12 May – ST. Andrew’s day and a holyday according to Georgian Orthodox Church

You may have heard about ST. Andrew, the first called apostle?!

The Georgian Orthodox Church marks two feast days in honor of Saint Andrew, on 12 May and 13 December. The former date, dedicated to Andrew’s arrival in Georgia, is a public holiday in Georgia.

Andrew the Apostle also called Saint Andrew, was an apostle of Jesus according to the New Testament. He is referred to in the Orthodox tradition as the First-Called because Jesus called him first to be his disciple. According to Orthodox tradition, the apostolic successor to Andrew is the Patriarch of Constantinople.

The first missionary journey: The apostle is said to have preached in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Moved from Gaza to the Palestinian city of Lida (where St. George was later martyred). Then he moved to Antioch and from there to Edessa (Urfa, Turkey). In 36 A.D. St. Andrew the Apostle moved to the Greek city of Byzantium, which later became Constantinople. He then preached in Cappadocia, Galatia, also in the Greek kingdom of Pontus (now, northern Turkey), and then went to Georgia and then to Armenia. Thus he finished his sermon and returned to Jerusalem.

The church tradition of Georgia regards Andrew as the first preacher of Christianity in the territory of Georgia and as the founder of the Georgian church. According to the Byzantine sources, particularly Nicetas of Paphlagonia (died c. 890) “Andrew preached to the Iberians, Sauromatians, Taurians, and Scythians and to every region and city, on the Black Sea, both north and south.”

Relics alleged of the Apostle Andrew are kept at the Basilica of Saint Andrew in Patras, Greece; in Amalfi Cathedral (the Duomo di Sant’Andrea), Amalfi and in Sarzana Cathedral in Sarzana, Italy; St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Church of St Andrew and St Albert, Warsaw, Poland.

Have a Happy St. Andrews day, especially to ones who called Andrews!

Mariam

A 13th-century fresco depicting Saint Andrew, from Kintsvisi Monastery, Georgia

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