Andrew, apostle - November 30th
St Andrew (Relics: Amalfi, Italy; Florence, Italy; Patras, Greece; Edinburgh, Scotland; Cologne, Germany; Kiev, Ukraine)
Tradition claims that St Andrew was martyred and buried in Patras, Greece. Later most of his relics were transferred to the city of Constantinople and a small portion to Scotland. The relics in Constantinople were taken by the Crusaders after their violent sacking of the city in 1204 and transferred to the Duomo di Sant'Andrea in Amalfi, Italy. It is from this source that many cities within Europe have received their relics of St Andrew.
Within Scotland the relics of St Andrew have played a particularly pivotal role. Tradition claims that they first entered into the annals of Scottish history in the 4th century when they were brought to Scotland by the legendary Bishop of Patras, St Regulus. It is said that this bishop was warned in a dream by an angel that the safety of the relics were in jeopardy. He then set sail from Greece for the farthest western edges of the known world in order to protect the relics. Just off the coast of Scotland his voyage met with shipwreck and he was forced to come ashore at what is now the town of St Andrews. Despite this ancient tradition and the great historical influence that the relics of St Andrew have had upon the Scottish people the original relics met a tragic fate on June 14, 1559 when they were destroyed by supporters of the Scottish Reformation.
First Class Relics
Basilica of Saint Andrew
*As noted above tradition holds that St Andrew was martyred upon an X shaped cross in Patras, Greece. Remnants of this cross are preserved within this church to the left of the main sanctuary.
*In 1964 the skull of St Andrew was returned to this church from St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy. This relic now rests within a beautiful shrine to the right of the main sanctuary.
*Also venerated here are several additional relics of St Andrew including his finger.
Duomo di Sant'Andrea (Cathedral of Saint Andrew)
84011 Amalfi, Italy
*The relics of St Andrew rest beneath the main altar in the crypt of this church.
St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral
61 York Place
EH1 3JD, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (Scotland)
*In recent centuries the Scottish church has been blessed to receive several relics of St Andrew to replace the original relics that had been destroyed in 1559. In 1879 a large portion of the shoulder of St Andrew was taken from his remains in Amalfi, Italy and brought to Scotland. Also in 1969 Pope Paul VI gave additional relics of St Andrew to the Scottish church with the words, “Peter greets his brother Andrew.” These relics of St Andrew now rest within this cathedral at an altar to the right of the main sanctuary.
St Andrew’s Church
Андріївський узвіз, 23
Kiev, Ukraine 02000
*Legend holds that St Andrew’s apostolic zeal led him as far north as Ukraine where he placed a cross in the very spot where this church now stands. The present church was erected in the 18th century and houses a small relic of St Andrew.
Sankt Andreas (Saint Andrew)
50667 Cologne, Germany
*An arm of St Andrew rests within a reliquary located in the back of the choir in the main body of this church. It was placed here in 1997.
*Also the remains of St Albert the Great (d. 1280) rest within a tomb in the crypt.
*The city of Cologne is also noted for its connection to a number of other prominent relics and traditions. The remains of the Three Kings are said to rest within a magnificent golden reliquary located in the apse of the Cologne Cathedral. Blessed John Duns Scotus is buried within a tomb in the church called the Minoritenkirche. Also it was here in this city that St Thomas Aquinas studied theology under St Albert the Great and where St Bruno, the founder of the Carthusians, was born. Finally, it was here in 1933 that Edith Stein entered a Carmelite Convent and took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
Duomo di Firenze
*Relics of the following four saints are said to be within the sacristy.
*The skull of St John Chrysostom (Acquired in 1360), the arm of St Andrew the Apostle (Acquired in the 14th century), the arm of St Philip the Apostle (Acquired in 1205), and the finger of St John the Baptist (Acquired in 1419).
*It is said that this is the same finger that St John the Baptist used to point at Jesus when he proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God.”
Churches of Honor in Rome
Sant'Andrea della Valle (Saint Andrew of the Valley)
Piazza Vidoni 6 / Piazza Sant'Andrea della Valle
*This church is located along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
*The large paintings in the sanctuary depict the martyrdom of St Andrew.
Sant'Andrea delle Fratte (Saint Andrew of the Bushes)
Via Sant'Andrea delle Fratte 1
*This church is near the Spanish Steps. It is dedicated to St Andrew. Within the sanctuary are five large paintings depicting scenes from his martyrdom.
*The third altar on the left side of the nave is where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Ratisbonne, an agnostic Jew, in 1842. Ratisbonne converted on the spot. In 1918 St Maximilian Mary Kolbe (d. 1941) offered his first Mass in this very same chapel.
Sant'Andrea al Quirinale (St Andrew at the Quirinale)
Via del Quirinale 29
*This church is south of the Barberini metro stop. It was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and it is dedicated to St Andrew.
*The remains of St Stanislaus Kostka (d. 1568), a young Jesuit novice who died in Rome at the age of seventeen, rest here. The room in which he died has been converted into a chapel and can be visited by asking the sacristan.
Sant'Andrea a Ponte Milvio (Saint Andrew at the Milvian Bridge)
Via Flaminia 441
*This church is near the Milvian Bridge.
*The advancement of the Ottoman Turks into the Byzantine Empire threatened the safety of many Christian relics. Therefore, in 1462 the relic of St Andrew’s skull was brought to Rome for safe keeping. The small church of Sant’Andrea a Ponte Milvio marks the spot where this relic was first received in Rome. This relic remained in Rome at St Peter’s Basilica until its return to Patras, Greece in 1964.
Il Gesu (The Jesus)
Via degli Astalli 16
*This church is located along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
*The first chapel on the right side of the nave is dedicated to St Andrew.
*St Ignatius of Loyola (d. 1556) is buried under the altar in the left transept.
*An arm of St Francis Xavier (d. 1552) rests within a reliquary above the altar in the right transept.