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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Monthly Archives: November 2018
Friday

Many peoples and nations claim a direct connection to St. Andrew the Apostle. He is said to have been martyred by crucifixion in Greece. Several legends state that his relics were venerated in Constantinople and then made their way to Scotland, Italy, Poland, and Ukraine. In 1964, in a gesture of good will, Pope Paul VI ordered all the relics of St. Andrew in Vatican City to be sent to the Greek Orthodox Church in Patras.

What we do know about St. Andrew from Christian tradition is that he was born in Galilee around 6 B.C. and that he was the brother of Simon Peter. The Orthodox Church calls him “the First-Called” because, as the Gospel of John relates, Andrew recognized Jesus as the Messiah and rushed to tell his brother, Peter.

Both he and Peter were fishermen by trade. They lived on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in the small fishing village of Capernaum. Jesus was invited to their house and cured Peter’s mother-in-law. Jesus may have stayed with them in the same house.

Andrew is present on some important occasions in the Gospels. He told Jesus about the boy with a few loaves and fishes, and when Philip wanted to tell Jesus about certain Greeks who wanted to talk with him, Philip approached Andrew first. Andrew was present at the Last Supper and was one of the four disciples who came to Jesus on the Mount of Olives to ask about Jesus’ return at the “end of the age.”

After Jesus’ ascension into heaven and the life-changing gift of the Holy Spirit, Andrew is said to have preached in modern-day Greece. Another source adds that Andrew preached along the Black Sea as far as Kiev. Because of this tradition, he is the patron saint of the Ukraine, Romania, and Russia.

The iconography of the martyrdom of Andrew shows him bound to an X-shaped cross, having given instructions to his executioners that he was not worthy to be crucified in an upright manner as Jesus was. The Scottish flag depicts this tradition.

Perhaps the best lesson from this feast day is what we can learn from the call of Andrew and his brother, Peter. In Matthew’s Gospel, Peter and Andrew are working by the seashore when Jesus calls them. Instead of waiting for another day or another time, they immediately put down their nets and follow the Lord. It brings up the big question, “What are we putting off in our own lives?”

Tomorrow is mystery. Yesterday is history. Today is the time to act. Good St. Andrew, pray for us.

Father Kevin MacDonald, C.Ss.R.