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Wednesday, November 30, 2005
St. Andrew the Apostle
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Feast (1969 Calendar): November 30
Double of the II Class (1955 Calendar): November 30

Today is the Feast of St. Andrew. St. Andrew, the first apostle, was with our Lord throughout the His life as recorded in the Bible. St. Andrew's brother was Simon Peter, the first pope. After Our Lord's Ascension into Heaven, St. Andrew journeyed to Greece to spread the faith. He was martyred in Patras, Acaia (in the southern part of Greec) on November 30, 60 AD by Nero who bounded him, not nailed, to an X-shaped Cross. As St. Andrew suffered for 2 days, people still came to him to hear his words. He is the patron saint of Russia and Scotland.

In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI delivered his Wednesday Angelus Address on St. Andrew (read).

Today is the beginning of the St. Andrew Christmas Novena. It is believed whoever says this prayer piously 15 times a day until Christmas will obtain what they ask.

Excerpt of The Church's Year of Grace by Pius Parsch:

Andrew, Peter's brother, and John were the first disciples to follow the Lord. With tender delicacy the Gospel (John 1:35-42) describes their first meeting with Jesus. Andrew did not belong to the inner circle of the apostles, Peter, James and John, and the evangelists narrate nothing extraordinary about him (John 6:8); but tradition (resting on apocrpyhal Acts) extols his great love of the Cross and of the Savior; and the Church distinguishes him both in the Mass (his name occurs in the Canon and in the Libera since the time of Pope St. Gregory I who had a special devotion to him) and in the Breviary.

The story of his martyrdom rests on the apocryphal Acts which lack historical foundation. The pagan judge exhorted him to sacrifice to the gods. Andrew replied: "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." Angered by the reply, Aegeas commanded him to be thrown into prison. With little difficulty the people would have freed him, but Andrew personally calmed the mob and earnestly entreated them to desist, as he was hastening toward an ardently desired crown of martyrdom.

When Andrew was led to the place of martyrdom, on beholding the cross from a distance he cried out: "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." Forthwith he was nailed to the cross. For two days he hung there alive, unceasingly proclaiming the doctrine of Christ until he passed on to Him whose likeness in death he had so vehemently desired. --The legendary account of our saint's martyrdom has this value: it presents to us the mysticism of the Cross of later times.

Here is the 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.

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+ MICHAEL AUGUSTINE,
Archbishop of New York, New York, February 6, 1897

Prayer:

We humbly entreat Thy majesty, O Lord: that as the blessed Apostle Andrew was once a teacher and a ruler of Thy Church: so he may be a constant advocate for us before Thee. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain, Title Unknown


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