St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle

Commemorated November 30/December 13

    

St. Andrew the First-called — given this title because he was the first Apostle to follow our Lord — was a fisherman from Bethsaida.

A disciple of St. John the Forerunner and brother to St. Peter, St. Andrew responded to the call of Christ with tremendous vigor. In the Gospel of John, we see Andrew respond to The Forerunner’s declaration “Behold the Lamb of God!” by leaving John to follow Christ, and telling his brother Peter that they had found The Messiah.

After following Christ during His earthly ministry, beholding Him after His resurrection, and receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, St. Andrew heeded Our Lord’s commandment to preach the Gospel in all the world and baptize the nations in a most literal and spectacular fashion.

During his missionary travels he preached the Gospel from Judea to Palestine; from Antioch to the town of Byzantium (which would later become Constantinople); from Georgia to Armenia, performing miracles and preaching to small groups, converting lands to the Christian faith wherever he would go. And this was only his first missionary trip!

On subsequent missionary trips, he brought the true faith through Pakistan and Afghanistan, up into Russia, among other places, coming to a stop in Romania, where he lived in a cave for 20 years. Some have speculated he stopped in Romania for such a long time because he felt a great kinship with and acceptance by the Romanian people. In many lands the preaching of the Gospel was not received warmly, and those preaching it were often treated harshly or driven out. St. Andrew suffered many hardships and persecutions for the Gospel in various lands. But the Romanian people were already monotheists, their clergy practiced celibacy and vegetarianism, and they didn’t keep slaves, so they perhaps received the Gospel more readily than others, and converted to Christianity happily, seeing it as the fulfillment of their own religion.

St. Andrew’s missionary endeavors eventually brought him to Patras, where he performed many miracles and converted many more to Christ, including the family of the Proconsul Aegeates. Infuriated by this, the Proconsul had St. Andrew tortured and crucified on an X-shaped cross. While on the cross, St. Andrew continued to preach for two days to those who were observing. And while he was praying, nearing death, a vibrant light enveloped him for a whole half hour, until he finally gave up his spirit.

Do you see how God draws near to those of the most humble station, to simple fishermen, and through them performs works of unutterable wonder? How he bestows upon them who answer His call such radiant gifts, and inspires in them a love for men that burns so intensely as to dedicate their lives to denying themselves, living instead to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even unto torturous, martyric death? Glory be to our God!

St. Ambrose of Milan once wrote: “We believe fishermen, not dialecticians.” God has declared a kinship with the humble, the lowly, the poor, and the meek, deciding to speak to the world through them. He has called us all to become those things ourselves, so as to be drawn into His life of humility, self-abasement, and love.

Through the prayers of St. Andrew the First-called Apostle, may we also find the strength to answer His call.

O Andrew first-called of the apostles, Brother of Peter the first-enthroned, intercede with the Master of all to grant peace to the world and great mercy to our souls. —Apolytikion

Let us acclaim the namesake of courage, that herald of things divine, the first-called of the Savior’s disciples, and the kinsman of Peter; for as he formerly cried out to him, so doth he now to us: Come, we have found the Desired One. —Kontakion

