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Statuary St. Andrew the Apostle

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St. Andrew the Apostle

St Andrew or Andrew the Apostle was born in Bethsaida in the early first century. He is a Christian Apostle and the brother of Saint Peter. He is considered the founder and the first bishop of the Church of Byzantium and is consequently the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. He is also the patron for fishermen, fishmongers and rope-makers.

Life

The New Testament states that Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter, by which it is inferred that he was likewise a son of John, or Jonah. He was born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. Both he and his brother Peter were fishermen by trade, hence the tradition that Jesus called them to be his disciples by saying that he will make them "fishers of men" (Greek: ἁλιεῖς ἀνθρώπων, halieĩs anthrōpōn). At the beginning of Jesus' public life, they were said to have occupied the same house at Capernaum.

The Gospel of John states that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, whose testimony first led him, and another unnamed disciple of John the Baptist to follow Jesus. Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and hastened to introduce him to his brother. Thenceforth, the two brothers were disciples of Christ. On a subsequent occasion, prior to the final call to the Apostolate, they were called to a closer companionship, and then they left all things to follow Jesus.

In the gospels, Andrew is referred to as being present on some important occasions as one of the disciples more closely attached to Jesus, Andrew told Jesus about the boy with the loaves and fishes (John 6:8), with Philip told Jesus about the Greeks seeking Him, and was one of four (the others being Peter, James, and John) to hear Jesus' teaching about what would soon happen.

Eusebius quotes Origen as saying Andrew preached along the Black Sea and the Dnieper and Volga rivers as far as Kiev and Novgorod Hence he became a patron saint of Ukraine, Romania and Russia. According to tradition, he founded the See of Byzantium (Constantinople) in AD 38, installing Stachys as bishop. According to Hippolytus of Rome, he preached in Thrace, and his presence in Byzantium is also mentioned in the apocryphal Acts of Andrew, written in the 2nd century; Basil of Seleucia also knew of Apostle Andrew's mission in Thrace, as well as Scythia and Achaia. This diocese would later develop into the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Andrew is recognized as its patron saint.

Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at the city of Patras (Patrae) in Achaea, on the northern coast of the Peloponnese. Early texts, such as the Acts of Andrew known to Gregory of Tours, describe Andrew as bound, not nailed, to a Latin cross of the kind on which Jesus is said to have been crucified; yet a tradition developed that Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross, or "saltire"), now commonly known as a "Saint Andrew's Cross" — supposedly at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus had been. "The familiar iconography of his martyrdom, showing the apostle bound to an X-shaped cross, does not seem to have been standardized before the later Middle Ages," Judith Calvert concluded after re-examining the materials studied by Louis Reau.

The Acts of Andrew

The apocryphal Acts of Andrew, mentioned by Eusebius, Epiphanius and others, is among a disparate group of Acts of the Apostles that were traditionally attributed to Leucius Charinus. "These Acts (...) belong to the third century: ca. A.D. 260," was the opinion of M. R. James, who edited them in 1924. The Acts, as well as a Gospel of St Andrew, appear among rejected books in the Decretum Gelasianum connected with the name of Pope Gelasius I. The Acts of Andrew was edited and published by Constantin von Tischendorf in the Acta Apostolorum apocrypha (Leipzig, 1821), putting it for the first time into the hands of a critical professional readership. Another version of the Andrew legend is found in the Passio Andreae, published by Max Bonnet (Supplementum II Codicis apocryphi, Paris, 1895).

Relics

Relics of the Apostle Andrew are kept at the Basilica of St Andrew in Patras, Greece; the Duomo di Sant'Andrea, Amalfi, Italy; St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland; and the Church of St Andrew and St Albert, Warsaw, Poland. There are also numerous smaller reliquaries throughout the world.

St Jerome wrote that the relics of St Andrew were taken from Patras to Constantinople by order of the Roman emperor Constantius II around 357 and deposited in the Church of the Holy Apostles. The head of Andrew was given by the Byzantine despot Thomas Palaeologus to Pope Pius II in 1461. It was enshrined in one of the four central piers of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. In September 1964, Pope Paul VI, as a gesture of goodwill toward the Greek Orthodox Church, ordered that all of the relics of St Andrew that were in Vatican City be sent back to Patras. Cardinal Augustin Bea along with many other cardinals presented the skull to Bishop Constantine of Patras on 24 September 1964. The cross of St. Andrew was taken from Greece during the Crusades by the Duke of Burgundy. It was kept in the church of St. Victor in Marseilles until it returned to Patras on 19 January 1980. The cross of the apostle was presented to the Bishop of Patras Nicodemus by a Catholic delegation led by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray. All the relics, which consist of the small finger, the skull (part of the top of the cranium of Saint Andrew), and the cross on which he was martyred, have been kept in the Church of St Andrew at Patras in a special shrine and are revered in a special ceremony every November 30, his feast day.

Amalfi

In 1208, following the sack of Constantinople, those relics of St Andrew and St Peter which remained in the imperial city were taken to Amalfi, Italy, by Cardinal Peter of Capua, a native of Amalfi. The Amalfi cathedral (Duomo), dedicated to St Andrew (as is the town itself), contains a tomb in its crypt that it maintains still contains the rest of the relics of the apostle. On 8 May 2008 the relic believed to be Andrew's head was returned to Amalfi Cathedral.

