Friday, November 30, 2012


SHARE - St. Andrew Christmas NOVENA -
Starts November 30, the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, and concludes on Christmas Eve. It is piously believed to be very
efficacious. Recite 15 times a day until December 24- possibly 5 times before each meal.
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.


Vatican City, 30 November 2012 (VIS) - "The Church in France has a long heritage of saints, doctors, martyrs and confessors of the faith. You are the heirs to a history of great human experience and immense spiritual richness. … These origins and this glorious past, always present in our thought and dear to our spirit, nurture great hope in solid and bold faith, allowing us to rise to the challenges of the third millennium and to listen to the hopes of contemporary humanity, to which only God can give a satisfactory answer".
With these words, Benedict XVI received the third group of bishops from the Episcopal Conference of France at the end of their "ad limina" visit. The Pope observed that "the Good News we must announce to mankind in all times and in all languages and cultures, may be summarised in these words: God, creator of mankind, in His son Jesus, has shown us His love for humanity. 'God is love' and pursues the happiness of His creation, of all His children. The pastoral constitution 'Gaudium et spes' asks key questions on human existence, the meaning of life and death, evil, disease and suffering, all present in our world. It recalls that, in His paternal goodness, God brings answers to all these questions and that Christ founded His Church in order to bring those answers to all mankind. This is the reason why one of the gravest problems of our time is the ignorance of religion on the part of many men and women, also among the Catholic faithful".
"This is why the new evangelisation, in which the Church is resolutely engaged, … assumes such importance", the Pope continued. "One of the most formidable obstacles to our pastoral mission is ignorance of the content of faith. Indeed, this is a dual form of ignorance: the ignorance of Jesus Christ as a person and ignorance of the sublime nature of His teachings, of their universal and permanent value in the search for the meaning of life and happiness. In the new generations this ignorance produces an inability to understand history or to recognise themselves as heirs to this tradition, which has shaped European life, society, art and culture".
"The new evangelisation will be effective if it engages deeply with communities and parishes. The signs of vitality and involvement of the laity in French society are already encouraging. … The laity are the face of the world within the Church, and at the same time the face the Church presents to the world". Benedict XVI emphasised, however, that the Church in Europe and in France can no longer remain indifferent to the diminution of vocations and priestly ordinations. ... All available energy must be urgently mobilised so as to bring the voice of the Lord to the young. God calls when and to whom He wishes. Without doubt, Christian families and communities offer particularly fertile ground".
"The young are the hope and future of the Church and the world", continued the Holy Father, emphasising "the importance of Catholic education". "Catholic institutes clearly play a primary role in the great dialogue between faith and culture. The love of truth that shines in them is in itself a great evangeliser. Places of learning and dialogue, as well as centres of research, must be further developed and more ambitious in scope". The Pope praised the initiatives of some French dioceses to encourage greater knowledge of theology among young people who study other disciplines. "Theology is a source of wisdom, joy and wonder that should not be reserved only to seminarians, priests and consecrated persons", he added.
Benedict XVI concluded by mentioning Catholic schools, which "have shaped the Christian and cultural life" of France, and which bear 'historical responsibility'. "A way must be found to place faith at the centre of their educational mission … Education in Christian values provides the key to the culture of your nation. By opening young people to hope and true freedom, such education will continue to be a source of dynamism and creativity. The ardour of the new evangelisation will be our greatest contribution to the flowering of human society and the best answer to the varied challenges we face at the beginning of the third millennium".
Vatican City, 30 November 2012 (VIS) - Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is leading a delegation sent by the Holy See to Istanbul to participate in celebrations marking the Feast of St. Andrew, patron of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Holy See and the Patriarchate exchange regular annual visits for the feast days of their respective patrons.
The Holy See delegation to this year's celebration is made up of Cardinal Koch; Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Fr. Andrea Palmieri, an official of the same dicastery, and Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, apostolic nuncio to Turkey. The group attended a divine liturgy celebrated by Bartholomew I in the patriarchal church of Fanar, then met with the Patriarch and the synodal commission which oversees relations with the Catholic Church.
Cardinal Koch gave Bartholomew I a gift and a message from the Holy Father which was read out at the end of the divine liturgy. He then met with representatives of the local Catholic community and the ecumenical council of the apostolic vicariate of the Catholic Church in Istanbul.
In his message, the Pope explains that this annual exchange of delegations "is testimony to the fraternal bonds which join us together. It is a profound and genuine communion, if still imperfect, which is based not on human motives of courtesy or convenience but rather on our common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. … This solid foundation allows us to proceed together confidently on the path to the re-establishment of full communion".
"In our times, the most urgent challenge, about which we have always been in perfect agreement, … is how we must connect the proclamation of God's merciful love for contemporary man, so often distracted and incapable of reflection on the meaning of his own existence, and as such often misled by plans and utopias that can lead only to disillusionment. The Church has only one message, 'God's Gospel', and no method other than its apostolic proclamation, supported and guaranteed by the testimony and sanctity of the life of priests and the people of God. The Lord Jesus told us that 'the harvest is rich', and we must not accept that it may be lost as a result of our weaknesses and divisions", concluded the Holy Father.
Vatican City, 30 November 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the Holy See's declaration on the majority approval by the General Assembly of the United Nations to the Resolution by which Palestine has become a Non-member Observer State of the UN Organisation.
"The Holy See has followed actively the steps which have led to this important decision, while striving to remain neutral between the Parties, and to act in accordance with its particular religious nature and universal mission, and in consideration also of its specific attention to the ethical dimension of international problems.
