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The Shepherd's Guild

Saints of November
A listing of a few saints commemorated in the month of November:
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St. Nektarios of Aegina
 
Commemorated on November 9

For information of the Saint click here

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St. Katherine the Great Martyr of Alexandria

November 25

Saint Catherine, who was from Alexandria, was the daughter of Constas (or Cestus). She was an exceedingly beautiful maiden, most chaste, and illustrious in wealth, lineage, and learning. By her steadfast understanding, she utterly vanquished the passionate and unbridled soul of Maximinus, the tyrant of Alexandria; and by her eloquence, she stopped the mouths of the so-called philosophers who had been gathered to dispute with her. She was crowned with the crown of martyrdom in the year 305. Her holy relics were taken by Angels to the holy mountain of Sinai, where they were discovered many years later; the famous monastery of Saint Catherine was originally dedicated to the Holy Transfiguration of the Lord and the Burning Bush, but later was dedicated to Saint Catherine. According to the ancient usage, Saints Catherine and Mercurius were celebrated on the 24th of this month, whereas the holy Hieromartyrs Clement of Rome and Peter of Alexandria were celebrated on the 25th. The dates of the feasts of these Saints were interchanged at the request of the Church and Monastery of Mount Sinai, so that the festival of Saint Catherine, their patron, might be celebrated more festively together with the Apodosis of the Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos. The Slavic Churches, however, commemorate these Saints on their original dates.

source: GOArch

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St. Catherine (icon: www.comeandseeicons.com)

A Profile of a Martyr of the 20th-Century:

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Saint Philoumenos the New Hieromartyr of Jacob's Well

New martyr Archimandrite Philoumenos (Hasapis)(Greek: Π. Φιλουμενος ο Κυπριος , also Π. Φιλουμενος Ορουντιωτης ), October 15, 1913 - November 16, 1979, was the Igumen of the Greek Orthodox monastery of Jacob's Well near the city of Samaria, now called Nablus (Neapolis), in the West Bank.

In a Synodal decision the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem classified him in its Hagiologion at its 50th Session on September 11, 2009. He was officially glorified by the the Patriarchate of Jerusalem on November 29, 2009 (Old Style), and is commemorated by the Church on November 16/29. His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus III presided at the Divine Liturgy, along with the bishops of the Patriarchal see of Jerusalem and a number of bishops from the Church of Cyprus, in addition to a delegation from the Russian Church.

The life of Father Philoumenos is an example that martyrdom for Christ is not of the past from the Roman Empire or Communist times, but is a reality even in our own day.

Martyrdom

The crowning moment of Father Philoumenos’ earthly pilgrimage came on November 16/29, 1979 at the shrine built on the site of Jacob's Well. The Saint experienced a martyric death at the hands of extremist Jewish Zionists who massacred him with an ax in the evening, while he was performing Vespers at the Well of Jacob where he lived as a loyal guardian of the Holy Places and centuries old way of life.

The week before his martyrdom, a group of fanatical Zionists had come to the monastery at Jacob's Well, claiming it as a Jewish holy place and demanding that all crosses and icons be removed. Of course, the Saint pointed out that the floor upon which they were standing had been built by Emperor Constantine before 331 A.D. and had served as an Orthodox Christian holy place for sixteen centuries before the Israeli State was created, and had been in Samaritan hands eight centuries before that.[ The group left with threats, insults and obscenities of the kind which local Christians suffer regularly.

After a few days, on November 16/29, 1979, during a torrential downpour, a group broke into the monastery. The saint had already put on his epitrachelion for Vespers.

"They burst into the monastery and with a hatchet butchered Archimandrite Philoumenos in the form of a cross. With one vertical stroke they clove his face, with another horizontal stroke they cut his cheeks as far as his ears. His eyes were plucked out. The fingers of his right hand were cut into pieces and its thumb was hacked off. These were the fingers with which he made the sign of the Cross. The murderers were not content with the butchering of the innocent monk, but proceeded to desecrate the church as well. A crucifix was destroyed, the sacred vessels were scattered and defiled, and the church was in general subjected to sacrilege of the most appalling type."

The piecemeal chopping of the three fingers with which he made the Sign of the Cross showed that he was tortured in an attempt to make him renounce his Orthodox Christian Faith.

