St. Andrew as the brother of St. Peter. St. Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, whose testimony first led him, and another unnamed disciple of John the Baptist, to follow Jesus. Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and hastened to introduce him to his brother. In this lesson we will study the life of St. Andrew as presented in the Gospels, in the writings of the Church Fathers, and in the Catechism. We will also learn several prayers to him and have an engaging activity in honor of St. Andrew.
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Pope Benedict XVI speaks of the martyrdom of St. Andrew in these words:
“Here, as can be seen, is a very profound Christian spirituality. It does not view the Cross as an instrument of torture but rather as the incomparable means for perfect configuration to the Redeemer, to the grain of wheat that fell into the earth.
“Here we have a very important lesson to learn: our own crosses acquire value if we consider them and accept them as a part of the Cross of Christ, if a reflection of His light illuminates them.
“It is by that Cross alone that our sufferings too are ennobled and acquire their true meaning.
“The Apostle Andrew, therefore, teaches us to follow Jesus with promptness (cf. Mt 4:20; Mk 1:18), to speak enthusiastically about Him to those we meet, and especially, to cultivate a relationship of true familiarity with Him, acutely aware that in Him alone can we find the ultimate meaning of our life and death.” (Pope Benedict XVI. 2006.)
St. Andrew is usually shown with an X shaped cross. The Apostle, like his brother St. Peter, felt himself unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus. Instead he was tied to a cross shaped like an X with his suffering lasting several days. During those days he preached the Holy Gospel:
“And he exhorted them all, teaching that the sufferings of this transitory life are not worthy to be compared with the future recompense of the eternal life.” (Roberts and Donaldson. eds. 1886. pg. 514)
St. Andrew’s body was venerated in Patra until Emperor Constantius (the son of Constantine the Great) translated the remains to Constantinople in 357 A.D. St. Jerome wrote in De Viris Illustribus (On Illustrious Men) that the bodies of St. Luke and St. Andrew were brought to Constantinople in the twentieth year of Constantius. (Wace and Schaff. eds. 1892. pg. 364) St. Andrew, St. Luke and St. Timothy were buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles, dedicated to the twelve Apostles of Jesus. St. Andrew is said to have preached and appointed St. Stachys as the first Bishop in Byzantium (later renamed Constantinople) so the Apostle’s tomb had special significance to the inhabitants.
The flag of Scotland
The X-shaped cross has become known as St. Andrew’s cross and appears in the flag of Scotland. In 832 A.D., Angus II vowed that he would acknowledge St. Andrew as the patron of Scotland if he won the n...
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