"The Holy See considers, moreover, that today’s vote should be placed within the context of the efforts of giving a definitive solution, with the support of the international community, to the question already dealt with by Resolution 181 of the General Assembly of the United Nations of 29 November 1947. That document is the juridical basis for the existence of two States, one of which has not been constituted in the successive sixty-five years, while the other has already seen the light.
"On 15 May 2009, while departing from 'Ben Gurion' International Airport, Tel Aviv, at the conclusion of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Pope Benedict XVI expressed the following: No more bloodshed! No more fighting! No more terrorism! No more war! Instead let us break the vicious circle of violence. Let there be lasting peace based on justice, let there be genuine reconciliation and healing. Let it be universally recognized that the State of Israel has the right to exist, and to enjoy peace and security within internationally agreed borders. Let it be likewise acknowledged that the Palestinian people have a right to a sovereign independent homeland, to live with dignity and to travel freely. Let the two-state solution become a reality, not remain a dream.
"In the wake of that appeal, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, speaking before the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2011, expressed the hope that the competent Bodies of the United Nations would adopt a decision which would help give concrete implementation to that goal.
"Today’s vote manifests the sentiment of the majority of the international community and recognises a more significant presence to Palestinians within the United Nations. At the same time, it is the conviction of the Holy See that this result does not constitute, per se, a sufficient solution to the existing problems in the Region: which, in fact, can only find an adequate response through the effective commitment to building peace and stability, in justice and in the respect for legitimate aspirations, both of the Israelis and of the Palestinians.
"Therefore, the Holy See, at various times, has invited the leaders of the two Peoples to restart the negotiations in good faith and to avoid actions, or the placing of conditions, which would contradict the declarations of goodwill and the sincere search for solutions which could become secure foundations for a lasting peace. Moreover, the Holy See has made a pressing appeal to the International Community to increase its commitment and to encourage its creativity, through the adoption of suitable initiatives which may help to achieve a lasting peace, that respects the rights of Israelis and of Palestinians. Peace needs courageous decisions!
"Considering the outcome of today’s vote of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and to encourage the International Community, and in particular the Parties directly concerned, towards concrete action in view of the aforementioned objectives – the Holy See welcomes with favour the decision of the General Assembly by which Palestine has become a non-member Observer State of the United Nations. It is a propitious occasion to recall also the common position that the Holy See and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation expressed in the Basic Agreement of 15 February 2000, intended to support the recognition of a internationally guaranteed special statute for the City of Jerusalem, and aimed, in particular, to safeguarding the freedom of religion and of conscience, the identity and sacred character of Jerusalem as a Holy City, respect for and freedom of access to its Holy Places".
Vatican City, (VIS) - The twenty-third Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme of "The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith" was held from 7 to 28 October. Continuing the theme of the Synod, the topic of new evangelisation for the transmission of Christian faith inspired the work of the second meeting of the twenty-third Ordinary Council of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops, which took place on 26 November 2012.
At the beginning of the session, the general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, spoke about Jesus' missionary mandate: "Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Gospel to all creation". This, he said, was "the origin of the proclamation of the Gospel, and retains its validity for the evangelising work of the Church in all times".
"Following the day's agenda, the general secretary gave a full and detailed analysis of the themes which emerged from the Propositions of the recent twenty-third Synodal Assembly. This analysis was followed by a discussion which gave rise to suggestions to present to the Pope in view of the Post-Synodal Exhortation".
"The missionary mandate which the Lord entrusted to the Apostles is now that of the Church in the new evangelisation, which she addresses to the entire human race, involved in a constant process of transformation which takes place in a context of globalisation and a cultural and moral climate of secularisation and agnosticism. This situation presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the proclamation of the Gospel.
"The Church carries out this work of proclaiming anew the Gospel through priests and lay faithful. And the Gospel she proclaims involves all humankind and is destined for every person: the baptised, believers who have drifted away from the faith of the Church, non-believers, the indifferent, believers of other Christian confessions, and believers of other religions, in accordance with the mandate of the Risen Lord".
The next meeting will take place on 23 and 24 January 2013.
Vatican City, 30 November 2012 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for December is: "That migrants throughout the world may be welcomed with generosity and authentic love, especially by Christian communities".
His mission intention is: "That Christ may reveal Himself to all humanity with the light that shines forth from Bethlehem and is reflected in the face of His Church".
Vatican City, 30 November 2012 (VIS) - This evening the Holy Father is scheduled to receive in audience Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Vatican City, 30 November 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto of Jullundur, India, as archbishop of Delhi (area 15,420, population 19,633,000, Catholics 110,300, priests 262, religious 1,154), India. He succeeds Archbishop Vincent Michael Concessao, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Bishop Binay Kandulna, auxiliary of Ranchi and apostolic administrator of the diocese of Khunti, as bishop of Khunti (area 3,765, population 911,000, Catholics 90,672, priests 75, religious 196).
- Appointed Fr. Angel Francisco Caraballo Fermin of the clergy of the diocese of Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela, pastor of the Parish of "Santisimos Pedro y Pablo" at Puerto Ordaz, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Maracaibo (area 11,365, population 2,259,000, Catholics 2,096,000, priests 135, permanent deacons 16, religious 303), Venezuela. The bishop-elect was born in Puerto Ordaz in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1991. He studied in Spain and in Rome and, among other things, has served as professor of Canon Law at the major seminary of "El Buen Pastor" in Ciudad Bolivar, and as vicar general and judicial vicar of his diocese.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
30 Nov 2012

