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of the Day

 Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, WisconsinNovember 26, 2004 Issue 

As a fisher for Jesus, St. Andrew's first catch was his brother, St. Peter

Andrew was key in bringing people to Jesus and has been called the introducer to Christ

By Tony Staley
Compass Editor

Saint of the Day graphic

St. Andrew

When: First century AD

Where: Born in Palestine.

What: One of Jesus' first apostles.

Feast: Nov. 30

"Come after me and I will make you fishers of men." With these words at the Sea of Galilee, Jesus called Peter and Andrew to become disciples. The brothers immediately abandoned their nets and followed Jesus (Mt 4:18-20).

Mark's Gospel relates a nearly identical story of the call of Andrew and Peter (Mk 1:16-18).

But we get a different account in John's Gospel. In it, Andrew is called first and then sells his brother on the idea. (This is the account retired Green Bay Aloysius Wycislo used in his book St. Peter, Fisherman, Apostle, Missionary.)

John says the day after Jesus' baptism, John the Baptist pointed out Jesus to two of his disciples and told them: "Look! There is the Lamb of God!" Immediately, they quit following John and began following Jesus, who asked them what they were looking for. They answered: "Rabbi (which means Teacher), where do you stay?"

He invited the two - one of whom was Andrew - to follow him. An excited Andrew went looking for his brother, whom he told: "We have found the Messiah!" Andrew then led him to Jesus, who greeted him with these words: "You are Simon, son of John; your name shall be Cephas (which is rendered Peter)" (Jn 1:35-42).

Andrew had a knack for bringing people to Jesus. He's the one who brought the boy with the five barley loaves and two fishes to Jesus, who multiplied them many times to feed thousands (Jn 6:8-13).

Another time, Andrew and Philip went to Jesus to say that some Greek Jews wanted to see him (Jn 12:20-22).

Because of these events, St. Bede the Venerable (a prominent eighth century British monk and scholar) called Andrew the "introducer to Christ."

After Jesus died, Andrew is said to have preached in what is now Turkey and Greece. One tradition says he went to Byzantium and named Stachys the bishop, but this is not considered reliable. It's not certain when, where or how he died. An ancient tradition holds that he was crucified on an X-shaped cross (St. Andrew's cross - the national emblem of Scotland) at Patras, Acaia.

Andrew is the patron saint of Russia, though he probably never preached there, and of Scotland because another tradition says St. Rule brought some of his relics there in the fourth century.

This tradition says an angel led Rule to a place called St. Andrews on the North Sea in eastern Scotland, where Rule became its first bishop, evangelizing the Scots in the area for three decades. Despite St. Andrews' famous and historic golf course, Andrew is not the patron saint of golfers, who apparently have no heavenly intercessor.

(Sources: A Calendar of Saints, Dictionary of Saints, Saint of the Day and 365 Saints)

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