St. Andrew’s Feast Day

Patron Saint of Fishermen

St. Andrew, whose feast day is November 30th, is the patron saint for fishermen. 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 decided 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 and Asia Minor to preach the gospel. He is said to have been put to death in Patras in Southern Greece on a diagonal 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.

    Some 300 years after his death, the Emperor Constantine was going to move the saints bones, and legend has it that a monk was warned of this in a dream by an angel, who told him to remove the saints bones to the “ends of the Earth” to keep them safe.

    Scotland was as near to the ends of the ancient Greek world as you could get, and that is how his remains came to be taken to Scotland.  The monk brought the holy relics ashore at what is now St Andrews.

    A chapel was built to house them, and by 1160 a cathedral.  St Andrews was the religious capital of Scotland, and the goal of many pilgrims.

    The saints remains have now disappeared, probably destroyed during the Scottish Reformation, when the strictures of Calvinism tended to wish to remove traces of Catholic “idolatry”.  The site of the relics is now marked by a plaque in the ruins of the Cathedral in St Andrews.

    Interestingly, some of Saint Andrew’s bones were taken to Amalfi in Italy.  From there the church sent some fragments in 1879 to Scotland.  And in 1969, Pope Paul VI gave some further relics to to the Catholic church in Scotland during a visit to Scotland.

    Two countries have chosen St. Andrew as their patron – Russia and Scotland. 

2 Comments (+add yours?)

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