Xt3 2012 Advent Calendar
Social networking site Xt3's famous Advent Calendar has even more bells and whistles this year to encourage reflection on the true meaning of Christmas.
In the non-stop rush of parties, last minute shopping, office lunches and the rest of the frenetic lead up to Christmas it is easy to forget this. But for anyone of faith, Advent is a time to remember and reflect on the birth of Our Saviour and to relive the Christmas Story.

To help us do just that, for the fourth year in succession Xt3 has created an interactive Advent Calendar which offers daily multimedia resources that includes inspiring homilies via podcast; exciting new video material; audio reflections recorded by Bishop Peter Comensoli, Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney; Q&A's on Catholic teachings and apologetics; and much,much more.
Kicked off with a special Youtube promotion featuring a Gangnam-style Santa, Xt3's Advent Calendar for 2012 is easy to access across the entire new media spectrum.
Available via apps for apple or android smart phones, or via iPads, tablets, PCs or shared through Facebook and Twitter accounts, this year's Advent Calendar offers a unique and very special way to embark on your own personal Advent journey, as well as a chance to share this journey and the meaning of Advent with family and friends.
"The Calendar is designed to be shared in a way that is fun and effective. This is what we have been asked to do in this Year of Faith and the Calendar offers us new and exciting ways to promote Christ," says Mary Elias, Content Manager and Administrator of Xt3, one of the most popular and fastest growing social networking site for Catholics worldwide.
This Sunday, 2 December marks the first Sunday in Advent and the beginning of the new liturgical year. For Catholics the first Sunday in Advent is regarded as the Church's New Year's Day and ushers in a wonderful period of expectancy culminating in the birth of Christ on 25 December.
Advent itself means "arrival" or "coming" and is a period of preparation that extends over four Sundays before the Feast of the Nativity. While this is a time of immense joy it is also a time for reflection on our faith, prayers, fasting and penance.
The joy of this period is the delight and excitement of Our Lord's arrival on Christmas Day while the period of prayer, fasting and penance comes during three weeks prior as we strive to be spiritually ready to receive such a wondrous gift.
Xt3 created its first interactive Advent Calendar in 2009 and received an overwhelming response. Each year as technology has advanced, Xt3 has added more multimedia resources for users. Last year was the first year there was an app for the calendar which was instantly picked up and used by more than 1000 people from across Australia as well as countries world-wide.
This year marks the first time the calendar has had such a wide range of multimedia resources and also the first time the calendar has been available and easily accessed by the latest ipad, iphone and other devices.
To access Xt3's Advent Calendar go to:
For Android Apps:
For iPhone & iPad Apps:
For Xt3's Advent video promo experience featuring a Gangnam Style Santa go to