Traditions and legends

Georgia

The church tradition of Georgia regards St. Andrew as the first preacher of Christianity in the territory of Georgia and as the founder of the Georgian church. This tradition was apparently derived from the Byzantine sources, particularly Nicetas of Paphlagonia (died c. 890) who asserts that "Andrew preached to the Iberians, Sauromatians, Taurians, and Scythians and to every region and city, on the Black Sea, both north and south." The version was adopted by the 10th-11th-century Georgian ecclesiastics and, refurbished with more details, was inserted in the Georgian Chronicles. The story of St. Andrew's mission in the Georgian lands endowed the Georgian church with apostolic origin and served as a defense argument to George the Hagiorite against the encroachments from the Antiochian church authorities on autocephaly of the Georgian church. Another Georgian monk, Ephraim the Minor, produced a thesis, reconciling St. Andrew's story with an earlier evidence of the 4th-century conversion of Georgians by St. Nino and explaining the necessity of the "second Christening" by Nino. The thesis was made canonical by the Georgian church council in 1103.

Cyprus

Cypriot tradition holds that a ship which was transporting Saint Andrew went off course and ran aground. Upon coming ashore, Andrew struck the rocks with his staff at which point a spring of healing waters gushed forth. Using it, the sight of the ship's captain, who had been blind in one eye, was restored. Thereafter, the site became a place of pilgrimage and a fortified monastery stood there in the 12th century, from which Isaac Comnenus negotiated his surrender to Richard the Lionheart. In the 15th century, a small chapel was built close to the shore. The main monastery of the current church dates to the 18th century.

Other pilgrimages are more recent. The story is told that in 1895, the son of a Maria Georgiou was kidnapped. Seventeen years later, Saint Andrew appeared to her in a dream, telling her to pray for her son's return at the monastery. Living in Anatolia, she embarked on the crossing to Cyprus on a very crowded boat. Telling her story during the journey, one of the passengers, a young Dervish priest became more and more interested. Asking if her son had any distinguishing marks, he stripped off his cloths to reveal the same marks and mother and son were thus reunited.

Apostolos Andreas Monastery (Greek: Απόστολος Ανδρέας) is a monastery dedicated to Saint Andrew situated just south of Cape Apostolos Andreas, which is the north-easternmost point of the island of Cyprus,in Rizokarpason in the Karpass Peninsula. The monastery is an important site to the Cypriot Orthodox Church. It was once known as 'the Lourdes of Cyprus', served not by an organized community of monks but by a changing group of volunteer priests and laymen. Both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities consider the monastery a holy place. As such it is visited by many people for votive prayers.

Malta

The first reference regarding the first small chapel at Luqa dedicated to Andrew dates to 1497. This chapel contained three altars, one of them dedicated to Andrew. The painting showing "Mary with Saints Andrew and Paul" was painted by the Maltese artist Filippo Dingli. At one time, many fishermen lived in the village of Luqa, and this may be the main reason behind choosing Andrew as patron saint. The statue of Andrew was sculpted in wood by Giuseppe Scolaro in 1779. This statue underwent several restoration works including that of 1913 performed by the Maltese artist Abraham Gatt. The Martyrdom of Saint Andrew on the main altar of the church was painted by Mattia Preti in 1687.

Romania

The official stance of the Romanian Orthodox Church is that Andrew preached the Gospel to the Daco-Romans in the province of Dobruja (Scythia Minor), whom he is said to have converted to Christianity. There have been some ancient Christian symbols found carved in a cave near Murfatlar. This have been used for propaganda purposes in the communist era as part of the protochronism ideology, which purports that the Orthodox Church has been a companion and defender of the Romanian people for all of its history. This theory is largely dismissed by scholars and researchers including George Alexandrou

According to Alexandrou research, St. Andrew spent 20 years on the Dacian territories preaching and teaching. Alexandrou also supposed that St. Andrews felt very close to the Dacians because they were monotheists. During that period St. Andrew traveled around the Danube territories and along the coast of the Black Sea, but mostly he was in and around his cave in Dobruja (located in the vicinity of the Ion Corvin village). St. Andrew's cave is still kept as a holy place. Later, John Cassian (360-435), Dionysius Exiguus (470-574) and Joannes Maxentius (leader of the so-called Scythian Monks) lived in the same area known as Scythia Minor or Dobruja, in South East Romania.

