St. Andrew, the Apostle, was born in Bethsaida of Galilee. He was the brother of Simon (Peter). Both were fishermen and at the beginning of Jesus’ public life occupied the same house at Capharnaum.
From the Gospel of St John, we learn that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, whose testimony first led him to follow Jesus. Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and introduced Him to his brother, Peter. Henceforth the two brothers were disciples of Christ.
Andrew was chosen to be one of the ‘Twelve’ and in the Acts of the Apostles, Andrew is named in the list of the Apostles, where the order of the first four is Peter, John, James, Andrew.
We learn from the fourth Gospel that on the occasion of the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, it was Andrew who said: ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fishes: but what are these among so many?’ (John 6:8-9).
As one of the Twelve, Andrew was close to Jesus during His public life. He was present at the Last Supper; beheld the risen Lord; witnessed the Ascension; shared in the graces and gifts of the first Pentecost, and helped, amid threats and persecution, to establish the founding of the Early Church.
When the Apostles went forth to preach to the Nations, Andrew seems to have taken an important part, but unfortunately we have no certainty as to the extent or place of his labours. It is believed that Andrew preached in Cappadocia, Galatia, and Bithynia, then in the land of the anthropophagi and the Scythian deserts, afterwards in Byzantium itself, where he appointed St. Stachys as its first bishop, and finally in Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, and Achaia.
It is generally agreed that he was crucified by order of the Roman Governor, Aegeas or Aegeates, at Patrae in Achaia, and that he was bound, not nailed, to the cross, in order to prolong his sufferings. The cross on which he suffered is commonly held to have been the decussate cross, now known as St. Andrew’s. His martyrdom took place during the reign of Nero. A.D. 60
Both the Latin and Greek Churches keep 30 November as his feast.
St. Andrew is honoured as their chief patron by Russia and Scotland.
Adapted from: St Andrew : New Advent – Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org)