Andrew was a fisherman. But he was searching for something more important than life on the sea could give him. Like many faithful Jews of his time, Andrew was waiting for God to send the Savior he had promised.
Andrew first learned about Jesus from the preaching of John the Baptist. John told the people, “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:7-8). One day, Andrew and his friend heard John the Baptist say, “Behold, the Lamb of God” (John 1:36) as a stranger walked by. The stranger was Jesus! The two men immediately began to follow Jesus, who invited them to join him. Andrew could not keep this good news to himself. He ran to get his brother Simon and brought him to Jesus. These three men became Jesus’ first disciples.
Nothing made Andrew happier than bringing people to meet and believe in Jesus. In John’s Gospel, we learn that it was Andrew who found a boy with five loaves of bread and two fish and brought him to the Lord, leading to Jesus feeding a crowd of more than 5,000 people.
After Pentecost, the Holy Spirit helped Andrew continue to bring people to Christ. His stories about Jesus convinced many people to be baptized. Andrew was a true missionary for Christ, preaching in Greece and Russia.
Like our Lord, Andrew was crucified, but his cross was in the shape of an “X.” That “X” is an important part of one of the legends that is told about how Andrew came to be the patron saint of Scotland.
Scottish tradition says that many years ago, the country was being threatened by a much stronger army. King Angus prayed that God would save his country from the invaders. As he prayed, an “X”-shaped cross appeared in the sky. The King recognized the cross as a sign of St. Andrew’s protection. The Scots were victorious, and King Angus immediately decreed that Andrew would forever be the patron saint of his country. Today, if you look closely at a picture of the flag of Scotland, you will see the X-shaped cross that recalls St. Andrew the Apostle. His feast day is the national day of Scotland.