CISA NEWS REPORT: DAR-ES-SALAAM, November 20, 2012 (CISA) -The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) is holding a five-day Workshop on Culture and Development in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania (November 20-24, 2012).
The workshop is being jointly organized by SECAM, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council for Culture (PCC).
The seventy participants are drawn from the eight SECAM Regions in Africa comprising Bishops, Priests, Religious, Lay people, and resource persons from other parts of the world. There are representatives from the Vatican and partner organisations.
The participants will discuss among others the following issues: The need to have a structured dialogue with the African Church regarding culture and development, which includes pastors, theologians, ordinary people and the Africans in the diaspora,
Design programmes to facilitate Dialogue between Cultures and Faith Evangelization of Cultures in Africa – opportunities, challenges and perspectives,
African Cultures and Development, where do the problems of development in Africa come from? Globalization, Post-modernity, Good Governance, and African Policies for Development – challenges for Africa. Elements of the ideology behind these concepts
The Workshop also takes into consideration the inspiration behind the need to start this process of forming a Faith, Culture and Development Forum as contained in the Post Apostolic Exhortations of the two Synods for Africa: Ecclesia in Africa (1995) and Africae Munus (2012).
The workshop is seen as an opportunity for the Church as Family of God in Africa to own the process of putting together the elements that will guide the role and operations of the Faith, Culture and Development Forum.
His Eminence, Theodore Adrien Cardinal Sarr, First Vice-President of SECAM and Archbishop of Dakar, Senegal and Bishop Barthelemy Adoukonou, Secretary of the PCC will co-chair the workshop.
The Workshop was preceded by a meeting of the Standing Committee of SECAM where policy decisions on SECAM were discussed, in addition to a discussion on the process for an evaluation to be carried out on the Good Governance Project of SECAM by officials MISEREOR, a German Partner Agency that has been financing the project since 2006


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, received yesterday, 29 November, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, who is visiting Panama to participate in the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops' Secretariat of Central America and as special Envoy of Pope Benedict XVI at the opening of the Jubilee Year for the 500th anniversary of the creation of the first diocese in the American continent, Santa Maria La Antigua (see Fides 13/09/2012; 28/11/2012).
During the meeting, the President expressed his satisfaction for Cardinal Ouellet’s visit, and according to information from the local press, he also spoke of the everyone’s great desire to have Pope Benedict XVI in Panama next year, to celebrate the closing of the Jubilee Year. The note sent to Fides Agency also speaks of the full support expressed by the President for the Catholic Church and the important role it plays within the Panamanian society.
On September 9, 2013 the concluding celebration of the five hundredth anniversary of the Diocese of Santa Maria La Antigua is expected.
During this year, the Church has organized various religious and cultural activities, addressed to civil society, with the support of state and private institutions. One of the first initiaves regards the publication of a Special Dossier that tells the story, the logo of the celebration, the anthem, prayer and the people involved in these 500 years of evangelization of the first diocese in America. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 30/11/2012)


Catholic Bishops of the European Union call for Unity
COMECE Autumn Plenary Assembly

We have united for the better’. This sentence from the Berlin Declaration of March 2007 was recalled by Cardinal Marx, COMECE President, on the occasion of the opening event of the Autumn Plenary Assembly of the COMECE bishops, which took place from 21 to 23 November in Brussels.

In his Speech dedicated to the ‘Current Challenges for the EU and the Contribution of Christians’, Cardinal Marx called for the reinvention of the European project: ‘We Europeans are united in peace, to pursue happiness and prosperity for ourselves and for the whole world. It is necessary, not only to assert this but to win over the people of Europe to it and to venture and seek a new start.
In the current crisis, the COMECE bishops are aware that the reforms that have been undertaken in many Eurozone States should be considered as a way for Europe to maintain its role in the 21st century. Sacrifices imposed by governments on the population must not however go against social justice. The bishops also call on all citizens to stay united and in solidarity in facing the current crisis.

