Saint Andrew, Apostle
Andrew the Apostle (RM)
(also known as Andreas, Endres)
1st century; feast day formerly on November 3; feast of his translation, May 9. Andrew was a worrier, or so it seems, who concentrated on details. He wanted to know where Jesus lived (John 1:38), how they were going to feed a crowd (John 6:9), and when Jerusalem would be destroyed (Mark 13:4).
Born at Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee, Andrew was a fisherman, the son of the fisherman John, and the brother of the fisherman Simon Peter. It's no wonder then that Jesus called Andrew to be a fisher of men (Mark 1:16-18). Jesus stayed with the brothers at their second home in Caparnaum (Mark 1:29), so they must have been prosperous fishermen, which makes their commitment even more amazing.
It's appropriate that we celebrate Saint Andrew's feast at the beginning of Advent because he was first a disciple of John the Baptist, and, when he met the Lord of Creation at Jesus' baptism in the Jordan, he became Jesus' first disciple (John 1:29-40). Let's ask Saint Andrew to bring us anew to the Lord as he also brought his brother Peter (John 1:41-42). For a time Andrew and Simon followed Jesus intermittently, but when the Savior returned to Galilee, he called them from fishing into ministry and they "dropped their nets immediately and followed Him (Matt. 4:20) (may we, too, as quickly drop our work to follow when the Lord calls). They left their families, their business, and their possessions.
With Philip, he presented the Gentiles to Christ (John 12:20-22) and pointed out the boy with the loaves and fishes (John 6:8). After the Pentecost he is said to have preached the gospel in many regions, including Scythia (according to Eusebius), Epirus (according to Saint Gregory Nazianzen), or Achaia (per Saint Jerome). An ancient legend preserved in the Old English poem Andreas (once attributed to Cynewulf) has him preaching in Ethiopia. A later dubious tradition has him going to Byzantium, where he appointed Saint Stachys bishop.
Andrew is one of the few early disciples of Jesus about whom there are few legends. Rather than miraculous legends the story of Saint Andrew is the story of the Apostles. We always want extraordinary saints, and we are surprised to find that even among the Apostles there was one whose life was without miracles. Most saints have lived a simple, everyday life, sometimes miraculous, but only sometimes. Saint Andrew is just another indication that we, too, can live a simple, everyday life and still be saints. We, too, can live a life that is hidden in God and in His Church.
It's uncertain where and how he died except that it was somewhere near the Black Sea, but an ancient tradition (4th century Acta) says he was crucified at Patras in Achaia on an X- shaped cross (now known as a Saint Andrew's Cross). This tradition tells us that the proconsul tied him to the cross where he remained for several days preaching to all who came to watch the execution. And the tradition of his martyrdom at Patras was based on an early medieval forgery, strengthened by the translation of his alleged relics from Patras. The forgery was intended to provide a counterweight to Rome's more solid claim to the relics of Saints Peter and Paul.
There is an unfounded tradition that he preached in Russia, reaching as far as Kiev in the Ukraine, from where the conversion of the country spread in the 11th century. He is also considered to be a patron of Scotland, where another tradition says some of his relics where brought in the 4th century in consequence of a dream of Saint Rule (Regulus), who was custodian of Andrew's relics at Patras. Reportedly an angel guided Rule to a place called Saint Andrew's, where Regulus built a church to house the relics, became its first bishop, and evangelized the Scots in the area for three decades. The church became a center of pilgrimage.
Crusaders stole Andrew's alleged body in 1210 and took them to Amalfi, which still claims the relics. The head, considered one of the treasures of Saint Peter's, was given to Pope Pius II by the despot Thomas Palaeologus in 1461, but was returned to Constantinople by Pope Paul VI.
Andrew's feast was universal in the West from the 6th century. There are church dedications in his honor from early times in France, Italy, and England (at Rochester as early as 637). (Attwater, Attwater 2, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, White).
Saint Andrew is generally pictured as an old man, generally with a book and transverse or saltire cross. Sometimes the image may contain (1) fish or a fishing net; (2) rope; (3) Andrew sitting in a boat (Roeder). In the most ancient images, he is depicted with a normal Latin cross. The X-cross was associated with him from the 10th century at Autun, but became common only in the 14th century (Farmer). There are several images available on the Internet:
Anonymous Greek icon
Saint Andrew the First-Called (anonymous Russian icon)
Saint Andrew the First-Called (by Lionda)
He is the patron of Avranches, Brabant, Brunswick, Burgundy, Holstein, Luxembourg, Minden, Pesaro, Yetminster, Russia, Scotland, and Greece. He is the protector of fishermen, fishmongers, and sailors. He is invoked against gout and stiff-neck (Delaney, Roeder).
