November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015 – Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle

St. Andrew was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee, a fisherman by trade, and a former disciple of John the Baptist. He was the one who introduced his brother Peter to Jesus, saying, "We have found the Messiah." Overshadowed thereafter by his brother, Andrew appears again in the Gospels introducing souls to Christ. After Pentecost, Andrew evangelized on a wider scale, and was martyred at Patras in southern Greece on a cross in the form of an "X". This type of cross is known as "St. Andrew's cross."

St. Andrew the Apostle

Andrew, Peter's brother, and John were the first disciples to follow the Lord. The Gospel of John [1:35-42] describes their initial meeting with Jesus. Andrew did not belong to the inner circle of the apostles, Peter, James and John, and the evangelists narrate nothing extraordinary about him [John 6:8]; but tradition extols his great love for the Cross and for the Savior. The Church distinguishes him in the Mass [his name occurs in the Canon and in the Libera since the time of Pope St. Gregory I] and in the Breviary.

The story of his martyrdom comes to us from popular piety. The pagan judge exhorted him to sacrifice to the gods. Andrew replied: "I sacrifice daily to almighty God, the one, true God. Not the flesh of oxen and the blood of goats, but the unspotted Lamb upon the altar. All the faithful partake of His flesh, yet the Lamb remains unharmed and living." Angered by this reply, Aegeas commanded him to be thrown into prison. The people would have freed him, but Andrew calmed the mob and implored them not to do so.

When Andrew was led to the place of martyrdom, on seeing the cross from a distance he cried: "O good Cross, so long desired and now set up for my longing soul I confident and rejoicing come to you; exultingly receive me, a disciple of Him who hung on you." After being tied to the cross Andrew hung there for two days, unceasingly proclaiming the doctrine of Christ until his death.

Adapted Excerpt from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

He is the patron saint of: Scotland; Russia; Barbados; Ukraine; Sicily; Greece; Cyprus; Romania; fishermen; textile workers; singers; miners; pregnant women; butchers; farm workers.

Prayer for the Feast of Saint Andrew

We humbly entreat Thy majesty, O Lord, that as the blessed Apostle Andrew was once a teacher and ruler of Thy Church: so he may be a constant advocate for us before Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

St. Andrew Prayer

O Christ, our Lord,
Who didst beautify the most blessed Andrew
with the grace of apostleship,
and the crown of martyrdom,
by granting to him this special gift,
that by preaching the mystery of the cross,
he should merit death on the cross;
grant us to become most true lovers of Thy holy cross,
and denying ourselves,
to take up our cross
and follow Thee;
that by sharing Thy sufferings in this life,
we may deserve the happiness
of obtaining life everlasting. Amen.

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