In order to make their mark, the COMECE bishops wish to send a strong signal of European solidarity, especially towards men and women of the countries who are particularly hit by the current economic crisis. They have therefore decided to reflect in the coming months, in partnership with Caritas Europe, on reinforcing the intra-European aid provided by the Church.

Furthermore, in order mark these bonds of solidarity at the spiritual level, the Austrian delegate Mgr Egon Kapellari has been asked by his COMECE peers to develop an initiative on Prayer for Europe which could be introduced Europe wide by involving Christians from all countries as well as the religious communities.

In order to overcome the many national und cultural divergences and in working towards greater unity in their own work as well, the COMECE delegates of the Bishops’ Conferences from the EU Member States are committed to promote - by means of their exchanges and collaboration - the conscience of belonging to one Church in Europe : the Ecclesia in Europa to which Pope John-Paul II referred. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation of the same name, COMECE will organise a series of events in Brussels next year.

This Plenary Assembly was also concerned with reforming the internal functioning of COMECE. Through renewed and more efficient working methods, COMECE will become better equipped to address the new challenges which emerge from a Europe in crisis, and will also be better able to be a partner - adding its socio ethical reflections - in the process of European integration.

Finally, the COMECE bishops during their Plenary Assembly nominated a new General Secretary for a 3-year mandate. Fr Patrick H. Daly, 61, a priest from the diocese of Birmingham (UK) who will take up his new post in January 2013. On this occasion, a reception[1] will be organised to honour both the outgoing and the new General Secretaries. In this way, the Bishops wish to thank Fr Piotr Mazurkiewicz for the work he has accomplished during his 4 years. The Austrian Deacon, Dr Michael Kuhn is tasked with heading the Secretariat in the interim period.

CV of Patrick H. Daly

[1] A press conference will be organised on this occasion, in january 2013, to present the new COMECE General Secretary


by Shafique Khokhar
Hundreds of people took part in yesterday's initiative, entitled "Protect women from violence." Abuses against women often occur in the family or with the tacit approval of the authorities. A problem arising from the culture and local tradition, which must be demolished by laws and a change of mentality.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - A new law against domestic violence and a regulation punishing abuses against women perpetrated by the state machinery and its officials, who should be prosecuted to the full and without hesitation. This is what hundreds of people have demanded - men and women, Christians and Muslims - taking to the streets yesterday in Faisalabad (Punjab), for a peaceful march to raise awareness, entitled "Protect women from violence." At the head of the procession was the Pakistani member of parliament Khalida Mansoor; the event is the result of joint work of Muslim-Christian personalities and was promoted by the human rights groups Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (Awam) and Peace and Human Development (PhD Foundation).

Speaking during the event, the Executive Secretary Awam Naseem Anthony said that "there is a general and widespread acceptance in society of a type of violence based on gender diversity." For this reason, it is not considered a "crime", but rather "an integral part of our [Pakistani] culture and the fate of women" in the country. Exacerbating the problems and behind all the stories of abuse and attacks, said the activist, are other factors such as "poverty, a conservative system, the dependence of women on men and religious extremism."

This was echoed by the director of PhD Foundation, Suneel Malik, who points the finger against forces in theory set up "to defend citizens", but who in many cases are "themselves involved in cases of gender-based violence in prisons or in shelters." Added to this is the widespread sense of "impunity," which perpetrates "inequalities against women and girls."

Interviewed by AsiaNews, Shazia George, a Christian activist, recalls instead the dramatic situation of "forced sterilization of women with disabilities", which she defines in no uncertain terms as a "despicable act." Also compounding the issue is that of "domestic violence," against which the government must enact ad hoc regulations. Opinions shared by the Muslim activist Mehwish Anam, of the Arada network, who calls for a "collective effort" by the media, educators, religious leaders and families, to "create a society alienated from gender discrimination and violence." On the contrary, she says, a "cohesive and strategic" approach would be desirable, on the part of government and civil society.




3 -
4 -


Matthew 4: 18 - 22
18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
19 And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zeb'edee and John his brother, in the boat with Zeb'edee their father, mending their nets, and he called them.
22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.


