25 November 2013
Who was St Andrew? A history of St Andrew, Patron saint of Scotland.
Who was St Andrew, Scotland's patron saint?
A history of St Andrew
St Andrew's Day is celebrated on 30 November and St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. He was a fisherman in Galilee and one of the disciples of Jesus. He was later chosen as Scotland's patron saint for his status as brother of Saint Peter, a leader of the early Christian church, and the fact that many Scots claimed to be descended from Scythians who lived on the Black Sea and were converted to Christianity by St Andrew.
The relics of St Andrew
Two legends have been passed down which tell of the bringing of the relics of St Andrew to Scotland, both of which relate to a man named St Regulus (or St Rule). This holy man is said to have brought St Andrew's relics to an area known as Kilrymont, which inspired the creation of the church and town of St Andrews. Relics of the saint are now kept at St Mary's RC Cathedral in Edinburgh.
St Andrew was adopted as Scotland's patron saint by the middle of the tenth century and in 1320, this status was confirmed with the Declaration of Arbroath, which stated that the country had been converted by St Andrew, 'the first to be an apostle'.
St Andrew is also the patron saint of Russia, Barbados, Ukraine, Romania and Luqa in Malta.