Blessed Andrew of Antioch, OSA (AC)
Born in Antioch, Syria, 1268; died at Annecy, March 27, 1348. A descendent of the Norman Robert Guiscard, Blessed Andrew became a canon regular of Saint Augustine at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. He was sent to Europe to collect funds for the Eastern houses of his order. In this quest he died at Annecy, Savoy, with a great reputation for holiness (Attwater 2, Benedictines).
Arnold of Gemblours, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died 1155. Saint Arnold was a Benedictine of the abbey of Saint Nicasius at Rheims when he was appointed abbot of Gemblours (Benedictines).
Castulus & Euprepis MM (RM)
Dates unknown. Roman martyrs about whom nothing is known (Benedictines).
Constantius of Rome (RM)
5th century. A Roman priest who strongly opposed the Pelagians, at whose hands he had much to endure (Benedictines).
Cuthbert Mayne M (AC)
Born at Youlston (near Barnstaple), Devonshire, England, 1544; died 1577; beatified in 1886; canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales (general feast day is October 25); feast day was November 29.
Saint Cuthbert was raised as a Protestant by his uncle, a schismatic priest. His elementary education was provided at the Barnstaple Grammar School. He himself was ordained a Protestant minister when he was about 19 without an inclination or preparation for the role.
Cuthbert studied at Saint John's, Oxford, where he received his master's degree and met the still-Protestant Saint Edmund Campion. Like many converts to Catholicism, Cuthbert Mayne hesitated out of fear--of rejection by family and friends, of losing his appointments and falling into poverty--although his was convicted of its truth. At the urging of Campion, Mayne became a Catholic in 1570 (age 26) (another source says 1573 at Douai). He was forced to flee England when letters from Campion at Douai were intercepted by the bishop of London, who ordered the arrest of all mentioned in the letter. He went to the English College at Douai, which was founded in 1568, to study for the priesthood. He received his bachelor's degree in theology and was ordained there in 1575. The following year he was sent back to England with Saint John Payne to preach in the mission.
He became estate steward of Francis Tregian at Golden, Cornwall, and was arrested the following year with Tregian after the high sheriff, Richard Grenville searched Tregian's mansion and found Mayne with an agnus Dei around his neck. Mayne was taken to Launceston, thrown into a filthy prison, and chained to the bedpost.
At Launceston assizes during Michelmas, he was found guilty of having obtained from Rome and published at Golden a "faculty containing matter of absolution" of the Queen's subjects. (What they had actually found was an outdated announcement of the jubilee indulgence of 1575 published at Douai.) He was also charged with having celebrated Mass, because they found a missal, chalice, and vestments at Golden. But at the direction of Justice Manwood, after consultation with Grenville, the jury found him guilty of violating statutes 1 and 13 of Elizabeth and sentenced him to death. Several gentlemen, including Tregian, and their three yeomen were charged with abetting Mayne and sentenced to perpetual imprisonment and forfeiture of their property.
The circumstances were such that a majority of the judges of the country, gathered at Serjeants' Inn to reconsider the case, thought the conviction could not stand. But the Privy Council directed that the sentence be executed as a warning to priests coming from the Continent.
The day before his scheduled execution, Mayne was offered his liberty in exchange for his oath that the queen possessed ecclesiastical supremacy. He asked for a Bible, kissed it, and said: "The queen neither ever was nor is nor ever shall be the head of the Church of England." At the marketplace before his execution, Cuthbert Mayne aws not given the opportunity to address the crowd from the scaffold. When invited to implicate Tregian and his brother-in-law, Sir John Arundell, the saint replied: "I know nothing of them except that they are good and pious men; and of the things laid to my charge no one but myself has any knowledge."
Thus, Cuthbert was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Launceston on November 25 on the charge of treason because he was a priest who refused to accept the supremacy of Queen Elizabeth I in ecclesiastical matters. He was cut down before he died, but was probably unconscious before the disembowelling began. He was the first Englishman trained for the priesthood at Douai to be martyred (at that time the penal code distinguished between priests trained on the Continent and those "Marian priests," who had been ordained in England). For this reason, Cuthbert Mayne is the protomartyr of English seminaries. His feast is kept at Plymouth and in several other English dioceses (Attwater, Attwater 2, Benedictines, Delaney, Walsh).