The body of the Saint was handed over to the Orthodox 6 days after his massacre, but retained its flexibility and was buried in the cemetery of Mount Zion. Saint Philoumenos served in the Holy Land for 46 years (1933-1979). After four years his body was exhumed, as is customary among Greek monks. It was found to be substantially incorrupt and had the smell of a beautiful scent. Then the tomb was closed and was reopened during the Christmas season of 1984.

Glorification

On November 17/30, Patriarch Diodorus of Jerusalem, accompanied by various Greek bishops, archimandrites, clergymen and monastics, opened the grave. The coffin was reverently removed from its grave in the cemetery of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher on Mount Sion, and, when the shroud was lifted off, the relics were found to be substantially incorrupt. The remains were rinsed with wine, and then wrapped in a sheet. A short memorial service was then chanted.

Hieromartyr Philoumenos was ranked among the Saints of the Church of Jerusalem on August 17/30, 2008, and from that time, his incorrupt body was transferred to the pilgrimage site of Saint Jacob's Well where he had found martyrdom for the love of Christ.

source: OrthodoxWiki

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Agios Minas the Martyr

Saint Minas (Agios Minas in Greek) is the patron saint of Heraklion and his feast-day, on 11 November, is a public holiday

Saint Menas was born in Egypt in the middle of the third century AD parents pagans. However, the pagan environment in which they grow, failed to harden his heart, which, when it came down to it, leaped listening to the voice of "Hearts and kidneys etazontos" (Psalm 7.10) and so the God, even a teenager, Minas became a Christian.
 
Growing up, he chose careers in the Roman army, the cavalry battalion of Routalikon, under the command of Argyriskou. The headquarters facility was in Kotyaeion (now Kutahya) Asia Minor. Minas excelled there and the wisdom and the spirit of brave and so enjoyed the cycle assessment of the military.
Unfortunately, three centuries after the advent of Christ and the old people still did not want to accept the redemptive message of the Resurrection, still smug, selfish and self-destructive wedded to wear and darkness. The emperors of Rome began again "to Central laktizein" (Acts 26.14). Diocletian and Maximian ordered the persecution of rational sheep of Christ, persecution which lasted from 303 to 311 AD Thus, the Roman soldiers were ordered to arrest and tyranny Christians trying to get them to convert. This was the first critical moment when Minas asked to say "yes or great big no." His faith in Christ defeated the secular "wisdom" and logic.
 
The Saint could not resist, he threw back his military belt apekdyomenos me this way as a soldier - persecutor of Christians, and fled to nearby Mt. There ascetic, preferring the company of beasts of nature from the company of apothiriomenon idolaters. There, "in erimiais errant Orestes And And And thy spilaiois holes of the earth" (Hebrews 11.38), lived for some time with fasting, vigil and prayer. The ascetic life and quiet ethermanan his heart turning to divine love and the desire of martyrdom.
 
So, at the age of fifty years of divine revelation that it was time of martyrdom, went to town, day pagan festival and boldly amidst the raging heathen, confessed Christ as the one and true God, the myktirizontas deaf and insensitive images. He was arrested and dragged before the deromenos Pyrrhus, the governor of the city. There, speaking boldly revealed his name, his origins, his military past and, of course, proclaimed with courage and unwavering perseverance of faith in Christ. He was taken to jail and in the morning the following day, after the pagan festival, the show again before the prince who accused him insulted the gods and even in front of him and deserted from the army. Saint categories accepted without hesitation.
 
Pyrrhus, in principle evlavoumenos age and efkosmia, tried with words and promises and threats then distract him from the faith of Christ. When his efforts failed to identify consistent refusal of St., ordered to submit to the intolerable torture. The executioners flogged him so much that they changed two to three times the Lasher. And hung up egdernan began to show the internal organs of the saint. Then, as if these were not enough, rubbed his body with katapligomeno Bristle fabric and finally dragged him naked and katakreourgimeno over metal thorns. All endured with courage and karteropsychia the martyr of Christ, applying the Gospel "And do not fear those apoktennonton body, soul incapable But apokteinai" (Matthew 10.28).
 
