Saint Andrew, brother of Saint Peter and at first a disciple of Saint John the Baptist, was among the early followers of Christ. According to tradition, Andrew preached extensively throughout Greece and Asia Minor. He was martyred on an X-shaped cross in Achaia, in southern Greece.


Thy name, betokening beauty, befits thy life, foretells thy splendor in the glory of Thy holy cross. The cross exalts thee, the blessed cross loves thee, the bitter cross prepares for thee the joys of the light to come. The mystery of the cross shines in thee with a twofold beauty: for by the cross thou dost vanquish insults and dost preach to men the Divine blood shed on the cross. Give fervor to our languid hearts, and take us under thy care, that so, by the victory of the cross, we may reach our home in heaven. Amen

Pope Saint Damasus



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The Apostles Creed

I BELIEVE in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty: from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.




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St. Andrew, Apostle
Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876

The holy Apostle, St. Andrew, born at Bethsaida, in Galilee, was a brother of St. Peter, and at first a disciple of St. John the Baptist. He was the first of the Apostles who had the happiness of knowing Christ, the true Messiah; for, one day, when Andrew and another disciple were standing with their master on the banks of the Jordan, St. John, pointing to Jesus, who was approaching, said: "Behold the Lamb of God!" No sooner had Andrew heard these words, than he and the other disciple followed Christ, and remained with Him that day.

On the following day, meeting his brother, Simon, afterward called Peter, he said to him: "We have found the Messiah," and brought him to Christ. Not long after this, when Andrew and Peter were casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee, Christ called them, and said: "Come after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men!" Immediately leaving their nets, they followed Him. From that moment, Andrew left the Lord no more, except at the time when He was seized in the Garden of Gethsemane, by the Jews, when he fled like the other disciples.

He was present when Christ, after His resurrection, appeared to His disciples; when He ascended into heaven in their presence, and when He sent the Holy Ghost from heaven upon them. When the Apostles separated, and went into the different countries of the world, to preach the Gospel of Christ to all nations, Andrew travelled into Scythia, Thrace, Galatia and other Pagan countries, where he converted many thousands by his sermons, and by the miracles he performed. At last he came to Patrae, the capital of Achaia, in Greece, and there, too, preached, with apostolic freedom, the Word of the Lord, and approved it by many miracles, which induced a great number of the inhabitants to embrace Christianity. Egeas, the governor, resisted him with all his might, and endeavored to defend idolatry. The holy Apostle, however, reproved him fearlessly, and said: "You desire that this people should recognize you as their judge; why, then, do you refuse to recognize Christ, the true God, as the Judge of all mankind; and why do you refuse to turn your heart from idolatry?"

"Be silent!" replied Egeas, "and speak not to me of your Christ. Was he not nailed by the Jews to a cross? How then can he be a true God? How can I worship him as God?" Andrew endeavored to explain the great mystery of the Redemption of the human race, and to show how Christ had, voluntarily, and for love of man, died the ignominious death of the cross; but, Egeas would not listen, and, interrupting him, commanded him immediately to sacrifice to the gods, or to prepare himself for a most cruel martyrdom. Andrew replied: "I offer daily, on the Altar, to the Almighty, who is the only true God, not the flesh of oxen, nor the blood of goats, but an unspotted Lamb, which, when the entire multitude of the faithful have partaken of its flesh, remains entire and living." The governor, full of wrath, ordered Andrew to be cast into a dungeon; but the people, who loved the Saint as a father, rose against the governor, and ran in crowds to the dungeon, determined to set the prisoner free. But the Apostle besought them to be quiet, and not seek to prevent him from receiving the crown of martyrdom, which he had so long desired.

The following day, St. Andrew was brought before the governor, who offered him the greatest honors, if he would consent to sacrifice to the gods; but threatened him with the most cruel torments, if he persisted in refusing. The Saint said fearlessly: "The honors you offer me have no value in my eyes, because they are temporal and pass away; the tortures you threaten me with, I despise, for the same reason; but you, O Egeas! have to fear torments which last for ever, if you do not abandon your idols, and recognize Jesus Christ for the true and only God, and worship Him as such."

