About St. Andrew, Our Patron Saint

According to the Jerusalem Calendar, at the beginning of the fifth century, the feast of St. Andrew was set on November 30. St. Andrew was one of two disciples who were followers of John the Baptist. John, while baptizing, saw Jesus and said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard this, they began to follow Jesus. Andrew then told his brother Simon, “We have found the Messiah,” and led Simon to Jesus. Thus, Andrew has been aptly referred to as “The Introducer.”

St. Andrew is also mentioned when Jesus was on the hillside preaching to the masses. When Jesus saw the great crowd, he asked Phillip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” Phillip responded, “Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Andrew responded, “Here is a boy, with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” It proved to be sufficient to feed all present.

Because he was “first called,” the Greeks referred to him as the “Protoclete,” which translated means the same. He is greatly revered in the Byzantine Church and, as tradition has it, he preached the gospel in Greece and was crucified in Patras in about the year 60. He was crucified on an X-shaped cross, known as the cross of St. Andrew (the Crux Decussate).

We also know that St. Andrew was present at the Last Supper as recorded in the gospels (Matthew 26:20, Mark 14:17, Luke 24:14). Except for these incidents, there is not much written about him in the gospels or in the Acts of the Apostles.

His remains are entombed at the Crypt of St. Andrew in the Cathedral of Amalfi, Italy. In 1964, the remains of his head were returned to his original burial site at Patras, Greece, as an ecumenical gesture by Pope Paul VI. St. Andrew is the patron saint of Russia and Scotland. The flag of Scotland displays the Cross of St. Andrew and, of course, all avid golfers are acquainted with the famous golf course bearing his name.