Andrew, the Apostle
Categories: Jesus' Apostles
- "Andrew" is a Greek name that means "manly, brave, manhood, or valour."
- Andrew was a Christian Apostle and the brother of Simon Peter.
- He was the first to be called to be Jesus' disciple and in the Orthodox tradition, he is referred to as the "First-called."
- His name was quite common in the early first century among Jews, Christians, and other Hellenized people from that region.
- There is no equivalent name in Hebrew or Aramaic.
- As a brother of Peter, he is also assumed to be the son of John or Jonah.
- Like Peter, he was probably born in Bethsaida, located along the north side of the Sea of Galilee.
- He was a fisherman by trade. Indeed, when Jesus called Peter and him, he said they would "become fishers of men."
- Scholars think they lived together in Capernaum.
- According to John's Gospel, Andrew was also a disciple of John the Baptist.
- Andrew was the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
- Andrew introduced Jesus to Peter.
- While not one of the three inner disciples, he was thought to be among those closest to Jesus. On each apostolic list, he is among the top four.
- In addition to being the first to follow Jesus, Andrew was singled out as a disciple on three other occasions. When some Greeks wanted to speak with Jesus, they approached Philip, who took them to Andrew. Together, they went to Jesus (See John 12:20-22).
- In the story of the Five Thousand, Andrew was the one who said there was a lad with five barley loaves and two fish in the audience (John 6:8ff).
- Andrew was one of the four who asked Jesus about the destruction of the temple (See Mark 13:3ff.).
- He was crucified in the city of Patras, possibly in 69 CE. Instead of being nailed, he was tied to the cross because the proconsul wanted him to suffer more.
- Some legends claim his cross was in the form of an X, at his request. He did not feel worthy enough to be crucified on the cross of the same shape as the Lord. (Scholars doubt, however, that choosing the configuration of the cross would have been an option.)
- Nonetheless, an X-shaped cross is typically referred to as a "Saint Andrew's Cross."
- Artwork from the Middle Ages depicts him as being on an X-shaped cross.
- The basilica of Saint Andrew was supposedly erected on the site where he was crucified in Patras.
- Patras is in Achaea on the northern coast of the Peloponnese.
- Additional relics are kept at the Vatican, and in Scotland and Poland.
- Supposedly, the Roman Emperor ordered that certain relics should be taken to Constantinople in the mid 300s.
- The head of Saint Andrew was given to the Vatican in 1461. It now resides in one of the four central piers in St. Peter's Basilica.
- In 1964, the reigning Pope (Paul VI) sent all the relics back to Patras.
- Available to the viewing public now are a small finger, part of his cranium, and a portion of the cross, all of which are preserved in a special shrine in Patras.
- During his ministry, Andrew preached in towns along the Black Sea. He is known as the patron saint of the Ukraine, Romania, and Russia.
- Tradition claims that he was the first to preach in Georgia, and that he was the one who founded the Georgian church. (Many others dispute this idea, and state that St. Nino was the founder.)
- The Georgian church harmonized these two traditions around 1103 CE.
- In the 10th century, Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland.
- Legend has it that during a battle in 832 CE, King Óengus prayed to him, and vowed that he would make him the patron saint if they won.
- The morning of the battle, X-shaped white clouds appeared in the sky. Inspired, Óengus and his army (despite being vastly outnumbered) attacked and prevailed.
- The king kept his promise and made Andrew the patron saint of Scotland.
- To this day, the Scottish flag is designed around a white X – a diagonal cross oftentimes called a saltire, i.e., Saint Andrew's Cross.
- Many churches in Scotland are named after Andrew.
- His feast is celebrated on November 30th, which is supposedly the day of his death.