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Monday, November 30, 2009

Feast of the Apostle Saint Andrew

Feast of The Apostle Saint Andrew
November 30

A follower of John the Baptist, Andrew first saw Our Lord as he watched Jesus walk by, and John the Baptist said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”[1] Andrew’s initial thought was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah.”[2] The two brothers, fisherman of Bethsaida, received the call of Jesus, a short time later as they cast their net into the Sea of Galilee. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.”[3]

When Jesus performed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, it was Andrew who pointed out the boy with the five barley loaves and two fish Jesus used to feed the five thousand.[4] When the apostles went out to preach to the all nations, we have no certainty as to the extent of his travels. From the writings of Origen, Andrew was assigned to Scythia. Other early writers put Andrew in Cappadocia, Galatia , Bithynia, and Achaia.[5] At Patrae in Achaia, it is generally believed, Andrew met his martyrdom. Under the reign of Nero, Saint Andrew was bound, not nailed, to prolong his sufferings, on the decussate cross (one that forms an X), now known as Saint Andrew’s Cross.

As Saint Andrew saw the cross on which he was to die, he said “O good cross! Made beautiful by the limbs of Christ, so long desired, now so happily found! Receive me into thy arms and present me to my Master, that He Who redeemed me through thee may now accept me from thee.”[6] After two days of hanging on the cross, preaching the Good News to all who came near, Saint Andrew died on November 30, in the year 60.

[1] John 1:35-36
[2] John 1:41
[3] Matthew 4:18-20; Mark 1:16-18
[4] John 6:9
[5] New Advent, Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Andrew
[6] Father Alban Butler, Lives of the Saints, p. 369

Stained Glass St Andrew with decussate cross, loaves and fishes
The Calling of Peter and Andrew, Duccio di Buoninsegna1308-11, National Gallery of Art, Washington

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