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5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About St. Andrew the Apostle

This “fisher of men” celebrates his feast day on November 30.

We all know he’s the brother of Simon Peter and a fisherman by trade. But are you sure you know all there is about St. Andrew the Apostle? 

If your answer is yes, think again! On his feast day this November 30, we commemorate his life with these five fun facts!

#1: St. Andrew Was a Protoclete

That’s the Greek word for “first called,” as Andrew (along with his brother Simon Peter) was the first to encounter Jesus in the Sea of Galilee. “Come, join me,” beckoned Jesus to the fishermen, “and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20 confirm this, but John 1:35-42 offers a different take. Originally the disciples of John the Baptist, Andrew and Simon Peter followed Jesus after John identified Him as the Lamb of God.  

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The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew, 1308-1311 by Duccio di Buoninsegna (Photo from National Gallery of Art)

#2: St. Andrew’s Name Was “Manly”

Though he was born in Bethsaida, Galilee, St. Andrew the Apostle was given a Greek— not Hebrew— name. According to the National Catholic Registrar, “Andrew” (or Andreas in Greece) originated from the Greek word for “man.” “Manly” was most likely the attribute Andrew’s parents had wished for their son.  

#3: St. Andrew Appears in Key Events in Jesus’s Life

It was Andrew who brought the young boy with five barley loaves and two small fish to the attention of Jesus, who then multiplied them to feed a large crowd of followers in the parable “The Feeding of the Five Thousand” (John 6:1-15). (Read: No, They’re Not Magicians! These Saints Are Just Mystical)

Together with Philip, Andrew brought a group of Greeks to meet Jesus (John 12: 20-22). Andrew was also with Peter, James, and John at the Mount of Olives when he asked Jesus about the fulfillment of a prophecy (Mark 13: 3-4). 

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It was Andrew who brought the young boy with five barley loaves and two small fish to the attention of Jesus, who then multiplied them to feed a large crowd of followers in the parable “The Feeding of the Five Thousand” (John 6:1-15). (Photo from Claretian Missionaries)

#4: St. Andrew Was Crucified “Saltire” Style

Andrew, who would travel far and wide to spread the Gospel, died a martyr like Jesus in AD 60. Though he too was crucified, the apostle felt he was unworthy of death similar to the Son of God. Thus, he was bound to a diagonal or X-shaped cross known as a saltire or crux (Read: Pope Francis Homilies: Valuable Lessons on Christian Living)

#5: St. Andrew Is the Patron Saint of Numerous Countries and People

Scotland (note the saltire on the country’s flag), Russia, Ukraine, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Georgia, and Barbados consider St. Andrew their patron saint, as do fishermen and singers. 

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