St. Andrew pray for us, especially for unity with our Eastern Orthodox brethren who also celebrate your feast today!
St. Andrew (or Andreas) was a simple fisherman from a fishing town, chosen by God and empowered by His Spirit to become a fisher of men.
He began following Jesus after St. John the Baptist pointed Him out twice: “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
And then Andrew points Jesus out to his brother Peter–“bro we found the Messiah!”
Later as one of the 12, Andrew was the one who found the kid with the 5 loaves and 2 fishes. And it was Andrew who, along with Philip, led some Greeks to see Jesus—something he would die doing….
After Pentecost the tradition is that he went to preach in Greece after preaching in places such as Macedonia and Byzantium (later known Constantinople) where he established the church.
“I sacrifice daily to almighty God, the one and true God. Not the flesh of oxen and the blood of goats do I offer, but the unspotted Lamb upon the altar. All the faithful partake of His flesh, yet the Lamb remains unharmed and living.”
Those words he spoke to the pagan judge who ordered him to sacrifice to ‘gods’.
There, in Greece, he was martyred–crucified (bound not nailed) on a cross in the form of an X. When he beheld the cross he exclaimed:
“O good Cross, so long desired and now set up for my longing soul I confident and rejoicing come to you; exultingly receive me, a disciple of Him who hung on you.”
There, from the cross, it is said, he preached for three days before dying.
I end here with the prayer from today’s Mass and a Christmas novena that bears his name—
in your kindness hear our petitions.
You called Andrew the apostle
to preach the gospel and guide your Church in faith.
May he always be our friend in your presence
to help us with his prayers.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit.
Here is a prayer that begins on his feast day and ends on Christmas:
St. Andrew Christmas Novena
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)