Wednesday, November 30, 2011

St. Andrew's Day

Or Latha Naomh Anndra in Scottish Gaelic, is Scotland's national day.  St. Andrew -- with his fisherman and subsequent co-Apostle brother St. Peter -- left his net at Galilee to become Christ's fishers of men.  He would later found, as first bishop, the Church of Byzantium.  In addition to being the patron saint of Russia, Greece, Romania, Philippines, Malta, the former Prussia, various localities, fishermen, fishmongers, rope-makers, golfers and performers, he is perhaps most famously the patron saint of Scotland.  The familiar Scottish flag

is based on the X-shaped cross upon which he was crucified at Petras.

St. Andrew's patronage in Scotland dates to at least the mid-10th century, and is based on legend that a battle fought in 832 AD between a combined force of Picts and Scots against the Angles -- and won by the former -- was decided by the saintly intervention of Andrew.

As good a reason as any, no?

[Sources:  St. Andrew's Day and St. Andrew on Wikipedia; middle image:  Bartolomé Esteban Murillo's St. Andrew as Martyr at the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid; third image:  François Duquesnoy's statue of St. Andrew at the crossing of St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.]