Indeed, at the time of martyrdom, some old fellow soldiers urged him to sacrifice to idols by saying that God would justify torture watching him submitted. Saint resolutely refused and replied that even sacrifice himself to Christ, who strengthens to endure wounds.
 
The prince, admiring the wisdom and the wisdom of the answers of the witness asked him puzzled how could a gruff soldier like him to be able to respond in this way. And Saint, by inspiration of God, she responded that this ability gives the witnesses of Christ, as promised in the Gospel: "When he prosferosin ymas on synagogues and Tash Tash ancient and powers, do not worry how or what Or what apologisisthe eipite. The GAR Holy Spirit teach You in unto her see the things which words per hour "(Luke l ', 11-12).
 
Then, desperate tyrant ordered to decapitate him. Marching to the place of execution Saint managed to ask some crypto carry the relics in Egypt.
The decapitation was made on November 11 in the early 4th century. A.D. (Probably in 304 AD), and thus threw joyful soul to Christ the Saviour whom both epothise the saint for whom sacrificed. The executioners lit a fire to burn his body.
That Christians were able to salvage from the fire carried it to Egypt and buried Mareotis near lake, southwest of Alexandria.
 
At that point he stopped, according to tradition, the camel carrying the remains stubbornly refusing to move. So Christians understood that it was God's will to be buried there, the relics of the saint.
 
The area of ​​the tomb soon became a pilgrimage - worship center.
Constantine the Great, when he was Patriarch of Alexandria Athanasius the Great, built a temple on the grave of the saint. In a few years there was created an extensive building complex that included two temples, monastery, hostels and other facilities.
 
Miracles of St. Mina
One of the practitioners of our time, Elder Porphyrios, had told the spiritual children that after his death it will be closer than they were alive because they will no longer be subject to biological laws of the human body. So Saint Minas, for seventeen hundred years now after his passing, has not ceased to be close to the believers, helping those with faith and hope in God is invoked.
Of the many wonders of the Saint who rescues the delivery will be made in the following few and features.
 
a) The greedy innkeeper
 
A Christian from Istanbul, heading for the feast of St. Mina and having enough money with him, slept in a hotel. The hotelier saw foreign money, and gripped by greed, killed basking in diemelise and put the pieces into one Spyridon (baskets). While thinking to bury members of his victim not to reveal the crime, arrived at the hotel a mounted soldier, Agios Minas, and insistently asks where is the pilgrim. The hotelier assures him that knows nothing but the Holy xepezefei enters the interior of the house, finds Spyridon, brings before him and asked him to look fierce and terrible to tell him who the dead.
 
Then the killer shuddered, falling speechless and trembling at the feet of the unknown rider. Saint assembling members of the victim, prayed and raised the dead pilgrim ordering to glorify God. The resurrected as if he had been raised from sleep, he realized what happened, glorified God and worshiped the saint.
Once the killer met with terror and stood up, took his Saint stolen money and returned to the pilgrim telling him to continue on his way.
 
Then, to complete the goodness of God, turned to the innkeeper, beat him as he deserved, the enouthetise gave him pardon for his crime of praying for him, rode his horse and he disappeared. Only then he realized the innkeeper that the soldier he was St. Minas, which is reminiscent of the experience of the two Apostles on their way to Emmaus, in the company of the Risen Christ. (Luke x ', 31).
 
b) The salvation servant
 
Someone wealthy Christian gave to Saint Menas offer a silver tray in his temple. Then ordered the two discs silversmith and asked him to hand one to write the name of the saint is not another name his own. But because the disc destined for San became brighter and nicer, the Christian, driven by greed, without being ashamed kept it for himself.
 
So traveling at sea, dined aboard recklessly and without using the disc reverence of the saint. After dinner the servant of irreverent Christian tried to wash the tray into the sea as a result of falling into the water and sink. Then the young servant was scared too, and daze, trying to catch the disc, and he fell overboard.
When his master understood the incident synaisthanthike that paid the attempts of greed and typtomenos of his conscience, begging God to even find the remains of the small servant tazontas give the Church of St. Mina and the second disk, and the money was worth the lost sea record. After came ashore waited anxiously on the beach lest ekvrasthei his body servant. And while observing the sea, sees little coming out alive from the water, holding the silver tray and the Holy!
 
