Saints and Festivals of the Christian Church – Saint Andrew the Apostle

detail of a stained glass window in the church of Saint Martin, Tauberbischofsheim, Germany, date and artist unknown; photographed on 25 June 2012 by Reinhardhauke; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

This day is the feast of Saint Andrew, as the Apostle and Martyr, and both of these festivals are rigidly observed in all branches of the Christian Church. He was a brother of Saint Peter, but strangely, after the Ascension his name is not mentioned in the New Testament. His legends tell of his travels in Scythia, Cappadocia and Bythinia, and Russian folk-lore of his labours among the Muscovites in Sarmatia. He also was in Greece and from thence came to Patras, “a city of Achaia.” It was here that, having converted Maximilla, the wife of AEgus the proconsul, he was condemned to be scourged and crucified. The form of the Saint Andrew cross reaches almost every angle, from the acute to the right angle. It is said he chose this form of the cross out of his humility, saying he “was not worthy to suffer death as his Master had done.”

Fastened to the cross by cords, not nailed there, but allowed to die amid the torment of thirst and starvation, who can realise his unutterable suffering? After four centuries a part of the relics of Saint Andrew were brought to Scotland and since then he has been the patron saint of that country. He is also the patron saint of the “Order of the Golden Fleece of Burzmund,” and in Russia of the “Order of the Cross of Saint Andrew.” Connecting Saint Andrew with the Feast of the Advent, Wheatly says: “He was the first who found the Messiah (John 1:38) and the first who brought others to Him (John 1:42) so the Church for his greater honour commemorates him as the first in her anniversary course of holy days and places his festival at the beginning of Advent, as the most proper to bring the news of Our Saviour’s coming. Saint Andrew is one of the most popular saints in the English Kalendar. An account of the churches in England says: “Every county except Westmoreland has several churches dedicated to Saint Andrew.”

MLA Citation

  • H Pomeroy Brewster. “Saint Andrew the Apostle”. Saints and Festivals of the Christian Church, 1902. CatholicSaints.Info. 24 February 2019. Web. 24 October 2021. <>