See also
Unremitting zeal for the preservation of the grace of the Holy Spirit. Instruction on November 30, the feast of the Apostle Andrew the First-Called Unremitting zeal for the preservation of the grace of the Holy Spirit. Instruction on November 30, the feast of the Apostle Andrew the First-Called
Bishop Vissarion (Nechaev)
Unremitting zeal for the preservation of the grace of the Holy Spirit. Instruction on November 30, the feast of the Apostle Andrew the First-Called Unremitting zeal for the preservation of the grace of the Holy Spirit. Instruction on November 30, the feast of the Apostle Andrew the First-Called
Bishop Vissarion (Nechaev)
Today we celebrate the memory of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called. This Apostle means very much to the Russian Church. There is tradition that says that during the course of his apostolic journeys, he reached the hills of Kiev and erected a cross there, blessed the people, and pronounced a prophecy: “On these hills will shine forth the grace of God, and a great city will be created here, and the Lord will raise up many churches in it.”
Anton Pospelov. The Cross of the Apostle Andrew in Moscow Anton Pospelov. The Cross of the Apostle Andrew in Moscow Anton Pospelov. The Cross of the Apostle Andrew in Moscow Anton Pospelov. The Cross of the Apostle Andrew in Moscow
From July 19–25, 2013, the Cross of the Apostle Andrew the First Called is placed for veneration in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. This sacred treasure of Christianity was brought from Greece for the celebration of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia. It is believed that the Apostle Andrew visited what is now Kiev, and possibly other places in Russia. As tradition has it, St. Andrew stood on the hills of Kiev and prophesied that this would be a great Christian nation. Anton Pospelev of Pravoslavie.ru presents his photo reportage of this event.
Homily on the Day of the All-Praised Apostle Andrew the First Called. Man’s true, Eternal Riches Homily on the Day of the All-Praised Apostle Andrew the First Called. Man’s true, Eternal Riches
St. John of Kronstadt
Homily on the Day of the All-Praised Apostle Andrew the First Called. Man’s true, Eternal Riches Homily on the Day of the All-Praised Apostle Andrew the First Called. Man’s true, Eternal Riches
St. John of Kronstadt
This is what it means to possess all things. Truly, having nothing on earth and no passionate attachment to anything earthly, the Apostles possessed everything—all spiritual riches, all spiritual power; all spiritual consolation. They counted everything earthly as rubbish, dust, and vanishing smoke, because they had God Himself living in them, working countless miracles through them and saving through them a countless multitude of people.
The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew
Nun Nectaria (McLees)
The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew
Part 3
Nun Nectaria (McLees)
Also, he had a sense of humor. For example, some of the sources say that when he first saw the saunas of the Slavs in what is now Novgorod he wrote letters to friends saying, “These Slavs are such strange people; they torture themselves with birch branches.” He was laughing about it. You cannot imagine him as a master of strictness. He was a humorous man, very humble, very easy. As a Mediterranean person he was surprised by these strange traditions. Of course, he was also a man who had seen many things.
The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew
Nun Nectaria (McLees)
The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew
Part 2
Nun Nectaria (McLees), George Alexandrou
After the dormition of the Mother of God, St. Andrew began his final journey from Jerusalem. The trail of tradition says that he went back to Pontus, then to Georgia, to the Caucuses, and to the Sea of Azov in southern Russia. From there he went to Donets, to the Crimea, up the Dnepr River to Kiev and to the Scythians of the Ukraine. In the Crimea, where he stayed with the Greeks of Sebastopol and Cherson, we know that there were first-century Christian communities organized by St. Andrew himself. From the Crimea and Kiev in the Ukraine, he would have gone north by river to what is now Moscow, to Novgorod and then to Lake Ladoga (Valaam).
The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew
Nun Nectaria (McLees)
The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew
Part 1
Nun Nectaria (McLees), George Alexandrou
The most important thing is that these puzzle pieces – the separate local traditions of Bulgaria, Romania, Ethiopia, of the Aramaic people, the Syrians, the Copts, even the Greek and Roman church traditions all fit together, but you have to follow them step by step to recreate his life. Finally, I had only one piece that I couldn’t fit, even as a possibility: the Declaration of Arbroath, the fourteenth-century Scottish declaration of independence from England which says that the Scots were taught the Christian faith by St. Andrew himself. Historians dismiss this, but I have to point out that his presence there was not physically impossible.
Comments
James C. Conner12/14/2014 3:58 am
I guess you know what you are doing by printing articles by a supporter of the Acton Institute,and an unrepentant devotee of Ayn Rand,on an Orthodox website.
Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 700 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook , or enter your information:
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 700

×