be John himself, were the first two disciples of the Lord (John 1:35-42).

He was a follower of John The Baptist.
It was John who told Andrew about the Lord-
"There is the Lamb of God;it is he who takes away the sin of the world."

Like his brother Simon (who became St Peter) he was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee . When Jesus invited Andrew and his brother to become his followers -"Come and follow me .I will make you fishers of men"-they both left everything and without hesitation followed the Lord.

Andrew witnessed everything- Jesus's teaching and the miracles. It was Andrew who brought the boy with the five barley loaves and two fishes to the Lord at the feeding of the five thousand.(John 6:8-10).It was Andrew who told the Lord of the Greeks who had come to see him (John 12:20-22).He witnessed the Lord's arrest, his death on the cross and, the Resurection.

His Mission :
He gained courage and strength and went about preaching the Gospel.He began his work in Vithynia and Pontus on the shores of the Black Sea.He also journeyed to Byzantium and founded the Christian Church there. He ordained the first Bishop of Byzantium ,Stachys.
He taught in Byzantium , Thrace , Epirus , Russia ,what is now Bulgaria , and, the Peloponese.He healed the sick, built churches and drove away wild animals that terrorised the people.He prayed for the imprisoned Apostle Matthias,and his chains fell from him and his cell door was flung open. Through the miracles he performed, many were converted to Christianity. In Patras , Greece , he healed the wife of the Roman Proconsul Aegeates, Maximilla. Seeing this miracle the Proconsul's brother Stratoklis, became a Christian and Andrew enthroned him as the first Bishop of Patras.

He suffered beatings by the people and was left for dead in a dung heap. Jesus healed him.When the people saw him the next day totally healed of his wounds, they believed. He also raised a womans only son from the dead.

His death:
Aegeates was furious with Andrew and taking the advice of the idolators,he decided to crucify him.The crucifixion was carried out on an X-shaped cross,known today as the St Andrew's cross,with the body of the Apostle upside down so that he saw only the sky, where God was.He preached for two days before he died.It was Andrew's request that he should be crucified on such a cross because he believed he was unworthy to die on the same type of cross as the Lord.He was not nailed to the cross.He was bound on it.
Twenty thousand stood by and mourned.Out of fear of the people Aegeates came to remove Andrew from the cross. Andrew told him that he could still become a Christian but that he would not permit his removal from the cross as he had seen Jesus. Many tried to untie the knots but their hands became numb. There then appeared a heavenly light which covered Andrew for about half an hour.When it left, Andrew was dead.The crucifixion occured in about the year 70.

His Burial:
He was removed from the cross by Bishop Stratoklis and Maximilla and buried with honour. Many came to Patras to pay their respects. When Aegeates realised that he had killed a man of God, he committed suicide.

Andrew's body was removed from Patras in 357 under the orders of the Emperor Constantine (son of King Constantine the Great) and buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.The skull of St Andrew was kept in Patras until 1460.It was then taken to Rome by Thomas Paleologos, the last ruler of Morea.In 1967 it was returned to Patras.


We celebrate his day on 30 November.




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Last Published: 2/1/04

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