Saint Brigid Religious Education
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Andrew

Andrew was the son of Jona and brother of Peter. Like Peter, he was he was born in Bethsaida and was a fisherman. Whether he was younger or older than Simon is not certain. One is inclined to consider him as the younger of the two, despite his well-balanced personality and agreeable nature. He lived, together with Simon, in the highly honored house in which our Lord Himself stayed as a guest during His journey to Galilee. This home served as Christ's first-church and pulpit. Andrew was the first apostle called by Christ. His personality was different than Peter's. It was like the difference between a rough, stormy sea and the quiet, peaceful shore. Andrew the apostle was a man of courage, valor, and manliness. Even his name has a noble meaning, coming from the Greek word "Andreios", which is translated "brave". The qualities of firmness and resolution and determination characterize this disciple of Christ. He aspired to reach the mountaintops.

Many old manuscripts gave him the title of honor "the first-called." His name heads the list of millions who were to follow Christ. It is very surprising that Andrew remains so silent throughout the Gospels. He is heard even less in the Acts of the Apostles. None of his work remain. No Epistles he wrote has been preserved. Andrew remained silent and in the background of the Gospels. Did Andrew therefore love his Master less than John? No. Andrew simply did not belong to the circle of the three whom our Lord especially had chosen to witness the most important hours of his life, at least not directly as did Peter, James, and John. It cannot be said that our Lord considered Andrew less important than the first three apostles. On the contrary, what seems to be an oversight on the part of Christ is a great act of trust and confidence. Andrew was the first one to be called, the first born apostle. Between Jesus and him there was a good understanding, and what better testimony is there of this than a silence? There is a silence between them, but no two could be closer. This, it can be rightly judged, was the relationship between Jesus and Andrew, a silent understanding and love, a real happiness.

It is written that it was Andrew who tried to mediate for the Gentiles. Andrew made a countless number of converts for Christ through his preaching and miracles. While Andrew, as bishop of Patras, was preaching the Gospel, he was condemned to die on the cross by the governor. So that the pangs of torture would be the more excruciating and prolonged, he was scourged, the sentence was carried out, but not without the people begging his judge to have mercy. Andrew continued to live for two days on the cross. Thousands ran to the place of execution and pleaded for his release. The cross on which St Andrew died was not a regular cross. It had the shape of the letter X. X signifies a cross. An X signifies Christ. He who is fastened to his cross is also fastened to Christ, united with the Mystical body of Christ. And he who wants to be united with Christ must also be united with the cross. This cross is called called St. Andrew's Cross. He died on the last day of November in the year 69.

After the martyrdom of this apostle, a Samaritan woman buried his body. In the year 356 his relics were transferred to the imperials city of Byzanantium, later called Constantinople, and today Istanbul. In 1462 these relics were taken to Rome, and the two brothers, martyred apostles, Simon Peter and Andrew who had slumbered many a night next to each other in a boat as fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, once again were united. Though their bodies are at rest, these brothers are still wide awake fishers of men. The exact year of Andrew's death is shrouded in obscurity, but is believed to be 70. Andrew died at the time of Mary's Assumption into heaven. His symbols are the X-shaped Cross, the anchor, fish, and the fishing net. He is the patron Saint of Russia and Scotland.

 

St. Andrew's feast day is November 30.

 

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