Catechetical Saints: St. Andrew the Apostle

Authored by Sr. M. Johanna Paruch in Issue #35.2 of The Sower

In the second of these articles on the Apostles as Catechetical Saints, we look at St. Andrew. Peter is usually mentioned first in the list of the apostles because of his position as the first Vicar of Jesus Christ, but in John’s Gospel Andrew is the first to be called by Jesus. Pope Benedict tells us,
Andrew, then, was the first of the Apostles to be called to follow Jesus. Exactly for this reason the liturgy of the Byzantine Church honours him with the nickname: “Protokletos” [protoclete], which means, precisely, “the first called”. (General Audience, 14 June 2006)
It is he who introduced his brother Peter to the Lord. They were both fishermen in Capernaum, and after the death of Jesus they became fishers of men. Both apostles also followed Jesus literally to the cross. Peter died on an upside down cross, because he did not deem it worthy to die exactly as his Master. Andrew shared this same sense of unworthiness and died on an X-shaped cross. St. Andrew’s Cross (saltire) eventually became the national flag of Scotland and is also on the flag of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia (New Scotland).
Initially Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist. After Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, Andrew left to join the one that John called the “Lamb of God”. He immediately left everything when Jesus called him to leave his nets. Later, we see him act as mediator two times in the Gospel of John.
It is obvious that Andrew possessed a lingering desire for the truth, first with the Baptist and finally with Jesus. Let us examine what we catechists can learn from St. Andrew.

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