Blessed Joscius Roseus of St-Bertin, OSB (AC)
(also known as Josbert, Valbebertus)
Died 1186. The Benedictine monk Joscius of Saint-Bertin (Saint Omer) in the diocese of Arras had a great devotion to the Ave Maria. It is said that at his death roses grew from his mouth and the name of Mary was written on the leaves of one of the roses (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). (Rosary = roses, get it ?) Blessed Joscius is represented in art as a Benedictine with roses sprouting from his mouth, ears, and eyes. "Maria" is written in a ray of light near him. He is venerated at Saint-Omer (Roeder).
Joseph Marchand M (AC)
Born at Passavant (diocese of Besançon), France; died 1835; beatified in 1900; canonized in 1988 as one of the Martyrs of Vietnam. Joseph completed his theological studies at the seminary of Paris Society of Foreign Missions, was ordained, and sent to Annam. He was arrested at Saigon where he died while the flesh was being torn from his body with red-hot tongs (Attwater 2, Benedictines).
Justina of Constantinople VM (RM)
Dates unknown. A maiden martyred at Constantinople (Benedictines).
Maura of Constantinople VM (RM)
Dates unknown. The virgin Maura was martyred at Constantinople. One of the Ionian islands is named in her honor, althoug her authenticity has been questioned (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Sapor (Shapur), Isaac & Comps. BM (AC)
Died 339. Bishop Sapor of Beth-Nictor and Bishop Isaac of Beth-Seleucia were martyred with members of their flock under the Persian King Shapur II, including Saints Mahanes, Abraham, and Simeon. Sapor died in prison; Isaac was stoned to death.
Their genuine acta have been preserved in Chaldaic, which relate that the Persians complained to the king that they could no longer worship the heavenly bodies or the elements without the Christians despising them. Shapur immediately ordered the arrest of all the followers of Christ. Mahanes, Abraham, and Simeon were the first to be captured. When the king learned that Sapor and Isaac were building churches and evangelizing the people in distant outposts, he sent soldiers to track them down and bring them to trial within three days.
The day after their capture, all five were brought before the king, who inquired: "Have not you heard that I derive my pedigree from the gods? Yet I sacrifice to the sun, and pay divine honors to the moon. And who are you who resist my laws, and despise the sun and fire?"
The martyrs with one voice answered: "We acknowledge one God, and Him alone we worship."
The king asked: "What God is better than Hormisdatas, or stronger than the angry Armanes? And who is ignorant that the sun is to be worshipped."
Sapor replied: "We confess one only God, who made all things, and Jesus Christ born of him."
At this the king commanded that he should be beaten on the mouth; all the bishop's teeth were knocked out. Then he was beaten with clubs, until his whole body was bruised and his bones broken. After this he was loaded with chains.
Isaac appeared next. The king scolded him for having built churches; but the martyr maintained the cause of Christ with inflexible constancy. The king next commanded that several of the chief men of the city who had apostatized be summoned. With threats he cowed them into stoning Bishop Isaac to death.
When Saint Sapor heard of Isaace happy martyrdom, he was exultant and died of his wounds two days later in prison. The king nevertheless severed the bishop's head from his body. The other three were called again to court. Mahanes was flayed from the top of his head to the navel, dying in the process. Abraham's eyes were bored out with a hot iron, and he died of his wounds two days later. Simeon was buried alive and shot through with arrows. The faithful Christians managed to obtain and privately bury the remains of the martyrs (Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth).
Trojan of Tréguier B (RM)
(also known as Troyen)
Died c. 564 (or 533?). Said to have been born of a Jewish father and a Saracen mother. He became a priest at Saintes under Saint Vivian, whom he succeeded as bishop of Saintes, where his merits edified his people (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Tual of Tréguier, Abbot B
6th century. Powerful administrator (Encyclopedia).
Blessed William de Paulo, OSB Abbot (AC)
Born at Catania; died 1423. Blessed William joined the Benedictines at San Niccolò dell'Arena, and later was sent to restore monastic disciple at Maniaco (Benedictines).
Zosimus the Wonder-Worker, Hermit (RM)
Died 6th century. Many remarkable stories are told about Saint Zosimus, a Palestinian anchorite (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
About Saints of the Day
These summaries were prepared in 1998 by St. Patrick's parishioner Katherine I. Rabenstein and are reproduced on www.saintpatrickdc.org with the permission of the author. Note that the content has not been updated since that time and represents the research of the author. An alphabetical index of all saints on our site is available. Source references are also available. HTML formatting © 2007-2008 by St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Washington, D.C.