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St Andrew

Like his brother, Simon Peter, Andrew was a fisherman from Bethsaida. A disciple of St John the Baptist, St Andrew witnessed Christ's baptism and, impressed by St John's words: "Behold the Lamb of God!", he decided to meet Our Lord without delay. This meeting quickly convinced him that Jesus was indeed the Messias and he resolved to follow Him. Thus Andrew became Christ's first disciple.

Shortly afterwards, Andrew brought Simon to Jesus who received him also as His disciple and name him Peter. Later, Christ called the brothers permanently to his ministry telling them that he would make them fishers of men. St Andrew seems to have been the quietly helpful type of man. At the feeding of the five thousand, it is he who tells Christ of the boy with the five barley loaves and two fish. Again, when Philip has the problem of handling a group of Gentiles who want to meet Jesus merely because He had become popular, it is to Andrew that Philip takes his problem.

Of St Andrew's later history little is known with certainty. Eusebius, the historian, records that he preached in Scythia, an area which is now Russian territory between the Black and Caspian Seas. An apocryphal source maintains that he was crucified in Patras, Greece, and the he was bound, not nailed, to a cross from which he preached for two days to the people before he died. Later, the idea that his cross was X-shaped arose. the presumed relics of St Andrew were taken from Patras to Constantinople in the Fourth Century and removed from there to the Cathedral of Amalfi in Italy by the Crusaders, about 1204. St Andrew is Patron of Scotland and Russia.

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