After these words, the Saint continued to preach to the governor, and to all present, of the crucified Lord, and of the happiness of all those who suffer for Him. Egeas, enraged at the Apostle's fearlessness, ordered him to be most cruelly scourged, and then to be crucified, in order to make him resemble his God. This was meant by the governor in derision; but no manner of death could have been more welcome to St. Andrew. The cruel and unjust sentence was received with murmurs by the people, of whom some were heard saying aloud: "This man is just, and a friend of God: why must he be crucified?

"Andrew, addressing the people again, begged them not to deprive him of what he looked upon as an inestimable happiness. When he was led to the place of execution, and saw the cross on which he was to die, he cried out joyfully: "O precious cross, which I have so long desired, so truly loved, so ceaselessly sought; at last I find thee prepared to receive me. Take me away from the world, and unite me again with my Lord, that He who has redeemed me on thee, may again receive me by thee." Thus cried the Saint from afar; but when he reached the cross, he embraced and kissed it, and gave himself willingly to the executioners, who bound him to it. No sooner had the cross been raised, than it served as a pulpit to the holy Apostle, and he exhorted the Christians to remain firm in their holy faith, and the heathens to convert themselves to the only true God. He explained the nothingness of the idols, and the truth of the Christian religion. For two days he lived and preached, hanging on the cross. The people began again to murmur against the governor, and desired to have the Saint taken down from the cross; but the holy martyr desired to be permitted to die upon it, as he esteemed death a priceless grace.

On the third day, when the people seemed determined to rescue him by force, he called to his Savior : " Do not permit, O Lord, that Thy servant, who, according to his own wish, hangs on the cross, be taken down from it; but do Thou take me from it to Thee, O my beloved Master, Jesus Christ, whom I have confessed and always loved, and whom, still confessing, I long to see. Take, O Lord Jesus, my spirit to Thee. I ardently desire to be united with Thee." During this prayer, a bright light streamed from heaven, and rested upon the Saint, whilst he breathed his last. The martyrdom of St. Andrew happened in the year of Our Lord 62, or, according to others, in 70. His holy body was transported to Constantinople in the time of Constantine the Great; but was afterwards brought to Rome, where it has its resting-place in the Church of St. Peter.



PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS.

I. Impress two memorable sayings of the holy Apostle deep into your heart. The first is: " I sacrifice daily to Almighty God, &c." This is a glorious proof to you that the Apostles performed the holy Sacrifice of Mass; for to this alone can the words of St. Andrew have reference. Conclude, therefore, from this, that it is false for the heretics to say that the first Christians knew nothing of Mass. Did not St. Andrew live during the first years of Christianity? Be not confused by the lies of the heretics; but believe that Christ instituted the holy Sacrifice of the Mass at His Last Supper.

The second memorable saying of the Apostle is: "The honors you offer me have no value in my eyes, because they are temporal and pass away; your tortures I despise for the same reason." Consider it well. All temporal honors, all joys, pass away quickly. How foolish is it, therefore, to love them immoderately, and to forfeit for them the eternal honors, riches and joys! No pain or trial on this earth lasts for ever; but those which await the sinner in the other world, are endless. Should we not, therefore, do and suffer here so as to escape torments hereafter?

II. St. Andrew manifested great joy on beholding the cross that had been prepared for him; he greeted it warmly, and embraced it lovingly. He wished not to be released from it, but prayed to be allowed to die on it. You are not bound to a cross of wood like St. Andrew, but the All-Wise sometimes lays a cross of suffering upon you, because He wishes to prepare you for heaven. How do you regard your cross? How do you carry it? I fear to ask you how you greeted, embraced and kissed it. Perhaps you have carried it, as Simon of Cyrene carried the Cross of the Lord, because you were forced, and could not help yourself. You have suffered only because you were obliged. You suffer murmuring and complainingly, and perhaps even endeavor to free yourself from your cross by improper means. Oh! how differently did St. Andrew act. He esteemed himself happy, because he could die on the cross like his Savior, and because he had heard, from the lips of Christ, that the way of the Cross is the surest road to eternal life. You know all this; but you do not think seriously enough of it.

