Saint Andrew

From Academic Kids

Saint Andrew (Greek: Andreas, "manly"), called in the Orthodox tradition Protocletos, or the First-called, is the Christian Apostle, brother of Saint Peter.

Andrew was born at Bethsaida on the Lake of Galilee. Since he was a Jew, Andreas was almost certainly not his given name, but no Hebrew or Aramaic name is recorded for him. He had been a disciple of John the Baptist (John 1:37-40) and was one of the first to follow Jesus. He lived at Capernaum (Mark 1:29). In the gospel story he is referred to as being present on some important occasions as one of the disciples more closely attached to Jesus (Mark 13:3; John 6:8, 12:22); in Acts there is only a bare mention of him (1:13).

Missing image
The Kievan hill where St. Andrew is said to have erected the cross is commemorated by the cathedral dedicated in his name.

Eusebius quotes Origen as saying Andrew preached in Asia Minor and in Scythia, along the Black Sea as far as the Volga. Hence he became a patron saint of Romania and Russia. Traditionally, he was the first bishop of Byzantium, a position which would later become Patriarch of Constantinople.

He is said to have suffered crucifixion at Patras (Patrae) in Achaea, on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross) and commonly known as "St Andrew's cross". According to tradition his relics were removed from Patras to Constantinople, and thence to St Andrews (see below).

The apocryphal Acts of Andrew, mentioned by Eusebius, Epiphanius and others, is among a disparate group Acts of Apostles that were traditionally attributed to Leucius Charinus. "These Acts may be the latest of the five leading apostolic romances. They belong to the third century: ca. A.D. 260," was the opinion of C.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).

Andrew is represented in art as an old man with long white hair and a beard, holding the Gospel in his right hand, and leaning on his characteristic saltire cross.


Scottish legends

About the middle of the 8th century, Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland. Concerning this there are several legends which state that the relics of Andrew were brought under supernatural guidance from Constantinople to the place where the modern St Andrews stands (Pictish, Muckross; Gaelic, Kilrymont).

The Saltire (or "St Andrew's Cross") is the national flag of Scotland.
The Saltire (or "St Andrew's Cross") is the national flag of Scotland.

The oldest surviving accounts are two: one among the manuscripts collected by Colbert and willed to the King, now in the Bibliothque 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 Angus (or Ungus) Macfergus (c. 731-761). The only historical Regulus (Riagail or Rule)—name is preserved by the tower of St Rule— was an Irish monk expelled from Ireland with St Columba; his date, however, is 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 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.

Another legend says that in the late 8th century, during a joint battle with the English, King Oengus mac Fergus of the Picts and King Eochaid IV of Dalriada, saw a cloud shaped like a saltire, and declared Andrew was watching over them, and if they won by his grace, then he would be their patron saint. However, as noted above, there is evidence Andrew was venerated in Scotland before this, and the two kings in question do not appear to have ruled at the same time.

A third theory as to Andrew's connection with Scotland is that, following the Synod of Whitby, the Celtic Church felt that Columba had been "outranked" by Peter. They therefore decided that the patron of the Celtic Church would now be Peter's older brother. While a satisfying piece of folklore, there is no more evidence for this than any other theory.

The 1320 Declaration of Arbroath, which declared Scottish independence from England, cites Scotland's conversion to Christianity by St. Andrew, "the first to be an Apostle", as evidence of Scotland being held in especially high regard by God.

Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, Russia, and Romania. The flag of Scotland (and consequently the Union Flag and the arms and Flag of Nova Scotia) feature a saltire in commemoration of the shape of St. Andrew's cross.

Saint Andrew's Cross

Saint Andrew's Cross can refer to the national Flag of Scotland, a white saltire on a blue field, or the naval jack of Russia, a blue saltire on a white field. The origin of the name is because St. Andrew is a patron saint of both Russia and Scotland and he is said to have been martyred on a diagonal cross.

Saint Andrew's Cross is also a type of bondage furniture based on a diagonal cross, specifically a (usually) wooden cross in the shape of an X, with shackles or cuffs for the wrists and ankles, and often footrests as well.

Feast day

St. Andrew's Day is observed on November 30 in both the Eastern and Western churches.

External links

de:Andreas (Apostel) eo:Sankta Andreo fr:Andr (aptre) pl:Andrzej Apostoł pt:Santo Andr simple:Saint Andrew


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