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St. Andrew’s Day

November 30, 2012

The Saltire flies atop St. John’s, Edinburgh.

PATRON saint of Scotland, anglers, and this blogger.

ALMIGHTY God, who didst give such grace unto thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, that he readily obeyed the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him without delay; Grant unto us all, that we, being called by thy holy Word, may forthwith give up ourselves obediently to fulfil thy holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Gospel
St. Matthew iv. 18.
JESUS, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

AND, because we cannot resist good folklore, we must include the below, from

Manliness and true grit
And maybe it’s on account of the saint’s ‘manliness’ but there are a number of intriguing ‘man-catching’ superstitions related to his feast day. An old German tradition says that single women who wish to marry should ask for Saint Andrew’s help on the eve of his feast then sleep naked that night: then, it is said, they will see their future husband in their dreams.

Another says that young women should note the location of barking dogs on St Andrew’s eve for their future husband will come from that direction. On two legs, it is hoped, but maybe this signifies that it is a stranger. (Cf: dark men crossing thresholds with lumps of coal at Hogmanay!)

Making it official
In c300 AD, St Rule brought relics of the Galilean saint to Scotland but it was only after Robert Bruce’s famous victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 that St Andrew was officially named patron saint of Scotland and the Saltire became the national flag of Scotland in 1385: a manly saint for a rugged, victorious nation.

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