How to be a saint: take the initiative
How and why was Saint Andrew claimed as Scotland’s national protector? asks Laurence Wareing
Of Great Britain’s national patron saints, Andrew is the only first-generation apostle. Originally a fisherman from Galilee, it is in the Gospels that Andrew is seen with greatest clarity.
Journalist and storyteller Michael Turnbull’s collation of the moments when Andrew is identified by name include stories that are often re-told (Andrew’s call to discipleship by Jesus on the shore of Lake Galilee; and identifying a small boy with five loaves and two fishes, with which Jesus feeds 5,000 people). Other incidents are less familiar, for example when Andrew takes non-Jewish converts to meet Jesus during the feast of the Passover in Jerusalem.
Turnbull concludes that, in the New Testament accounts, ‘Andrew was a man who took initiatives. He was the first Apostle, bringing his brother Peter to Christ. He seems to have also introduced Philip to Christ. And finally, in the case of the Jewish converts in Jerusalem, Andrew was the one who took it upon himself to be the first to bring the Gentiles to Christ. He was the first to reveal Christ to the Gentiles.’..
With thanks to Michael TRB Turnbull, author of Saint Andrew: Myth, legend and reality (Neil Wilson Publishing, 2014)
Image: ‘Saint Andrew’s lifestory’ by JUREK – Reproduced with permission
This is an extract from an article published in the November 2023 edition of Reform