Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saint Andrew`s Day

Juan de las Roelas
1560 - 1625
The Martyrdom of St Andrew c. 1612
Oil on canvas
Museo de Bellas Artes, Seville

In Patras in Greece, Andrew converted Maximilla, the wife of Aegeus the Roman Governor of Patras in the Peloponnesos, with whom he had a number of profound discussions.

Upon refusing to obey the proconsul's order to make a sacrifice to the pagan gods, Andrew was imprisoned and then bound to an X-shaped cross

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo ca.1617-1682
El martirio de San Andrés / The Martyrdom of St Andrew1675 - 1682
Oil on canvas
123 cm x 162 cm
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

On St Andrew`s Day 2006, Pope Benedict XVI said:

"This Divine Liturgy celebrated on the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Patron Saint of the Church of Constantinople, brings us back to the early Church, to the age of the Apostles.

The Gospels of Mark and Matthew relate how Jesus called the two brothers, Simon, whom Jesus calls Cephas or Peter, and Andrew: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19, Mk 1:17). The Fourth Gospel also presents Andrew as the first to be called, “ho protoklitos”, as he is known in the Byzantine tradition. It is Andrew who then brings his brother Simon to Jesus (cf. Jn 1:40f.). ...

The two brothers, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew, were fishermen whom Jesus called to become fishers of men. The Risen Lord, before his Ascension, sent them out together with the other Apostles with the mission of making all nations his disciples, baptizing them and proclaiming his teachings (cf. Mt 28:19ff.; Lk 24:47; Acts 1:8). ...

This same task, however, took on a different form for each of the brothers ...

Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, received another task from the Lord, one which his very name suggests.

As one who spoke the Greek language, he became – together with Philip – the Apostle of the encounter with the Greeks who came to Jesus (cf. Jn 12:20ff.). Tradition tells us that he was a missionary not only in Asia Minor and the territories south of the Black Sea, that is, in this very region, but also in Greece, where he suffered martyrdom.

The Apostle Andrew, therefore, represents the meeting between early Christianity and Greek culture.

This encounter, particularly in Asia Minor, became possible thanks especially to the great Cappadocian Fathers, who enriched the liturgy, theology and spirituality of both the Eastern and the Western Churches. The Christian message, like the grain of wheat (cf. Jn 12:24), fell on this land and bore much fruit.

We must be profoundly grateful for the heritage that emerged from the fruitful encounter between the Christian message and Hellenic culture. It has had an enduring impact on the Churches of East and West. The Greek Fathers have left us a store of treasure from which the Church continues to draw riches old and new (cf. Mt 13:52)."

(Address of Pope Benedict XVI at the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom on the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle 30 November 2006 at the Patriarchal Church of Saint George in the Phanar, Istanbul)