Monday, November 30, 2009

St. Andrew's Day

Apostle Andrew:

Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a fisherman. He became a disciple of the great St. John the Baptist, but when John pointed to Jesus and said, "Behold the Lamb of God!" Andrew understood that Jesus was greater. At once he left John to follow the Divine Master. Jesus knew that Andrew was walking behind him, and turning back, he asked, "what do you seek?" When Andrew answered that he would like to know where Jesus lived, Our Lord replied, "Come and see." Andrew had been only a little time with Jesus when he realized that this was truly the Messiah.

From then on, he chose to follow Jesus. Andrew was thus the first disciple of Christ. Next, Andrew brought his brother Simon (St. Peter) to Jesus and Jesus received him, too, as His disciple. At first the two brothers continued to carry on their fishing trade and family affairs, but later, the Lord called them to stay with Him all the time. He promised to make them fishers of men, and this time, they left their nets for good. It is believed that after Our Lord ascended into Heaven, St. Andrew went to Greece to preach the gospel.

He is said to have been put to death on a cross, to which he was tied, not nailed. He lived two days in that state of suffering, still preaching to the people who gathered around their beloved Apostle.

Two countries have chosen St. Andrew as their patron - Russia and Scotland.
Saint Andrew the Apostle:

Also known as:

•Andreas the Apostle
•Endres the Apostle

•30 November


The first Apostle. Fisherman by trade. Brother of Simon Peter. Follower of John the Baptist. Andrew went through life leading people to Jesus, both before and after the Crucifixion. Missionary in Asia Minor and Greece, and possibly areas in modern Russia and Poland. Martyred on an saltire (x-shaped) cross, he is said to have preached for two days from it.

Some peculiar marriage-related superstitions have attached themselves to Saint Andrew’s feast day.

•An old German tradition says that single women who wish to marry should ask for Saint Andrew’s help on the eve of his feast, then sleep naked that night; they will see their future husbands in their dreams.

•Another says that young women should note the location of barking dogs on Saint Andrew’s Eve: their future husbands will come from that direction.

•On the day after Andrew’s feast, young people float cups in a tub; if a boy’s and a girl’s cup drift together and are intercepted by a cup inscribed “priest”, it indicates marriage.

There are several explanations for why Andrew became the patron of Scotland.

•In 345, Emperor Constantine the Great decided to translate Andrew’s bones from Patras, Greece to Constantinople. Saint Regulus of Scotland was instructed by an angel to take many of these relics to the far northwest. He was eventally told to stop on the Fife coast of Scotland, where he founded the settlement of Saint Andrew.

•In the 7th century, Saint Wilfrid of York brought some of the saint’s relics with him after a pilgrimage to Rome, Italy. The Scots king, Angus MacFergus, installed them at Saint Andrew’s to enhance the prestige of the new diocese.

•When the Pictish King Angus faced a large invading army, he prayed for guidance. A white cloud in the form of a saltire cross floated across the blue sky above him. Angus won a decisive victory, and decreed that Andrew would be the patron saint of his country. Following Robert Bruce’s victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, the Declaration of Arbroath officially named Saint Andrew the patron saint of Scotland.

The Saltire became the national flag of Scotland in 1385.

•at Bethsaida

•crucified on a saltire (x-shaped) cross in Greece
Feast of St. Andrew:

Andrew's Day, the 30th of November, is marked by celebrations around the globe. Many cities hold celebrations of St. Andrew's feast day, and his status as patron saint of fishermen is observed with a feast of St. Andrew in fishing villages as well.

Germany and Austria have their own traditions and folklore surrounding St Andrews Day, or Andreasnacht as it is known to locals. St. Andrews feast day is near to, and some years coincides with, the start of Advent (the first Sunday following the 26th of November) Among his many responsibilities, St Andrew is patron saint of unmarried women, so Andreasnacht is regarded as a particularly auspicious occasion for girls and young women to perform the various folkloric rituals designed to reveal the identity of future husbands.

Austrian Girls would traditionally perform the ritual, which might be anything from divining by pouring molten lead into water, to kicking a straw bed in the nude, while reciting the Andreasgebet or St. Andrew's Prayer. All the while looking for a lucky sign of love at their feast of St. Andrew.

St Andrew's Day, however, is best known as a celebration of Scottish culture. Since 2006, it has been officially recognized as a national holiday in Scotland, with events such as celebratory St. Andrew Feast dinners happening around the nation, and is marked around the world by the many St Andrew's Societies from the Americas to the Far East composed of Scottish expatriates, descendents of the Scots diaspora, and others who simply have an interest in all things Scottish.

The town of St. Andrews celebrates its patron in style with the weeklong St. Andrews Festival, incorporating music, arts, dance and drama.

You and your family can celebrate your own Saint Andrew feast. Let the main course be fish and perhaps include some Scottish traditions. Giving your guests St. Andrew's medals or jewelry is a special way to honor St. Andrew and your guests on this day.

Recite the prayers of St. Andrew, reflecting on how he lived his life, the first-called apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Read more about the Apostle Andrew and the brother of Peter here, here, and here.

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