In future, keep these truths before your eyes: first, the way of the Cross is the way to heaven; secondly, Christ died on the Cross for love of me. Whoever rightly considers these two points, will in his sufferings, not give way to resentment, murmurs or complaints, but will bear them if not cheerfully, at least patiently. Hence St. Paul admonishes us, saying: "For, think diligently upon him that endured such opposition from sinners against himself, that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds (Heb. xii.)."




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Prayer from the Liturgical Year, 1901

God grants us to meet thee, O Blessed Andrew, at the threshold of the mystic Season of Advent, on which we are so soon to enter. When Jesus, our Messias, began his public life, thou hadst already become the obedient disciple of the Precursor, who preached His coming: thou wast among the first of them who received the Son of Mary as the Messias foretold in the law and the prophets. But thou couldst not keep the heavenly secret from him who was so dear to thee; to Peter, then, thou didst bear the good tidings, and didst lead him to Jesus.

O blessed Apostle! we also are longing for the Messias, the Saviour of our souls; since thou hast found him, lead us also unto him. We place under thy protection the holy period of expectation and preparation, which is to bring us to the day of our Saviour's Nativity, that divine mystery in which He will manifest Himself to the world. Assist us to render ourselves worthy of seeing Him on that great night. The baptism of penance prepared thee for receiving the grace of knowing the Word of life; pray for us that we may become truly penitent and may purify our hearts, during that holy time, and thus be able to behold Him, who has said: Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.

Thou hast a special power of leading souls to Jesus, O glorious Saint! for even he, who was to be made the pastor of the whole flock, was presented to the Messias by thee. By calling thee to Himself on this day, our Lord has given thee as the patron of Christians who, each year, seeking again that God in whom thou art now living, pray to thee to show them the way which leads to Jesus.

Thou teachest us this way; it is that of fidelity, of fidelity even to the Cross. In that way thou didst courageously walk: and because the Cross leads to Jesus Christ, thou didst passionately love the Cross. Pray for us, O holy Apostle! that we may begin to understand this love of the Cross; and that having understood it, we may put it in practice. Thy brother says to us in his Epistle: Christ having suffered in the flesh, be you also armed with the same thought. Thy feast, O blessed Andrew! shows us thee as the living commentary of this doctrine. Because thy Master was crucified, thou wouldst also be crucified. From the high throne to which thou hast been raised by the Cross, pray for us, that the Cross may be unto us the expiation of the sins which are upon us, the quenching of the passions which burn within us, and the means of uniting us by love to Him, who, through love alone for us, was nailed to the Cross.










Christmas Novena of St. Andrew



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.)


Imprimatur
† Michael Augustine,
Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897




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Hymn: Exsultet orbis


Now let the earth with joy resound, And heaven the chant re-echo round; Nor heaven nor earth too high can raise The great Apostles' glorious praise.

O ye who, throned in glory dread, Lights of the world forevermove! To you the suppliant prayer we pour. Ye close the sacred gates on high; At your command apart they fly: O loose for us the guilty chain We strive to break, and strive in vain.

Sickness and health your voice obey; At your command they go or stay: From sin's disease our souls restore; In good confirm us more and more. So when the world is at its end, And Christ to Judgment shall descend, May we be called those joys to see Prepared from all eternity.

Praise to the Father, with the Son, And Holy Spirit, Three in One; As ever was in ages past, And so shall be while ages last. Amen


(Roman Breviary)



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Prayer to St. Andrew
as your Patron Saint

Saint Andrew, whom I have chosen as my special patron, pray for me that I, too, may one day glorify the Blessed Trinity in heaven. Obtain for me your lively faith, that I may consider all persons, things, and events in the light of almighty God. Pray, that I may be generous in making sacrifices of temporal things to promote my eternal interests, as you so wisely did.

