|Devotion to Our Lady||
Tradition places the martyrdom of St. Andrew the Apostle on November 30th , but the year is uncertain, various authors differ, placing it anywhere between the years 60 and 69 AD (but, nevertheless, during the persecution of Nero). St. Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at the city of Patros (Patræ) in Achaea, on the northern coast of present day Greece. Before his death, the fame of St. Andrew the Apostle, had spread throughout all the surrounding countries and many believed in the Lord because of Andrew’s preaching.
Fisher of Men
It has been said that the Apostle Andrew's father's name was Jona and his mother's name, Joanna. Like their father, Andrew and Peter were also fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. In fact, the Apostles Andrew, Peter, James and John were all partners in a fishing business prior to being called by Jesus to follow Him. St. Andrew was the first of the Apostles to follow Jesus and just as St. John the Baptist introduced Jesus to the nation of Israel, so St. Andrew is noted for having introduced Jesus to individuals. The Apostle, St. Peter, became the fisher of men en masse whereas Andrew was a fisher for individuals.
In his later ministry, it is believed that St. Andrew went to the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains (present day Georgia in Russia). While there, he preached to the Scythians as far as the Caspian Sea. He also went to Byzantium, which is present day Istanbul, in Turkey, and from there, to Greece. On his journeys the First-Called Apostle endured many sufferings and torments from pagans: they cast him out of their cities and they beat him. In Sinope they pelted him with stones, but remaining unharmed, the persistent disciple of Christ continued to preach to people about the Savior. Through the prayers of the Apostle, the Lord worked miracles. By the labors of the holy Apostle Andrew, Christian Churches were established, for which he provided bishops and clergy. The final city to which the Apostle came was the city of Patros, where he was destined to suffer martyrdom.
City of Martyrdom
The Lord worked many miracles through His disciple in the city of Patros, and Andrew won many over to the Lord. The infirm were made whole, and the blind received their sight. The miracles accomplished by the Apostle and his fiery speech enlightened almost all the citizens of the city of Patros with the true Faith. Among the new converts were the brother and wife of the governor Aegeas. Through the prayers of the Apostle, the illustrious citizen Sosios recovered from serious illness. Andrew had also healed Maximilla, wife of Aegeas, the governor of Patros, and his brother Stratokles. This angered both the pagan priests and the proconsul, Aegeas. Few pagans remained at Patros, but among them was the governor of the city, Aegeas. The pagan priests and Aegeas, fearful of his increasing influence, did not cease looking for him, in order to kill him.
The Apostle Andrew repeatedly turned to the governor, Aegeas, with the words of the Gospel. But even the miracles of the Apostle did not convince Aegeas. The holy Apostle with love and humility appealed to his soul, striving to reveal to him the Christian mystery of life eternal, through the wonderworking power of the Holy Cross of the Lord. The angry Aegeas gave orders to crucify the Apostle. The pagan thought he would undo St. Andrew’s preaching if he were to put him to death on the cross.
The soldiers were ordered to arrest Andrew, who was then bound and severely beaten. They then dragged him around the city naked, and then cast him into prison, so that they might crucify him the following day. Their custom was to stone those who were to be killed by crucifixion.
Eve of Execution
The Apostle spent his night praying to God. The Lord Christ appeared to him and strengthened him saying, "Do not fear or worry for the time of your departure from this world is near." He gave him peace and disappeared. St. Andrew's soul rejoiced for what he saw. This is a consolation for us, for it shows Andrew, like Our Lord in His agony in Gethsemane, was far from having peace of soul. As the angel strengthened Our Lord that night, so did Our Lord strengthen Andrew, and so will all martyrs be strengthened by God when the appointed time arrives.
Your Last Chance
On morning of the next day, the proconsul Aegeas, who was to judge Andrew, at first adopted a kindlier tone, hoping that Andrew has changed his mind during the night, and twice offering Andrew his friendship, promising Andrew a happy life, if Andrew would only give up his foolish beliefs and lead back his recent Achaian converts to the worship of the gods, who are poised to wreak vengeance if Andrew refuses. This finally provokes an angry response from Andrew, who condemned the proconsul as a "Son of death, and chaff made ready for eternal burnings." Andrew then defiantly commands the judge do his worst, insisting that he (Andrew) will be more pleasing to God the more he suffers. Andrew's anger is apparently provoked by the judge's wheedling offer of earthly comforts, rather than by the threat of torture or the vengeance of the gods.
After being whipped severely by seven soldiers, Andrew was tied to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. Early texts, such as the Acts of Andrew, known to Gregory of Tours (died 594), describe Andrew as being bound, not nailed, to a Latin cross of the kind on which Jesus is said to have been crucified; yet a tradition developed that Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross), now commonly known as a “Saint Andrew’s Cross” — supposedly at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus had been. St. Andrew’s followers reported that when he was led toward the cross, he said, “I have long desired and expected this happy hour.” It is said that the crowds tried to rescue Andrew and take him down from the cross, but were rebuked by the Saint and exhorted to emulate his desire to suffer in patience like Jesus before him. Towards the end of his agony, the Apostle prayed to God and an extraordinary light encompassed him. This brilliant illumination lasted for half an hour, and when it disappeared, the Apostle gave up his holy soul to God.
In the church of St. Andrew in Patros, Greece, there is a book written in Greek which sheds light on his martyrdom. The following is written: "Aegeas, who was the governor of Patros, became enraged at Andrew for his preaching and ordered him to stand before the tribunal in his attempt to do away with the Christian Faith. When Andrew resisted the tribunal, the governor ordered him crucified. Andrew remained tied to the cross with thick tight ropes for three days and his last words were: ‘Accept me, O Christ Jesus, whom I saw, whom I love, and in whom I am; accept my spirit in peace in your eternal realm.’"
An ancient writer also speaks of the Apostle's martyrdom as such: "Andrew hung upon the cross three whole days, suffering dreadful pain but continuing constantly to tell the people around him of the love of Jesus Christ. The people, as they listened to him, began to believe his words and asked the governor to let him be taken down from the cross. Not liking to refuse them, he at last ordered the ropes to be cut, but when the last rope was severed, the body of the Apostle fell to the ground quite dead."
It is believed that Andrew died on the last day of November, the year being anywhere between 60 and 69 AD.