St Andrew’s Day

By 30th November 2017General


Today is St Andrew’s day, celebrating the life of Scotland’s patron saint and whose cross our national flag bears.  But how much do you know about him?  Here’s some fascinating facts to give you some background:

  • Saint Andrew was born in Bethsaida, in Galilee
  • A humble fisherman, Saint Andrew was the brother of Saint Peter; he became Jesus’ first disciple and was baptised by John the Baptist
  • The St Andrew’s Cross which adorns the Scottish flag is named after the X-shaped cross upon which he was crucified in Patras in Greece.  The shape of the cross was apparently requested by Andrew as he felt unworthy to be crucified on the same upright cross that Jesus’ crucifixion occurred
  • He has been our official patron saint since the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, but was revered as such for at least 300 years before then
  • Saint Andrew is not only our patron saint, but also the patron saint of Romania, Greece, Russia and Barbados as well as Italy’s Amalfi region
  • St Andrews in Fife – which had been known as Kilrymont – became a place of pilgrimage as it was reputed that a kneecap, tooth and finger bone were brought there (there are varying storied about how this came to be)
  • St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh is home to the National Shrine of St Andrew and a piece of Saint Andrew’s shoulder was, in 1879, given by the Archbishop of Amalfi where his bones had been moved after the fall of Constantinople where they had been for hundreds of years
  • The memorial known as The Call 1914 in West Princes Street Gardens came to being thanks to John Gordon Gray, who was the president of the St. Andrew’s Society in 1923 and who put forward the idea of a memorial to celebrate the Scottish and American links through the war