Tuesday, November 30, 2004

30 November - St. Andrews Day

Andrew, disciple of Jesus Christ, is believed to have travelled as a missionary through the Celtic community of Asiatic and European Scythia thence through Thrace, Macedonia, and Epirus into Achaia where, in the city of Patra, he suffered martyrdom by crucifixion, at the hands of the Romans, in 70 A.D. He was fastened by cords to a diagonal cross and left to endure a lingering death by starvation and thirst.

The body of St. Andrew was exhumed in the fourth century by the Emperor Constantine and removed to Constantinople . Thirty years after Constantine’s death in 368 A.D., a pious Greek monk, named Regulus, or Rule, is said to have conveyed St. Andrew’s remains [or a portion of them] to Scotland and deposited them on the coast of Fife where he built a church and where, in medieval times, was raised a great cathedral in the midst of a town named after the saint. St. Andrew was henceforth regarded as the patron saint of Scotland and his cross, white on a dark blue background, serves as the flag of Scotland. St. Andrew’s day is November 30.

The celebration of St. Andrew’s day was discontinued in Scotland after the Reformation; but, curiously enough, it has been assiduously observed by Scottish emigrants abroad, particularly by the friendly societies named after the saint which were founded in the nineteenth century in foreign parts to help indigent Scottish emigrants.
--taken from George Emmerson's indispensable "Scotland Through Her Country Dances"

More on St. Andrew's Day.