Rich shuddered from the miracle and took great voice that listening to the passengers on the ship went all out and, seeing the incident, asked his servant, who told the following: "I just fell into the sea, presented in front of me three people. The largest of them wore military uniform, the other was young and the third was a deacon. These three took with them from the bottom and walking yesterday and brought me up here. "
 
The owner of the child and the passengers of the ship listening to the exquisite miracle edoxazan ethafmazan God and the ways used to people "to the knowledge of truth elthein" (I Timothy 3.7).
 
The three who saved his servant was St. Minas (the military), Saint Victor (the boy) (see same day) and St. Vincent (the Deacon) (see same day).
The last two saints martyred on the same day with Saint Mina. In the second century. AD. Saint Victor skinned alive by the pagans and the third century. AD Saint Vincent died after crucifixion and dismantling of members in which he presented the torturers.
 
c) The Miracle in Heraklion, Crete was in 1826 AD
Even a miracle of Saint Mina took place in 1826 AD Heraklion, Crete, the city in which the highly celebrated saint. In 1821 AD, after the outbreak of the great Greek Revolution against the Turks, the conquerors proceeded to massacre thousands of civilians in many areas. Among the first who paid with their blood the revolution were the inhabitants of Crete. Among the thousands of victims was Metropolitan of Crete, Chania Bishops, Knossos Cheronnisou, Lambi Sitia etc. who slaughtered the June 24, 1821 AD, in the grounds of the Metropolitan Church of Heraklion. Indeed officiate priest slaughtered on the altar!
 
Five years later, in 1826 AD, the Turks in Heraklion planned to make slaughter of Christians, and again the Cathedral of St. Minas, on April 18, Easter day, hour Paschal Divine Liturgy to catch them Christians unprepared. For distraction fired at different remote locations in the city, while armed horde had gathered outside the church, waiting for the time of reading the Gospel to invade and begin the slaughter.
 
But once started reading appeared one white-haired old rider who raced around the temple brandishing his sword and chasing aspiring butchers who were forced to flee in panic. So were saved Christians tortured Heraklion from terrible danger.
The Turks thought that the rider was notable Muslim emissary from the Governor of the city to halt the slaughter. When they protested to the Governor, he assured them that he knew nothing and indeed found that this was not notable at all out of the house.
 
Turks then realized that it was a miracle of Saint Minas, communicated the fact to the Greeks and then the Muslims Holy ivlavounto much, even offering gifts to the temple. This miracle of Saint Menas was established to be honored in Heraklion Tuesday after Easter, when exposed to worship in the evening, relic of the saint.
 
d) The miracle at Father George
 
"Among the Fathers of the Church wronged us is the Osiotatos Father George, Hadji-Georgis, who is a contemporary saint of our times, but we can say, and a great saint, depending on our age." Writes Elder Paisios the Athonite.
 
Elder Hadji-Georgis (1809 - 1886 AD), "the great and notorious hermit," hermitage on Mount Athos for a long time. For several years he lived in Cherry, the big cell of St. Demetrios and St. Menas as submissive Papa-Neophytos the beginning and as the Elder Escort from 1848 AD onwards. "Once, while Elder ischoleito with handiwork, accidentally swallowed a large needle and prayed for the martyr Menas.
 
Then stood before the saint, he put his hand on his neck and pulled the needle. "

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St Arsenios the Cappadocian with St. Paisios

St. Arsenios the Cappadocian

Our father among the saints Arsenios the Cappadocian (1840–1924) was the god-father and spiritual father of Elder Paisios. He was recognized as a saint by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1986. His feast day is November 10
 

St. Arsenios the Cappadocian (1840–1924) was the spiritual father of Elder Paisios’ family. He baptized Elder Paisios as an infant. Throughout his life Elder Paisios had great love and reverence for the memory of St. Arsenios, and it was out of this love that he compiled the book "Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian"[1] which provides us with the details of his life.