St. Andrew the Apostle
Feast: November 30

Feast Day:November 30
early 1st Century, Bethsaida
Died:mid-late 1st Century, Patras
Major Shrine:Church of St. Andreas at Patras
Patron of:Scotland, Russia, Sicily, Greece, Romania, Amalfi, Luqa (Malta) and Prussia; Army Rangers, mariners, fishermen, fishmongers, rope-makers, singers and performers

St Andrew was a native of Bethsaida, a town in Galilee, upon the banks of the lake of Genesareth. He was the son of Jonas, or John, a fisherman of that town, and brother to Simon Peter, but whether elder or younger the Holy Scriptures have not acquainted us. They had afterwards a house at Capharnaum, where Jesus lodged when he preached in that city. It is no small proof of the piety and good inclinations of St. Andrew, that when St. John Baptist began to preach penance in the desert, he was not content with going to hear him as others did, but became his disciple, passed much of his time in hearing his instructions, and studied punctually to practice all his lessons and copy his example; but he often returned home to his fishing trade. He was with his master when St. John Baptist, seeing Jesus pass by the day after he had been baptized by him, said, "Behold the Lamb of God." Andrew, by the ardour and purity of his desires and his fidelity in every religious practice, deserved to be so far enlightened as to comprehend this mysterious saying, and without delay he and another disciple of the Baptist went after Jesus, who drew them secretly by the invisible bands of his grace, and saw them with the eyes of his spirit before he beheld them with his corporal eyes. Turning back as he walked and seeing them follow him, he said, "What seek ye?" They said they desired to know where he dwelt; and he bade them come and see. There remained but two hours of that day, which they spent with him, and, according to several fathers, the whole night following. "O how happy a day, how happy a night did they pass I " cries out St. Austin. "Who will tell us what things they then learned from the mouth of their Saviour!"
Andrew, who loved affectionately his brother Simon, called afterwards Peter, could not rest till he had imparted to him the infinite treasure which he had discovered, and brought him to Christ that he might also know him. Simon was no sooner come to Jesus than the Saviour of the world admitted him as a disciple and gave him the name of Peter. The brothers tarried one day with him to hear his divine doctrine, and the next day returned home again. From this time they became Jesus’ disciples, not constantly attending upon him, as they afterwards did, but hearing him frequently, as their business would permit, and returning to their trade and family affairs again. Jesus, in order to prove the truth of his divine doctrine by his works, wrought his first miracle at the marriage at Cana in Galilee, and was pleased that these two brothers should be present at it with his holy mother. Jesus, going up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, stayed some days in Judea, and baptized in the Jordan. Peter and Andrew also baptized by his authority and in his name. Our Saviour being come back into Lower Galilee in autumn, and meeting one day Peter and Andrew fishing in the lake, before the end of the same year, he called them to a constant attendance upon the ministry of the gospel, saying that he would make them fishers of men. Whereupon they immediately left their nets to follow him, and never went from him again. The year following, the Son of God formed the college of his apostles, in which our two brothers are named by the evangelists at the head of the rest. Not long after Jesus went down to Capharnaum and lodged at the house of Peter and Andrew and, at the request of them both, cured Peter's wife's mother of a fever, by taking her by the hand and rebuking the fever, by which it left her When Christ would not send away the multitude of five thousand persons who had followed him into the desert till they were refreshed with some food, St. Philip said two hundred pennyworth of bread would not suffice. But Andrew seemed to express a stronger faith, saying there was a boy who had five barley loaves and two small fishes—which, indeed, were nothing among so many—but Christ could, if he pleased to exert his power, seeing he was greater than Eliseus who, with twenty loaves, fed a hundred men. When Christ was at Bethania, at the house of Lazarus, a little before his Sacred Passion, certain Greeks who came to worship God at the festival, addressed themselves to Philip, begging him to introduce them to Jesus. Philip did not undertake to do it alone; but spoke to St. Andrew, and they both together spoke to their divine master and procured these strangers that happiness. This shows the great credit St. Andrew had with Christ; on which account St. Bede calls him the Introductor to Christ, and says he had this honour because he brought St. Peter to him. Christ having foretold the destruction of the temple, Peter, John, James, and Andrew asked him privately when that should come to pass, that they might forewarn their brethren to escape the danger.
