Andrew was a disciple of Jesus and lived from around 5 AD to 60. The name "Andrew" from the Greek means "manhood," or "valor". Greek names had been common among the Jews from the second or third century BC. St. Andrew was born in Bethsaida of Galilee, the son of Jonah and the brother of Simon Peter. St. Andrew and his brother Peter were both fishermen and it was Andrew that introduced his brother to Jesus. He was the first called of Jesus' 12 disciples. Andrew and John had both been disciples of John the Baptist and was there the day that Jesus was baptized in the Jordan. He seems to have been rather easygoing compared to his impulsive brother. Christians throughout the centuries have sought to follow the example of Andrew; by bringing Peter to Jesus he is considered the first missionary.

John the Baptist had beheld Jesus, calling Him the "Lamb of God", Andrew and John the apostle followed Jesus and called out to Him "Rabbi", which means master, a person with a profound learning of the Law. After spending the day with Jesus, Andrew immediately went to find his brother Simon and said, "We have found the Messiah". After the Baptist was thrown into prison, Jesus began his public ministry by preaching "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He said unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."

Andrew was very close to Jesus and the inner circle of three being James, Peter and John. Andrew is only mentioned a few times in the gospels, but most of the time he is introducing someone to Jesus and in a position of authority. He brought the lad with the loaves and fishes to Jesus at the feeding of the 5000, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?" There was a company of "certain Greeks" that had come to see Jesus, they first approached Philip who in turn did not go to Jesus directly but referred the matter to Andrew. When Jesus prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, it was James, John, Peter and Andrew who took Jesus aside privately to inquire of these things. Perhaps it would be more accurate to consider these disciples as the inner circle of four.

Anything more that we can say of Andrew respecting Jesus' life and beyond we can infer from the disciples collectively. He was there at the Last Supper, the crucifixion, ascension, and witnessed the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, from there his history is recorded in the annals of tradition. Andrew is said to have traveled to the land of the anthropophagi and the Scythian deserts as far as Russia in his missionary journeys, converting on the way in Amynsus, Trapezus, Heraclea, Sinope, Capadocia, Galatia, and Bithnia. Reportedly, Jews at Sinope had killed him but he was miraculously healed. He visited Neo-Caesarea, Theodoret, Nicephorus in Asia Minor, and Somosata, returning to Jerusalem, and then went to Byzantium and appointed St. Stachys as its first bishop, then to Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly and Achaia. Legends say that he also taught in Ethiopia. Aegeas, proconsul of Achaia in Greece martyred St. Andrew at Patrae, by crucifying him bound, not nailed in order to prolong his sufferings and on a cross the shape of an X, now known as the cross of St. Andrew. He was martyred during the reign of Nero, on November 30, AD 60 and celebrated on that day by both the Latin and Greek Churches.

St. Andrew's relics were taken from Patrae to Constantinople in about 357, and deposited in the Church of the Apostles. In the 13th century when the French took Constantinople, Cardinal Peter of Capua brought the relics to Italy and placed them in the cathedral of Amalfi, where the majority of them still remain.

Andrew is the patron saint of Russia and Scotland. Although the apostle never made it as far as Scotland, some of his bones were carried there, my sources don't say when. The crossed bars of the Scottish flag derive from the X shaped cross on which he died. St. Andrew's cross also formed the basis of the Union Jack when James VI of Scotland became James I of England.
[24, 329, 330, 331, 355, 363, 18, BD, 380, Matthew, Mark, John]

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