St Andrew the Apostle, the First-Called
(Commemorated on 30 November)


Of the original twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, Saint Andrew has been granted the title of “First Called.” He had first been a disciple of John the Baptist. Upon hearing the Baptist referring to Christ saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, 36), St Andrew immediately followed Christ and became His first disciple. St Andrew was St Peter’s brother. Both were fishermen and sons of Jonas.

St Basil of Seleucis refers to the significance of St Andrew being the First Called, because of his responsiveness to Christ in his actions that followed: “Taking Peter with him, Andrew brought his brother to the Lord, thus making him his fellow-disciple. This was Andrew’s first achievement: he increased the number of the apostles by bringing Peter to Christ, so that Christ might find in him the disciples’ leader. When later Peter won approval, it was thanks to the seed sown by Andrew.”

In a sense the “we have found the Messiah” (John 1:41) exclaimed by St Andrew to St Peter was to be repeated by Saint Peter himself: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). The second confession could not have happened without the first.

Saint Andrew’s far and wide missionary journeys took him as far as modern day Afghanistan, up through to Russia and as far as Northern and sub-Saharan Africa, into southern Finland and Romania, before travelling to Greece where he martyred for Christ. He is also the patron saint for Scotland.

At the end, his enthusiasm for Christ never waned, even as he gave up his life for Christ as a very old man: “But You Yourself, O Christ, Whom I desired, Whom I loved, Whom I have known, Whom I hold, Whom I now love, Who I belong to, receive me so that through my own death, many of my own fellow people will be able to come to You, finding comfort in Your majesty” (From the Martyrdom of Apostle Andrew, Feast Day, 30th November).


Source: Lychnos October-November 2020