Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Saint Andrew (Greek: Andreas, "manly"), the Christian Apostle, brother of Saint Peter, was born at Bethsaida on the Lake of Galilee. 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).
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 book Acts of Andrew, mentioned by Eusebius, Epiphanius and others, is generally attributed to Leucius the Gnostic. It was edited and published by Constantin von Tischendorf in the Acta Apostolorum apocrypha (Leipzig, 1821). This book, as well as a Gospel of St Andrew, was declared apocryphal by a decree of Pope Gelasius. Another version of the Andrew legend is found in the Passio Andreae, published by Max Bonnet (Supplementum II Codicis apocryphi, Paris, 1895).
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 oldest stories (preserved in the Colbertine manuscripts in Paris, and the Harleian MSS. in the British Library) state that the relics were brought by one Regulus to the Pictish king Angus (or Ungus) Macfergus (c. 731-761). The only historical Regulus (Riagail or Rule, whose 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 Pictland 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 specially 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.
St. Andrew's Day is observed on November 30 in both the Eastern and Western churches.
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