The information about his life and why he is the patron saint of Scotland are sketchy, to say the least. What we do know is that Andrew was a fisherman at the time of Jesus and became one of his first Apostles and was sentenced to death in Greece by the Romans. Andrew did not feel worthy to be crucified on a cross of the same shape to the one Jesus died on, so he asked for it to be a diagonal cross.
According to legend, in the 4th century a Greek monk named St Regulus or St Rule had a vision and was ordered to take some of the relics of Andrew to the ends of the earth for safe keeping. He set off at sea and following his shipwrecking off the east coast of Scotland, ended up in Kinrymont in Fife. The church at Kinrymont consequently became St Andrews Cathedral and became the centre for medieval pilgrimages.
In another tale of lore, there was a Pictish King called Angus mac Fergus who was about to go into battle at Athelstaneford and saw a saltire in the sky, he then rose to victory at the battle and afterwards adopted St Andrew as our patron.
We are not the only country to lay claim to Andrew, Russia, Greece, Barbados and Romania have him as their patron saint also.
What are your plans for St Andrews Day this year? With the 30th November falling on a Saturday this year why not enquire if there are any local celebrations taking place? The past few years have seen many more events pop up all over the country with many of Scotland’s historic attractions letting people in for free that day.
Before the rush of Christmas shopping in December, it could be the last chance to grab a break away. Spending St Andrews Day in the Scottish Highlands, raising a dram to the man and recharging the batteries…sounds like a plan to me!