Andrew was one of Jesus’ first disciples. Unlike his brother Simon Peter, the readers of the Bible know so little of him. He became an apostle in Matthew 10 and remained as one of the Twelve even after the Lord’s death. It was said that he wrote the apocryphal text of the Acts of Andrew, and preached in the cities of Kiev and Novgorod. He was later crucified on an X-shaped cross or ‘saltire’ in the Greek city of Patras.
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Andrew and his older brother Simon Peter were born in Bethsaida (John 1:44). Both men worked as fishermen, and Jesus called them as his disciples just as they had cast their net into the sea (Matthew 4:18; Mark 1:16). John 1:40 offered a different version of Andrew’s calling as a disciple when he wrote that Andrew first found and followed Jesus. John also wrote that it was Andrew himself who led his brother Simon to Jesus.
Andrew’s name appeared on the list of disciples on all Synoptic Gospels (Matt. 10:2; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14). He was also present during one of Jesus’ most important sermons on the Mount of Olives about the signs of the end of age (Mark 13:3). It was Andrew who brought the boy with five loaves of bread and two fish to Jesus during the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:8). All twelve disciples were present during the Last Supper, but unlike the others, Andrew would only be mentioned once again in the Book of Acts (1:13).
Andrew’s Life After Jesus
Church historians filled in the gaps of Andrew’s life after the death of Jesus. Eusebius of Caesarea wrote that he went to preach in Scythia and that he later wrote the book of Acts of Andrew. He travelled further north and preached in the cities of Kiev and Novgorod. He also preached in Thrace, and later travelled south to Achaea in Greece where he was crucified on an X-shaped cross. His relics remained at the Saint Andrew of Patras Cathedral in Achaea. He is honored as the patron saint of Scotland, Russia, Ukraine, Cyprus, and Romania.
His feast day is held on the 30th of November. This day is also celebrated by Scotland as its National Day, and by Romania as the official Saint Andrew’s Day.
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Coogan, Michael David., ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Douglas, J. D., and Earle E. Cairns, eds. The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub., 1978.
Eusebius of Caesarea. Eusebius of Caesarea. Accessed November 16, 2016. http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/0265-0339,_Eusebius_Caesariensis,_Church_History,_EN.pdf.
MacRory, Joseph. “St. Andrew.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 16 Nov. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01471a.htm>.