There are many traditions without religious meaning connected to St. Andrew day, some of them having their origin on the Roman celebrations of Saturn. The Dacian New Year took place from the 14th of November until the 7th of December, this was the interval when time began its course. One of the elements that came from the Roman and Thracian celebrations was one about wolves. During this night, the wolves are allowed to eat all the animals they want. It is said that they can speak, too, but anyone that hears them will die soon. Early on St. Andrew's day, the mothers go into the garden and pick tree branches, especially from apple trees, pear trees, cherry trees, but also rosebush branches. They make a bunch of branches for each family member. The one whose bunch will bloom by New Year's Day will be lucky and healthy next year. The best known tradition connected to this night is the one about matrimony and premonitory dreams. Single girls must put under their pillow a branch of sweet basil. If someone takes the plants in their dreams, that means the girl will marry soon. They can also plant wheat in a dish and water it until New Year's day. The nicer the wheat looks that day, the better the year to come. All these traditions have no religious meaning, but they are approached during St.Andrew day.,

Ukraine, Romania, and Russia

Early Christian History in Ukraine holds that the apostle Andrew is said to have preached on the southern borders of modern-day Ukraine, along the Black Sea. Legend has it that he travelled up the Dnieper River and reached the future location of Kiev, where he erected a cross on the site where the St. Andrew's Church of Kiev currently stands, and prophesied the foundation of a great Christian city, Jerusalem of the Russian/Ukrainian land.

It was in the obvious interest of Kievan Rus' and its later Russian and Ukraninian successors, striving in numerous ways to link themselves with the political and religious heritage of Byzantium, to claim such a direct visit from the famous. Claiming direct lineage from St. Andrew also had the effect of disregarding any theological leanings of Greek Orthodoxy over which disagreement arose, since the actual "indirect" proselytising via Byzantium was bypassed altogether. Still, as the same source quotes , Andrew only preached to the southern shore of the Black Sea (current Turkey).

Scotland

About the middle of the 10th century, Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland. Several legends state that the relics of Andrew were brought by divine guidance from Constantinople to the place where the modern town of St Andrews stands today (Gaelic, Cill Rimhinn).

The oldest surviving manuscripts are two: one is among the manuscripts collected by Jean-Baptiste Colbert and willed to Louis XIV of France, now in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, the other in the Harleian Mss in the British Library, London. They state that the relics of Andrew were brought by one Regulus to the Pictish king Oengus mac Fergusa (729–761). The only historical Regulus (Riagail or Rule) (whose name is preserved in the tower of St Rule was an Irish monk expelled from Ireland with Saint Columba; his dates, however, are c 573 – 600. There are good reasons for supposing that the relics were originally in the collection of Acca, bishop of Hexham, who took them into Pictish country when he was driven from Hexham (c. 732), and founded a see, not, according to tradition, in Galloway, but on the site of St Andrews. The connection made with Regulus is, therefore, due in all probability to the desire to date the foundation of the church at St Andrews as early as possible.

According to legend, in 832 AD, Oengus II led an army of Picts and Scots into battle against the Angles, led by Aethelstan, near modern-day Athelstaneford, East Lothian. The legend states that he was heavily outnumbered and hence whilst engaged in prayer on the eve of battle, Oengus vowed that if granted victory he would appoint Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland. On the morning of battle white clouds forming an X shape in the sky were said to have appeared. Oengus and his combined force, emboldened by this apparent divine intervention, took to the field and despite being inferior in numbers were victorious. Having interpreted the cloud phenomenon as representing the crux decussata upon which Saint Andrew was crucified, Oengus honoured his pre-battle pledge and duly appointed Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland. The white saltire set against a celestial blue background is said to have been adopted as the design of the flag of Scotland on the basis of this legend. However, there is evidence Andrew was venerated in Scotland before this.

Andrew's connection with Scotland may have been reinforced following the Synod of Whitby, when the Celtic Church felt that Columba had been "outranked" by Peter and that Peter's brother would make a higher ranking patron. The 1320 Declaration of Arbroath cites Scotland's conversion to Christianity by Andrew, "the first to be an Apostle". Numerous parish churches in the Church of Scotland and congregations of other Christian churches in Scotland are named after Andrew. The national church of the Scottish people in Rome, Sant'Andrea degli Scozzesi is dedicated to St Andrew.

A local superstition uses the cross of Saint Andrew as a hex sign on the fireplaces in northern England and Scotland to prevent witches from flying down the chimney and entering the house to do mischief. By placing the St Andrew's cross on one of the fireplace posts or lintels, witches are prevented from entering through this opening. In this case, it is similar to the use of a witch ball, although the cross will activily prevent witches from entering, and the witch ball will passively delay or entice the witch, and perhaps entrap it.

Legacy

Andrew is the patron saint of Barbados, Scotland, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Patras in Greece, Amalfi in Italy, Luqa in Malta, and Esgueira in Portugal. He was also the patron saint of Prussia and of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The flag of Scotland (and consequently the Union Flag which also features on the flags of Australia, New Zealand and the arms and flag of Nova Scotia) feature St Andrew's saltire cross. The saltire is also the flag of Tenerife, the flag of Galicia and the naval jack of Russia. The Confederate flag also features a saltire commonly referred to as a St Andrew's cross, although its designer, William Porcher Miles, said he changed it from an upright cross to a saltire so that it would not be a religious symbol but merely a heraldic device. The Florida and Alabama flags also show that device.

The feast of Andrew is observed on November 30 in both the Eastern and Western churches, and is the national day of Scotland. In the traditional liturgical books of the Catholic Church, the feast of St. Andrew is the first feast day in the Proper of Saints.

The text in this box was generated from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the CC-BY-SA.

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