After Christ's resurrection and the descent of the Holy Ghost, St. Andrew preached the gospel in Scythia, as Origen testifies. Sophronius, who wrote soon after St. Jerome and translated his catalogue of illustrious men and some other works into Greek, adds Sogdiana and Colchis. Theodoret tells us that he passed into Greece; St. Gregory Nazianzen mentions particularly Epirus and St. Jerom Achaia. St. Paulinus says this divine fisherman, preaching at Argos, put all the philosophers there to silence. St. Philastrius tells us, that he came out of Pontus into Greece, and that in his time people at Sinope were persuaded that they had his true picture, and the pulpit in which he had preached in that city. The Muscovites have long gloried that St. Andrew carried the gospel into their country as far as the mouth of the Borysthenes, and to the mountains where the city of Kiou now stands, and to the frontiers of Poland. If the ancients mean European Scythia, when they speak of the theatre of his labours, this authority is favourable to the pretensions of the Muscovites. The Greeks understand it of Scythia, beyond Sebastopolis in Colchis, and perhaps also of the European; for they say he planted the faith in Thrace, and particularly at Byzantium, afterwards called Constantinople. But of this we meet with no traces in antiquity. Several Calendars commemorate the feast of the chair of St. Andrew at Patrae, in Achaia It is agreed that he laid down his life there for Christ. St. Paulinus says, that having taken many people in the nets of Christ he confirmed the faith which he had preached by his blood at Patrae. St. Sophronius, St. Gaudentius, and St. Austin assure us that he was crucified; St. Peter Chrysologus says, on a tree; Pseudo-Hippolytus adds, on an olive-tree. In the hymn of Pope Damasus it is barely mentioned that he was crucified. When the apostle saw his cross at a distance, he is said to have cried out, "Hail, precious cross, that hast been consecrated by the body of my Lord, and adorned with his limbs as with rich jewels. I come to thee exulting and glad: receive me with joy into thy arms. O good cross, that hast received beauty from our Lord's limbs; I have ardently loved thee; long have I desired and sought thee: now thou art found by me, and art made ready for my longing soul; receive me into thy arms, taking me from among men, and present me to my master; that he who redeemed me on thee, may receive me by thee." The body of St. Andrew was translated from Patrae to Constantinople in 357, together with those of St. Luke and St. Timothy, and deposited in the Church of the Apostles, which Constantine the Great had built a little before. St. Paulinus and St. Jerome mention miracles wrought on that occasion. The churches of Milan, Nola, Brescia, and some other places, were at the same time enriched with small portions of these relics, as we are informed by St. Ambrose, St. Gaudentius, St. Paulinus, &c.
It is the common opinion that the cross of St. Andrew was in the form of the letter X, styled a cross decussate, composed of two pieces of timber crossing each other obliquely in the middle. That such crosses were sometimes used is certain; yet no clear proofs are produced as to the form of St. Andrew's cross. It is mentioned in the records of the duchy of Burgundy, that the cross of St. Andrew was brought out of Achaia and placed in the nunnery of Weaune, near Marseilles. It was thence removed into the abbey of St. Victor, in Marseilles, before the year 1250, and is still shown there. A part thereof, enclosed in a silver case gilt, was carried to Brussels by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy and Brabant, who, in honour of it, instituted the Knights of the Golden Fleece, who for the badge of their Order, wear a figure of this cross, called St. Andrew's cross, or the cross of Burgundy. The Scots honour St. Andrew as principal patron of their country, and their historians tell us that a certain abbot, called Regulus, brought thither from Patrae in 369, or rather from Constantinople some years later, certain relics of this apostle, which he deposited in a church which he built in his honour with a monastery called Abernethy, where now the city of St. Andrews stands. Usher proves that many pilgrims resorted to this church from foreign countries, and that the Scottish monks of that place were the first who were called Culdees. Hungus, King of the Picts, soon after the year 800, in thanksgiving for a great victory which he had gained over the Northumbrians, gave to this church the tenth part of all the land of his dominions. Kenneth II, King of the Scots, having overcome the Picts, and entirely extinguished their kingdom in North Britain, in 845, repaired and richly endowed the Church of St. Regulus, or Rueil, in which the arm of St. Andrew was reverently kept. The Muscovites say he preached the faith among them, and honour him as the principal titular saint of their empire. Peter the Great instituted under his name the first and most noble order of knighthood, or of the blue ribbon; leaving the project of a second Order of St. Alexander Newski, or of the red ribbon, to be carried into execution by his widow. SOURCE