Saints of the Canon – Saint Andrew

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Andrew the Apostle; 19th century by F X Zettler, Munich, Germany; parish church of Saint Alban, Gutenzell-Hürbel, Biberach, Germany; photographed in January 2015 by Andreas Praefcke; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsSaint John tells us that Andrew was the first of the disciples to meet Our Lord. Having spent the day with Him Andrew sought his brother, Peter, and brought him to Jesus: “He finds first his brother Simon, and says to him: We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ, and he brought him to Jesus.” (John 1:41-42)

Both Peter and Andrew received the call to the Apostolate on the same occasion:

“And Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishers). And he says to them: Come you both after me, and I will make you to be fishers of men. And they, immediately leaving their nets, followed him:” (Matthew 4:18-20).

Saint Andrew is mentioned several times in the Gospels. We find his name among the wedding guests at Cana. On the day when Christ multiplied the loaves and fishes, it is Andrew who pointed out the boy:

“One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, says to him: There is a boy here that has five barley loaves, and two fishes; but what are these among so many?” (John 6:8-9).

For this act of consideration he shares with Saint Peter and Saint Paul the honour of being mentioned twice within the Canon. In the prayer “Deliver us” (“Libera nos”) which follows immediately after the Pater Noster we say:

“together with Your blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and Andrew,”

Saint Andrew preached the Gospel in Asia Minor, and in Greece, where he suffered martyrdom, being cruelly tortured, and then crucified on a cross of distinctive shape, resembling the letter “X”, which is called Saint Andrew’s cross.

Saint Andrew is patron saint of Scotland, Constantinople and Greece. About the year 369 important relics of the saint were brought from Constantinople to Scotland, and there enshrined in a church built on a site where stands the present city of Saint Andrews.

His head was placed by Pope Pius II in the 15th century in the basilica of Saint Peter, his brother.

– from The Saints of the Canon, by Monsignor John T. McMahon, M.A., Ph.D; Australian Catholic Truth Society, 1958