Saint Andrew’s Cross
All that We Have: The Image of Saint Andrew the Apostle in the Daily Mass Altar
Published on December 7-8, 2013 in the Parish Bulletin of Saint Andrew Catholic Church, Harrodsburg KY
In the right niche of the front side of the altar in the Daily Mass Chapel is the image of our patron, the apostle Saint Andrew (d. ca. 60), in whose honor the parish was renamed when the first Church was built in 1893. It would seem that this particular patron was chosen to recognize the work of the Rev. Andrew J. Brady (1848-1912) in the planning and the building of that first Church. From 1878 to 1893, Fr. Brady was the pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Danville and its missions which included what was then Saint Peter of Verona in Harrodsburg.
The image enshrined in our altar is based on a stained glass window at Saint Edward the Confessor Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. That window was made in 1913 by the Toronto studio of NT (Napoleon Theodore) Lyon (1843-1919). The image portrays Saint Andrew as a bearded old man wearing a light blue robe and a magenta mantle with teal borders. He bears in front of him a crux decussata, an x-shaped cross that tradition relates was the instrument of his martyrdom, the same cross that now bears his name. His head is turned towards the image of Christ the High Priest found in the middle niche, in imitation of that moment when Andrew first saw the Lord, after John the Baptist had pointed Him out, saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God” (cf. Jn. 1:35-37; 40).
The Gospels relate that Andrew was the son of Jonah (cf. Mt. 16:17) or John (cf. Jn. 1:42; 21:15-17) and that he and his brother Simon Peter (cf. Mt. 10:2; Lk. 6:14; Jn. 1:41) were fishermen (cf. Mt. 4:18; Mk. 1:16) from Bethsaida (cf. Jn. 1:44) in Galilee. John says that he was a disciple of the Baptist before he went to follow Jesus (cf. Jn. 1:35-40). It was he who brought Simon Peter to Jesus, telling him that “We have found the Messiah” (Jn. 1:41). However, both Matthew and Mark also recount that the two brothers were called by the Lord to follow Him as they were casting a net into the Sea of Galilee (cf. Mt. 4:18-20; Mk. 1:16-18).
The evangelist John recalls that it was Andrew who brought to Jesus the boy with the loaves and fishes (cf. Jn. 6:8-9). It was also he who, along with the apostle Philip, brought to the Lord’s attention the Greeks who wanted to see Him (cf. Jn. 12:20-22).
According to Tradition, the Apostle Andrew preached the Gospel in Scythia and to this day those regions, which include Romania, the Ukraine, and Russia, honor him as their patron. He was said to have been the first bishop of Byzantium, the ‘New Rome,’ just as his brother Peter was the first bishop of the ‘Old’ Rome; for this reason, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is considered to be his successor.
Saint Andrew died a martyr in Patras in Achaea, having been bound, not nailed, to an x-shaped cross in order to prolong his sufferings. The Church celebrates his feast on November 30, the day of his martyrdom in the year 60.