St. Andrew is one of my more favourite apostles. Born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee, he was nothing more than a simple fisherman. Formerly the disciple of St. John the Baptist, the Precursor, Andrew immediately turned and followed Jesus when John pointed out the Christ and proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
Andrew was the younger brother of Simon Peter, and it was while he and Peter were “casting their nets into the sea” that Christ walked nearby them and told them to follow Him. “And I” Christ said to them, “will make you fishers of men.”
St. Andrew was a the apostle that always wanted to share. When Christ told him that He was the Messiah, Andrew went forthwith to fetch Peter and have him follow Christ as well. When the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes occurred, St. Andrew was the one that pointed out the lad with the fishes and barley loaves.
Though he is not as well-known as his elder brother, St. Andrew was nevertheless a true apostle. He is said to have travelled to Asia Minor and Greece, preaching and leading many men to God and the True Faith. It is also thought he may have travelled to Russia and Poland as well, and in Scythia as far as Kiev.
His martyrdom occurred in a place called Patras in Achaias, by the order of the Roman Governer Aegeas during the reign of Nero. He was crucified on a cross that was shaped in the form of an X; a crux decussata. He hung upon the cross for three days, preaching from this throne and calling more souls to God. He died on the third day.
He is called “Protoclet” (the first-called) by the Greeks, because he was the first of the apostles to follow Christ.
He is the patron saint of both Scotland and Russia.
St. Andrew’s cross, a white X emblazoned on a blue field, is the official flag of Scotland.
In traditional circles, it is customary for Catholics to recite the novena prayer of St. Andrew from the date of his Feast on November 30 until Christmas Eve. The prayer is recited fifteen times in a row, once a day, usually after the Rosary has been recited. Catholics can keep track of the fifteen recitals on their Rosary beads. During this twenty-five day novena you ask for a particular grace, or request, that you most desire.
Here is the prayer below:
The Christmas Prayer to St. Andrew
Hail and blessed be the hour and the 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, oh my God, to hear my prayer and to grant my desires. Through the merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ and of his blessed Mother. Amen.