Set me on fire with a love for Jesus, that I may thirst for His sacraments and burn with zeal for the spread of His kingdom. By your powerful intercession, help me in the performance of my duties to God, myself and all the world.

Win for me the virtue of purity and a great confidence in the Blessed Virgin. Protect me this day, and every day of my life. Keep me from mortal sin. Obtain for me the grace of a happy death. Amen




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St. Andrew the Apostle, Patron of Scotland

Great Saint Andrew, Friend of Jesus,
Lover of His glorious Cross,
Early by his voice effective,
Called from ease to pain and loss.
Sweet Saint Andrew, Simon's brother,
Who with haste fraternal flew,
Fain with him to share the treasure
Which from Jesus' lips he drew.

Blest Saint Andrew, Jesus' herald,
Meek Apostle, Martyr bold,
Who, by deeds His words confirming,
Sealed with blood the truth He told.
Ne'er to king was crown so beauteous.
Ne'er was prize to heart so dear,
As to him the Cross of Jesus
When its promised joys drew near.

Loved Saint Andrew, Scotland's patron,
Watch thy land with heedful eye,
Rally round the Cross of Jesus
All her storied chivalry!
To the Father, Son, and Spirit,
Fount of sanctity and love,
Give we glory, now and over,
With the Saints who reign above.




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Invocations to the Holy Cross


By the sign of the holy Cross, deliver us from our enemies, O our God.


(Indulgence 300 days)



The Cross is my sure salvation.
The Cross it is that I worship evermore.
The Cross of our Lord is with me.
The Cross is my refuge.


(Indulgence 3 years)

Lord, I give Thee thanks for that Thou didst die upon the Cross for my sins.


(Indulgence 300 days)





Litany of the Holy Cross

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Cross, whereon the Lamb of God was offered for the sins of the world,
Deliver and save us.

Hope of Christians,
Save us, O Holy Cross*

Pledge of the resurrection from the dead,*
Shelter of persecuted innocence,*
Guide of the blind,*
Way of those who have gone astray,*
Staff of the lame,*
Consolation of the poor,*
Restraint of the powerful,*
Destruction of the proud,*
Refuge of sinners,*
Trophy of victory over hell,*
Terror of demons,*
Mistress of youth,*
Succor of the distressed,*
Hope of the hopeless,*
Star of the mariner,*
Harbor of the wrecked,*
Rampart of the besieged,*
Father of orphans,*
Defense of widows,*
Counsel of the just,*
Judge of the wicked,*
Rest of the afflicted,*
Safeguard of childhood,*
Strength of manhood,*
Last hope of the aged,*
Light of those who sit in darkness,*
Splendor of kings,*
Civilizer of the world,*
Buckler impenetrable,*
Wisdom of the foolish,*
Liberty of slaves,*
Knowledge of the ignorant,*
Sure rule of life,*
Heralded by prophets,*
Preached by apostles,*
Glory of martyrs,*
Study of anchorites,*
Chastity of virgins,*
Joy of priests,*
Foundation of the Church,*
Salvation of the world,*
Destruction of idolatry,*
Stumbling-block of the Jews,*
Condemnation of the ungodly,*
Support of the weak,*
Medicine of the sick,*
Health of the leprous,*
Strength of the paralytic,*
Bread of the hungry,*
Fountain of those that thirst,*
Clothing of the naked,*

Lamb of God, Who wast offered on the cross for the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who wast offered on the cross for the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who wast offered on the cross for the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

V. We adore the, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R. Because through Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.


Let us Pray:

O God, Who, for the redemption of the world, wast pleased to be born in a stable, and to die upon a cross; O Lord Jesus Christ, by Thy holy Sufferings, which we, Thy unworthy servants, devoutly call to mind, by Thy holy Cross, and by Thy Death, deliver us from the pains of hell, and vouchsafe to conduct us whither thou didst conduct the thief who was crucified with Thee. Who livest and reignest eternally in heaven.     Amen.









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