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Andrew, the First Missionary

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The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.

John 1:35-42

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Andrew was the first disciple of Jesus and is often referred to as the first missionary. Andrew was first a disciple of John the Bapist. But when Andrew heard John proclaim who Jesus was, he brought his brother Peter to Jesus. Andrew and Peter were fishers by trade. When Jesus called them, he said he would make them “fishers of men.”

The gospels tell us that Andrew was with Jesus on many important occasions. In John 6:8 we learn that Andrew told Jesus about the boy with the loaves and fishes. He was there with Peter, James and John when they asked Jesus about the signs of the end times. (Mark 13:3)

After Christ was crucified and resurrected, Andrew preached the gospel in Asia Minor and Scythia as far as Kiev.

Andrew deemed himself to be unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as Christ. He asked to be tied to a Crux decussate, or an X shaped cross. He did not die right away, but suffered for two days while continuing to preach the gospel until he finally died.

Relics of Saint Andrew consist of a small finger, the top of his cranium and pieces of the cross which are kept in a shrine at the Church of St. Andrew in Patras. The skull of St. Andrew was kept in Patras until the year 1460 when Thomas Paleologos, the last ruler of the Morea brought it to Rome. Pope Paul orded the skull to be return to Patras in 1967.

According to tradition a part of the remains of St. Andrew were taken to Scotland, and he was chosen as the Protector of the Scottish people. The flag of Scotland is the cross of St. Andrew.
The Cross of St. Andrew also adorns the British flag where it was placed after the union of Scotland and England. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, Russia and Greece.

It is believed that Andrew died on the last day of November, 69 AD. Saint Andrew’s Day is celebrated by Scots around the world on November 30.

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