Theresa Doyle-Nelson enjoys researching and writing about holy people from the Bible. She has written for a variety of Catholic resources and is the author of Saints in Scripture. Theresa and her husband Chad have been married for over 30 years, and although their nest is now empty, their three adult sons have growing families — providing enjoyable opportunities for growing gatherings and grandchildren graces! Theresa and Chad are parishioners at the beautiful and historic St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Bandera, Texas. You can find Theresa’s blog, “The Hill Country Hermit” at TheresaDoyle-Nelson.blogspot.com.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah.” ―John 1:40–41
Andrew was a fisherman and a disciple of John the Baptist before becoming an apostle of Jesus. According to John’s Gospel, Andrew was one of the first to understand that Jesus was the Messiah and eagerly ran to share the wonderful news with his brother, Simon Peter.
Andrew’s name is specifically mentioned in a handful of Gospel stories. Jesus performed one of his earlier miracles in the house Andrew shared with his brother, Simon Peter. Peter’s mother-in-law was very sick, and Jesus went to her at the brothers’ house; he grasped her hand and healed her illness―so completely that she got up and began to serve!
The well-known story of the multiplication of the loaves and fish is found in all four Gospels; however, it is John’s Gospel that sheds some light on Andrew’s presence at this miraculous event. A large crowd of people―five thousand, according to John―followed Jesus to a mountain near the Sea of Galilee. As it became obvious that there might be a problem feeding the thousands gathered, it was Andrew who let Jesus know that there was a boy with five barley loaves and two fish. Jesus collected the bread and fish and began passing out portions of the food―and miraculously all had plenty.
John also recorded a brief encounter Andrew had with some Greeks who were very curious about Jesus. They asked Philip about the possibility of meeting Jesus, who in turn asked Andrew, who went directly to Jesus with the request. Jesus’ reply seems to have indicated an eventual inclusion of Gentiles among his followers.
What Andrew did after receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is not certain, but legends hold that he preached in Asia Minor and Greece. Tradition tells us that Andrew was martyred in Patras, Greece, on an X-shaped cross―inspiring many artists to portray St. Andrew with such a cross. It is believed that Patras, Greece; Amalfi, Italy; and Edinburgh, Scotland, hold many of St. Andrew’s relics.
A Biblical Novena to St. Andrew
The Feast of St. Andrew is Nov. 30; he is the patron of many things including fishermen and Amalfi, Italy. It seems that Andrew (along with St. Philip) could also be a saint to turn to when you are facing a shortage of some sort―due to his presentation of the boy with the loaves and fish just prior to the miracle of the multiplication. If St. Andrew is calling out to you, and you think he might be a good saint to spend some prayerful time with, try the Biblical Novena below. Read one passage a day for nine days, journaling your thoughts if desired, and ask St. Andrew to pray for your intentions.
- Day 1) Matthew 4:18–22
- Day 2) John 1:35–44
- Day 3) Mark 1:29–31
- Day 4) Mark 3:13–19
- Day 5) Luke 9:1–6
- Day 6) John 6:8–9
- Day 7) John 12:20–26
- Day 8) John 20:19–23
- Day 9) Acts 5:12–16