The holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostle Andrew the First-Called was the first of the apostles of Jesus Christ and the brother of the Apostle Peter. He is also the patron saint of several countries, including Romania and Scotland. His feast day is November 30.
Andrew was a fisherman by trade, born in Bethsaida. A disciple of John the Forerunner, he left St. John to follow Jesus Christ following his baptism and brought along his brother, the Apostle Peter. Both are numbered among the Twelve Great Apostles. After Pentecost, the lot fell to St. Andrew to preach in:
- Byzantium: he appointed St. Stachys as its first bishop
- Thrace, Peloponnese, Greece, and Epirus: he converted many to the Faith and ordained bishops and priests for them
- Georgia: he entered Georgia from Ajara, preached Christianity in Atsquri, built small church there and left miracle-working icon of Theotokos.
- Russian lands: in Kiev he planted a cross on one of the high hills of Kiev, and he prophesied a city that would have many golden-domed churches, and a bright Christian future for the Russian people.
St. Andrew was martyred in Peloponnese, in the city of Patras. The Proconsul Aegeates’ family believed in the miracles and preaching of St. Andrew, and the enraged Proconsul tortured and crucified St. Andrew. The new converts wanted to remove him from his cross, but the saint would not allow them. Instead, he comforted them from the cross and as he prayed an extraordinary light encompassed him for about a half hour. When it left, he gave up his soul. It was the year 62 AD.
St. Andrew’s relics were taken to Constantinople, his head to Rome and a hand to Moscow.” From OrthodoxWiki
“St. Andrew performed many miracles there (Patras), even healing Maximilla, wife of the governor of Patra, and his brother Stratokles and many people were added to the faith there. However, the prefect of the city, Aegeatos, wanted nothing to do with the Christian faith, and gave orders to crucify the apostle. St. Andrew was tied to the cross in the shape of an X rather than a T. For two days he continued to teach those who gathered around him. It is said that a large mob marched on Aegeatos’s castle and forced him to order a reprieve, but Andrew would not allow it if Aegeatos was not truly repentant. The crucified apostle, gave glory to God saying: “Lord Jesus Christ, receive my spirit.” A ray of light illumined the cross and when the light faded, St. Andrew had already given up his soul to the Lord. Maximilla, the wife of the prefect, had the body of the saint taken down from the cross, and buried him with honor.” taken from http://ourorthodoxlife.blogspot.com/2010/11/apostle-saint-andrew.html
First-Called Apostle of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, thou high follower of the Church, most praiseworthy Andrew!
We laud and glorify thine apostolic labours, we lovingly commemorate thy blessed coming to us, we revere thine honourable sufferings which thou didst bear for Christ;
we venerate thy sacred relics, we honour thy holy memory, and firmly believe that the Lord liveth and that thy soul liveth as well, and thou remainest with him for all ages in heaven, where thou hast the same love for us as when thou, in the Holy Spirit, didst foresee our conversion to Christ;
and thou dost not only love us, but prayest also for us unto God, seeing all our needs in His light. Thus we believe and this our faith we confess, O Saint Andrew [in the church splendidly erected in thy name, and where thy relics repose]:
and believing, we ask and pray our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ that by thy prayers, always heard and accepted by Him, He may grant us sinners all those things needful unto our salvation:
that as thou, according to the Lord’s voice, didst promptly leave thy nets and follow him unwaveringly, each of us might seek not that which is his own, but think rather of the profit of his neighbor and his higher calling.
And, having thee as a representative and intercessor, we have hope in thy prayers, which avail much before our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to Whom belongeth all glory, honour and worship, with the Father and the
Holy Spirit, unto ages of ages.
by Fr. John Shaw (Vladyka Jerome)