St. Arsenios pastored his Greek Orthodox flock amidst extremely difficult conditions. He lived with his people in the village of Farasa in Cappadocia, which after 1453 had fallen into the hands of the Muslim Turks. Under the harsh yoke of the Turks, the Greek people of Farasa formed an oasis of Orthodox Christianity. They sought refuge in holy St. Arsenios, who was their teacher, their spiritual father, and the healer of their souls and bodies. His reputation as a healer was so great that not only Greek Christians but also Turkish Muslims came to him for healing. Many times his village was threatened with violence from marauding Turks, but each time it was preserved in a miraculous way by St. Arsenios. The accounts in this book, which were taken down by Elder Paisios from eyewitnesses, testify to how powerfully God works through His holy ones, and to how lovingly He cares for and protects His children amidst adversity.

Since 1970, many apparitions and miracles have occurred near his holy relics, which reside in the Monastery of Souroti near Thessalonica. He was officially glorified by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1986.

 

source: OrthodoxWiki

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St. Gregory Palamas

Commemorated on November 14
 
    The teaching of St. Gregory is so fundamental to Orthodoxy that he is especially commemorated each year in Great Lent on the Sunday following the Sunday of Orthodoxy (as well as on Nov. 14); Bishop Kallistos observes in the English edition of the Philokalia, "his successful defence of the divine and uncreated character of the light of Tabor...(is) seen as a direct continuation of the preceding celebration, as nothing, less than a renewed Triumph of Orthodoxy."
 
    The son of a prominent family, St. Gregory was born (1296) and raised in Constantinople. At about age twenty, he abandoned a promising secular career to become a monk on Mt. Athos.(His family joined him en masse: two of his brothers went with him to the Holy Mountain; at the same time his widowed mother, two of his sisters, and many of the household servants also entered monastic life.) He spent next twenty years living as a hermit, spending five days a week in complete solitude, then joining the brethren on weekends for the Divine Liturgy and its accompanying services.
 
      Around 1335 he was called to live a much more public life in defense of the faith and spirituality of the Church. A Greek living in Italy, Barlaam the Calabrian, had launched an attack on the hesychastic spirituality of the Church. Fundamentally, Barlaan]m denied that man can attain to a true vision of God Himself, or true union with Him, in this life. Gregory, recognizing in this an attack on the Christian faith itself, responded. He even left the Holy Mountain and re-settled in Constantinople so as better to wage the struggle, which had become so public that a Church Council was called to settle the issue. St. Gregory views were affirmed, and Barlaam's condemned, at the Council of Constantinople of 1341.
 
    Though Barlaam himself returned to Italy, a series of his followers continued the attack, eventually resulting in two more Council in 1347 and 1351, both of which affirmed the hesychasts' position. Metropolitan Hierotheos (The Mind of the Orthodox Church) writes that these councils have "all the marks of an Ecumenical Council;" This, along with the fact that St. Gregory's view are affirmed in the Synodikon of second Sunday of Great Lent, makes clear that his teaching is a basic and indispensable part of the Orthodox Faith.
 
    In 1347, St. Gregory was consecrated Metropolitan of Thessaloniki, where he served until his repose. (He spent a year of this period as the prisoner of Turkish pirates). Despite (or due to?) his austere monastic background, he was revered by his flock: immediately after his respose in 1359, popular veneration of him sprang up in Thessaloniki, Constantinople and Mt. Athos and, in 1368, only nine yearsafter his death, the Church officially glorified him as a saint.
 
    St. Gregory was always clear that unceasing mental prayer is not a special calling of monastics, but is possible and desirable for every Christian in every walk of life.  See his "On the Necessity of Constant Prayer for all Christians."
 
Source: www.abbamoses.com

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St. John the Merciful, Patriarch of Alexandria

Commemorated on November 12
 
       He was born of wealthy parents in Cyprus and became a widower. As all his children died, he used his wealth to help the poor. When he was elected patriarch of Alexandria he immediately asked to see a list of his masters. When asked, "What masters?" he said he wanted to see a list of the poor who needed his help. He built hospitals and visited the sick himself. He was a man of peace and humility. One day he had to excommunicate two clergy who had a fist fight with each other. One bore it humbly but the other resented John. The next Sunday, as the patriarch was serving liturgy, the deacon began the offertory prayer for the gifts and John remembered the lord's words, "If you bring your gift to the altar and there remember your brother has something against you, leave your gift before the altar and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift." He told his deacon to keep on saying the offertory prayer until he returned and then he left the altar. He sent to have the resentful cleric brought to meet him in the vestry. There, in full vestments, the aged patriarch fell on his knees before the cleric, bowed down, and said, "Forgive me, my brother!" The man, ashamed of himself, flung himself at the patriarch's feet and, weeping, asked hims pardon. They embraced in peace and the patriarch returned to the altar to continue with the liturgy.
 
