Every year on November 30th in Scotland it’s St Andrew’s Day and I’ve known this ever since I can remember. It’s taken me until now to stop and actually asked myself “who was this Andrew guy?” and I’ve shocked myself with the fact that I didn’t actually know…
What’s more shocking is the fact that I used to work in St Andrews at St Andrews University!
Time to put this right and find out more about good old Andy.
I’m not a complete St Andrew virgin as I do know he is the patron Saint of Scotland but to be honest – that’s the extent of my knowledge. So…
He is a shared Saint as Andy boy doesn’t only cover Scotland but also Greece, Romania, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and Saint Andrew, Barbados. Wow – what a popular guy!
He was a fisherman, apparently a buddy of Jesus and was allegedly involved in the whole “loaves and fishes” incident. As miracles go I would have been more impressed if it had been the “water into wine” version.
He was crucified just like his pal Jesus, it seemed to be all the rage back in those days. However, he didn’t want to just copy Jesus and have the same type of cross so his cross of choice was more X-shaped rather than T-shaped. This symbol was then to become known as St Andrew’s Cross or the Saltire and is now recognised as the National Flag of Scotland. Good choice Andy!
There are several legends/theories about why he became the patron Saint of Scotland but basically my interpretation is that some of his body parts somehow got to Scotland and somebody, somewhere decided we needed a Saint and Andrew was the obvious choice. His remains are apparently in various cathedrals throughout Scotland.
This is probably the best lesson I have taken from this. If you don’t want a witch flying down your chimney then draw a St Andrew’s cross on your fireplace.
Cheers Andy – I know you a little bit better now, enjoy your day!