Tuesday, November 30, 1999
First Reading: Romans 10: 9-18
Psalms: Psalm 19: 2-3. 4-5
Gospel Reading: Matthew 4: 18-22
Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle
A former disciple of Saint John the Baptist, it was the Galilean Saint Andrew who introduced his brother Simon to Our Lord (cf. John 1: 40-42). Andrew first met Jesus when the Messiah was baptized by the Baptizer at the River Jordan. Because he was the first the Greeks called him the "Protoclete" or "first-called." After introducing his brother, whom Jesus called "Simon Cephas" ("Simon Peter") - the rock, both brothers followed Jesus throughout His public ministry. Fishermen by trade, Jesus promised to make them fishers of men: "Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men", (Matthew 4: 19). After the Ascension, Andrew traveled to Scythia and Greece to preach the Gospel. Tradition says he was martyred at Patras, Acaia in southern part of Greece around the year 60. He was crucified on an X-shaped cross which ultimately came to be known as St. Andrew's Cross. In 357 his relics were brought to Constantinople to reside there. It was the beginning of intense devotion to this saint within the Byzantine Church. This great devotion was one reason Pope Paul VI, in an ecumenical gesture, returned the relics to Patras in 1964 after they had resided in Amalfi, Italy since 1208 with Andrew's skull in Rome since 1462. Andrew is the patron saint of both Russia and Scotland where legend persists that Andrew was spirited to both places, as well as Poland, to preach the gospel.