St. Andrew, Apostle
Image of Saint Andrew, taken from Secret Harbor blog
(The following is excerpted from the 30 November entry in Volume I of the 1983 Marian House edition of the English translation of Dom Prosper Guéranger's 'The Liturgical Year' by the Benedictines of Stanbrook. It includes the legend of the saint from the Roman breviary.)
"We should remember that Saint Andrew is the apostle of the cross. To Peter, Jesus has given firmness of faith; to John, warmth of love; the mission of Andrew is to represent the cross of his divine Master. Now it is by these three, faith, love, and the cross, that the Church renders herself worthy of her Spouse. Everything she has or is, bears this three-fold character. Hence it is that after the two apostles just named, there is none who holds such a prominent place in the universal liturgy as Saint Andrew."
"But let us read the life of this glorious fisherman of the lake of Genesareth, who was afterwards to be the successor of Christ Himself, and the companion of Peter, on the tree of the cross. The Church has compiled it from the ancient Acts of the martyrdom of the holy apostle, drawn up by the priests of the Church of Patras, which was founded by the saint. The authenticity of this venerable piece has been contested by Protestants, inasmuch as it makes mention of several things which would militate against them. Their sentiment has been adopted by several critics of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries....The Churches...of both east and west, which have inserted these Acts in their respective Offices of St. Andrew, are of some authority, as is also St. Bernard, who has made them the groundwork of his three admirable sermons on St. Andrew."
Andrew, the apostle, born at Bethsaida, a town of Galilee, was brother of Peter, and disciple of John the Baptist. Having heard his master say, speaking of Christ: Behold the Lamb of God! he followed Jesus, and brought [H]im his brother also. When, afterwards, he was fishing with his brother in the sea of Galilee, they were both called, before any of the other apostles, by our Lord, who, passing by, said to them: Come after me; I will make you to be fishers of men. Without delay, they left their nets and followed him.
After the Passion and the Resurrection, Andrew went to spread the faith of Christ in Scythia in Europe, which was the province assigned to him; then he traveled through Epirus and Thrace, and by his teaching and miracles converted innumerable souls to Christ. Afterwards, having reached Patras in Achaia, he persuaded many in that city to embrace the truth of the Gospel. Finding that the proconsul Aegeas resisted the preaching of the Gospel, he most freely upbraided him for that he, who desired to be considered as a judge of men, should be so far deceived by devils as not acknowledge Christ to be God, the Judge of all.
Then Aegeas being angry, said: Cease to boast of this Christ, whom such words as these kept not from being crucified by the Jews. But finding that Andrew continued boldly preaching that Christ had offered [H]imself to be crucified for the salvation of mankind, he interrupts him by an impious speech, and at length exhorts him to look to his own interest and sacrifice to the gods. Andrew answered him: I offer up every day to almighty God, who is one and true, not the flesh of oxen, nor the blood of goats, but the spotless Lamb upon the altar; of whose flesh the whole multitude of the faithful eat, and the Lamb that is sacrificed, remains whole and living. Whereupon Aegeas being exceedingly angry, orders him to be thrust into prison, whence the people would easily have freed Andrew, had he not himself appeased the multitude, begging of them, with most earnest entreaty, that they would not keep him from the long-desired crown of martyrdom, to which he was hastening.
Not long after this, he was brought before the tribunal; where he began to extol the mystery of the cross, and rebuke the judge for his impiety. Aegeas, no longer able to contain himself on hearing these words, ordered him to be hoisted on a cross, and so to die like Christ. Andrew, having been brought to the place of execution, seeing the cross at some distance, began to cry out: O good cross, made beautiful by the body of my Lord! so long desired, so anxiously loved, so unceasingly sought after, and now at last ready for my soul to enjoy! take me from amidst men, and restore me to my Master; that by thee he may receive me, who by thee redeemed me. He was therefore fastened to the cross, on which he hung alive two days, preaching without cessation the faith of Christ: after which he passed to him, whose death he had so coveted. The priests and deacons of Achaia, who wrote his passion, attest that all the things which they have recorded were heard and seen by them. His relics were first translated to Constantinople under the emperor Constantius, and afterwards to Amalfi. During the pontificate of Pius II, the head was taken to Rome, and placed in the basilica of St. Peter.