     When the Persians invaded Egypt, John fled home to his native Cyprus. He fell ill on the way and died in his native town in 620 at the age of sixty-four. He ruled his patriarchal see for ten years.
 
Source: "A Daily Calendar of Saints" by Rev. Lawrence R. Farley

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St. Matthew (www.comeandseeicons.com)

St. Matthew the Apostle & Evangelist

Commemorated on November 16
 
    He was a Galilean, the son of Alphaeus, and was originallynamed Levi. He was a tax-collector (an occupation despised by the Jews of Palestine) until he met the Lord, who said to him, "Follow me." From that day he was one of the disciples.
 
    After the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostle was appointed to bring the Gospel to his fellow Jews, for whom, according to the Church's tradition, he wrote down the Gospel for the first time, in the Aramaic language, eight years after the Ascension. Some years later,this book was translated into Greek by St. James, the first Bishop of Jerusalem. No copy in the original language has survived.
 
    Later, St. Matthew traveled to Parthia and the city of Hierapolis (on the Euphrates river) to proclaim the Gospel to the pagans there. When he is depicted in icons, there is portrayed next him the likeness of a man, one of the symbolic living creatures mentioned by Ezekiel (1.10), which, as Saint Irenaeus writes, is a symbol of our Saviour's  Incarnation.
 
 

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Saint Stylianus of Paphlagonia
 
Commemorated on November 26

Saint Stylianus was born in Paphlagonia of Asia Minor sometime between the fourth and sixth centuries. He inherited a great fortune from his parents when they died, but he did not keep it. He gave it away to the poor according to their need, desiring to help those who were less fortunate.

Stylianus left the city and went to a monastery, where he devoted his life to God. Since he was more zealous and devout than the other monks, he provoked their jealousy and had to leave. He left the monastery to live alone in a cave in the wilderness, where he spent his time in prayer and fasting.

The goodness and piety of the saint soon became evident to the inhabitants of Paphlagonia, and they sought him out to hear his teaching, or to be cured by him. Many were healed of physical and mental illnesses by his prayers.

St Stylianus was known for his love of children, and he would heal them of their infirmities. Even after his death, the citizens of Paphlagonia believed that he could cure their children. Whenever a child became sick, an icon of St Stylianus was painted and was hung over the child's bed.

At the hour of his death, the face of St Stylianus suddenly became radiant, and an angel appeared to receive his soul.

Known as a protector of children, St Stylianus is depicted in iconography holding an infant in his arms. Pious Christians ask him to help and protect their children, and childless women entreat his intercession so that they might have children. (source: OCA)

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Icon by comeandseeicons.com

St. Andrew the Apostle, the First-Called

November 30
 
      St. Andrew, the first who was called to be an apostle of Christ. A native of Bethsaida, he was the elder brother of St. Peter and a fisherman with him on the sea of Galilee. He was a disciple of St. John the Baptizer (John 1:36ff.) and through John's witness of Jesus, Andrew became Jesus' first follower, believing Him to be the Messiah.
 
      When Christ called Andrew and Peter from their life as fishermen to be His disciples, they immediately left all and followed Him (Matt. 4:18ff.). He was one of the Twelve and seems to have had a special knack for engaging individuals and introducing them to Christ. Thus he brought his brother Simon to Christ (John 1:41), introduced a little lad with five loaves and two fishes to Christ (John 6:8ff.), and even, with Philip, introduced some Greeks to Him (John 12:20-22). In his later apostolic travels, he went as far as Scythia near the Black Sea (and is therefore hailed by Russians as their national patron) and established a church in Byzantium on his return. He then went to preach in Greece.
 
     He was finally martyred by being tied to an X-shaped cross, lingering for some time and preaching to all who saw him. The martyrdom took place in Patras in Achaia. His relics were kept in Constantinople until 1210. In the church of St. Andrew on Cephalonia a relic can be found.
  
     St. Andrew is the patron of Scotland, Russia, Greece and fishermen. He is usually depicted with a cross or fish.