|El Greco – Apostle St Andrew|
Celebrated November 30
Holy Apostle Andrew the First-called
A native of Bethsaida (John 1:44), he was the brother of Simon Peter and a fisherman (Mark 1:16) with him on the Sea of Galilee. He was a disciple of St. John the Baptiser and through John’s witness of Jesus, became Jesus’ first follower (John 1:35–36), believing Him to be the Messiah.
When Christ called him and Peter from their life as fishermen to be His disciples, they immediately left all and followed Him. He was one of the Twelve and seems to have had a special knack for engaging individuals and introducing them to Christ.
Thus, he brought his brother Simon to Christ, introduced a little lad with five loaves and two fishes to Christ and even, with Philip, introduced some Greeks to Him. In his later apostolic travels, he went as far as Scythia near the Black Sea (and is therefore hailed by Russians as their national patron) and established a church in Byzantium on his return.
He then went to preach in Greece. He was finally martyred by being tied to an X-shaped cross, lingering for some time and preaching to all who saw him. This martyrdom took place probably in Patras in Achaia. His relics were at length translated to Constantinople.
Some relics were taken by St. Regulus to Scotland in about the fourth century so that Scotland looks to him as their patron as well.