10 Things about St Andrew
Today is St Andrew’s Day. It's the one day of the year when us Scots celebrate the life of our patron saint, St Andrew the man who inspired our flag.
So how did a Galilean fisherman end up the patron saint of a number of countries and err…. gout? Here are 10 things you probably don't know about St Andrew.
1. His Name
His name Andrew means Strong, Manly and Courageous plus he was also well known for his social skills.2. He was one of the 12 Apostles
He introduced the first foreigners to Jesus and embarrassed a large group into sharing their food with the less fortunate people around them. 3. His Death
His death was pretty gruesome even back then. He was crucified on a cross, shaped like an X. Hence the x shaped cross on our flag. Now known as the Saltire or the St. Andrews Cross. 4. Patron Saint of the strangest things
As well as being the patron saint of Scotland, St Andrew is also the patron saint of a number of other countries including Russia, Greece, Barbados, and Romania. Plus some random things like maidens, fishmongers, women trying to conceive, sore throats, spinsters and gout. Who knew!5. Posthumous Traveler
Hundreds of years after his crucifixion in Greece, St Andrews remains were moved to Istanbul, formerly Constantinople and then again to Amalfi in Italy. This is where most of his remains still lie today. 6. Strange gifts
Over the years Scotland has been receiving body parts as gifts from dignitaries. Since around 500AD we have been the proud owners of a kneecap, his arm, a tooth and finger bones. The Archbishop of Amalfi gave us his shoulder blade in the late 1800s and Pope Paul VI added some more parts in the 60’s. 7. Why Scotland?
The Greek monk St Regulus, was said to have had a vision. He was told to take St Andrews body parts to the ends of the earth for safe-keeping. His long journey ended in Scotland on the shores of Fife in a town now known as St Andrews.8. Died for his Beliefs
Just like many of his contemporaries, St Andrew was crucified for his Christian Beliefs by the Romans. They didn't like the fact that he was the first Bishop of Greece. 9. The Hex Sign
The St Andrews Cross was also used on fireplaces in Scotland and northern parts of England as a hex sign. According to local superstition the sign of the cross on a fireplace prevented witches from entering the room.10. It’s all about who you know.
As well as being one of the Twelve Apostles. St Andrew was the brother of St Peter, who was the founder of the Catholic Church. This gave us Scots some power when it came to negotiations and especially in the 1300’s when we were able to ask the Pope for protection against the English attempts to take over Scotland.