The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called
The Feast of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First Called is November 30th. Our Community chose Saint Andrew as its patron saint because the first organizational meeting of our Parish was held on his Feast Day, November 30, 1979. The Patron Icon of St. Andrew, enshrined in the narthex of the Church, is a unique composition that exists nowhere else in sacred art. Iconographer Xenia Pokrovsky designed and wrote this sacred icon in egg-tempera. It depicts St. Andrew’s missionary work in the cities of Syria, from which the ancestors of many of our parishioners emigrated.
Saint Andrew was the son of Jonah and brother of Peter, born in Bethsaida, and a fisherman by profession. He was first a disciple of St. John the Baptist, but, when John pointed to the Lord Jesus and said:”Behold, the Lamb of God” (John 1:36), St. Andrew left his first teacher and followed Christ. After that, Andrew brought his brother Peter to the Lord.
After the descent of the Holy Spirit, it fell to the lot of the First-called of Christ’s Apostles, St. Andrew, to preach the Gospel in Byzantium and Thrace, then in the lands along the Danube, in Russia, and around the Black Sea, and finally in Epirus, Greece, and the Peloponnese, where he suffered persecution. In Byzantium, he installed St. Stachys as its first bishop; in Kiev he raised the Cross on high and prophesied a Christian future for the Russian people; in Thrace, Epirus, Greece, and the Peloponnese, he brought many people to the Faith and gave them bishops and priests. In the city of Patras he performed many wonders in the name of Christ and brought many to the Lord, among whom were the brother and wife of the imperial governor, Aegeatus.
Aegeatus, infuriated by this, put Andrew to torture and then crucified him. While he was still alive on the cross, the Apostle of Christ taught the Christians who were gathered round him. The people wanted to take him down from the cross, but he would not let them. Finally, the Apostle prayed to God, and a strange radiance surrounded him. This light lasted for half an hour and, when it disappeared, the Apostle gave his holy soul into God’s hands. Thus the first-called Apostle, who first of the twelve Great Apostles came to know the Lord and follow Him, finished his earthly course. St. Andrew suffered for the Lord in the year 62 A.D. His relics were translated to Constantinople, but his head was later taken to Rome and one hand to Moscow.
Taken from the Prologue from Ochrid by Bishop Nicholai Velmirovich and translated by Mother Maria. S
St. Andrew is the Patron Saint of Greece, Russia, Romania, Scotland and Luxembourg.
“O ANDREW, THE FIRST-CALLED OF THE APOSTLES AND BROTHER OF THE FOREMOST DISCIPLE, ENTREAT THE MASTER OF ALL TO GRANT PEACE TO THE WORLD AND TO OUR SOULS GREAT MERCY” -TROPARION OF ST. ANDREW