October 20, 2020

St Andrew’s Day is Sat 30 Nov

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standrewWho was he? What do we know from the Bible?

Well we just learnt from the reading that Andrew was a Galilean fisherman working in the Black Sea before he and his brother Simon Peter became disciples of Jesus Christ. You will now become fishers of men Jesus said.

Andrew is known as the “Protocletus” (the First Called) because he was the first Apostle to be summoned by Jesus into His service.

In John’s Gospel we learn he was a disciple of John the Baptist but after hearing John say “Behold the Lamb of God!” when the Baptist met Jesus he readily accepted Jesus’ command to “follow me”.

Again in John’s Gospel it was Andrew who immediately then went and found his brother Peter to share with him the good news.

He suggested to Christ the option of the five loaves and two fish for Christ to feed the Five Thousand (John 6:8-9) But he didn’t understand Jesus’ power when he immediately asked Jesus “but what are they among so many?”

He told Jesus that the Greeks wanted to see Him. He now knew that Christ can work with whatever is put before Him. –

And in Acts we learn he attended the Upper Room Prayer Meeting and received the Holy Spirit.

He was crucified by the Romans on an X-shaped cross at Patras in Greece and, hundreds of years later, his remains were moved to Constantinople and then, in the 13th century, to Amalfi in southern Italy where they are kept to this day.

Now legend:

Legend has it that a Greek monk known as St Rule or St Regulus was ordered in a vision to take a few relics of Andrew to the ‘ends of the earth’ for safe keeping. He set off on a sea journey to eventually come ashore on the coast of Fife in Scotland at a settlement which is now the modern town of St Andrews.

st-andrews-cross-flag-1026136-mIn 832 AD Andrew is said to have appeared in a vision to a Pictish king the night before a battle against the Northumbrians in what is now the village of Athelstaneford in East Lothian. On the day of the battle a Saltire, an X-shaped cross, appeared in the sky above the battlefield and the Picts were victorious.

The Saltire, or Saint Andrew’s Cross, was subsequently adopted as the national emblem and flag of the Scots.

Andrew was first recognised as an official patron saint of Scotland in 1320 at the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath an appeal to the Pope by Scottish noblemen asserting Scotland’s independence from England.

The presence of Andrew’s relics in Scotland – a tooth, a kneecap, arm and finger bones – meant that St Andrews became a popular medieval pilgrimage site although they were destroyed in the 16th century during the Scottish Reformation.

In 1879 the Archbishop of Amalfi gifted Andrew’s shoulder blade to St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh. Pope Paul VI donated further relics in 1969.

Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Russia, Romania, and Barbados.

Saint Andrew is celebrated in a number of Barbadian symbols including the cross formation of the Barbadian Coat of Arms, and the country’s national honours system which styles persons as Knights or Dames of St. Andrew

November 30th is of course Barbados Independence Day. The order of St Andrew is Barbados’ highest national award.

His patronage extends to fishmongers, gout, singers, sore throats, spinsters, maidens, old maids and women wishing to become mothers.

He is also patron saint for persons suffering from gout!

I had gout – a very bad attack as I was writing this. It was so bad I couldn’t put a sock on let alone wear a shoe. My big toe was at least a third bigger than normal and bright red. I hope you are feeling sorry for me.

It came then as a huge surprise to know he could cure gout. So I gave it a try. I asked him to relieve me of my gout.  The next morning when I awoke. I was completely free of the gout. Not only no pain but no sign it had ever attacked me. My big toe was normal and not one shade of red could be seen.

If you don’t believe me I have four witnesses to it from the day I had the gout and the next day.

So what do we learn from St Andrew apart from he can cure gout immediately?

Obedience is one. He followed Jesus’ command not considering that he is leaving his only source of income.

He wanted to share Jesus’ good news and he immediately told his brother Peter and wasn’t jealous of Peter when Jesus said Peter was the one chosen to be His rock even though he was the Jesus’ first disciple.

How many times have we been hurt and jealous when we have been the one to bring others into a meeting, a job, etc and that person is the preferred one?

Andrew was a man of immediate trust. He didn’t waste time trying to debate what to do.

 

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