From Amy Welborn:
Advent brings with it great saints. Over the next week, we have Francis Xavier, John Damascene, Nicholas, Ambrose, and today, St. Andrew, brother of Peter, fisherman, disciple, martyr.
(Would you like a study guide accompanying all of Pope Benedict XVI’s talks on the apostles? Here’s a pdf of one I wrote for OSV. Seriously – feel free to print, copy and use in whatever way you’d like.)
The first striking characteristic of Andrew is his name: it is not Hebrew, as might have been expected, but Greek, indicative of a certain cultural openness in his family that cannot be ignored. …
Andrew, then, was the first of the Apostles to be called to follow Jesus. Exactly for this reason the liturgy of the Byzantine Church honours him with the nickname: “Protokletos”, [protoclete] which means, precisely, “the first called”.
And it is certain that it is partly because of the family tie between Peter and Andrew that the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople feel one another in a special way to be Sister Churches. To emphasize this relationship, my Predecessor Pope Paul VI, in 1964, returned the important relic of St Andrew, which until then had been kept in the Vatican Basilica, to the Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop of the city of Patras in Greece, where tradition has it that the Apostle was crucified.