Nov 27, 2007

Who is Saint Andrew Anyway??

A little information about St. Andrew
Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day is celebrated by Scots around the world on the 30th November. The flag of Scotland is the Cross of St. Andrew, and this is widely displayed as a symbol of national identity.

The "Order of Saint Andrew" or the "Most Ancient Order of the Thistle" is an order of Knighthood which is restricted to the King or Queen and sixteen others. It was established by James VII of Scotland in 1687.

Very little is really known about St. Andrew himself. He was thought to have been a fisherman in Galilee (now part of Israel), along with his elder brother Simon Peter (Saint Peter). Both became followers (apostles) of Jesus Christ, founder of the Christian religion.

St. Andrew is said to have been responsible for spreading the tenets of the Christian religion though Asia Minor and Greece. Tradition suggests that St. Andrew was put to death by the Romans in Patras, Southern Greece by being pinned to a cross (crucified). The diagonal shape of this cross is said to be the basis for the Cross of St. Andrew which appears on the Scottish Flag.

St. Andrews bones were entombed, and around 300 years later were moved by Emperor Constantine (the Great) to his new capital Constantinople (now Istambul in Turkey). Legend suggests that a Greek Monk (although others describe him as an Irish assistant of St. Columba) called St. Rule (or St. Regulus) was warned in a dream that St. Andrews remains were to be moved and was directed by an angel to take those of the remains which he could to the "ends of the earth" for safe-keeping. St. Rule dutifully followed these directions, removing a tooth, an arm bone, a kneecap and some fingers from St. Andrew's tomb and transporting these as far away as he could. Scotland was close to the extremities of the know world at that time and it was here that St. Rule was shipwrecked with his precious cargo.

St. Rule is said to have come ashore at a Pictish settlement on the East Coast of Scotland and this later became St. Andrews. Thus the association of St. Andrew with Scotland was said to have begun.

Perhaps more likely than the tale of St. Rule's journey is that Acca, the Bishop of Hexham, who was a reknown collector of relics, brought the relics of St. Andrew to St. Andrews in 733. There certainly seems to have been a religious centre at St. Andrews at that time, either founded by St. Rule in the 6th century or by a Pictish King, Ungus, who reigned from 731 - 761.

Whichever tale is true, the relics were placed in a specially constructed chapel. This chapel was replaced by the Cathedral of St. Andrews in 1160, and St. Andrews became the religious capital of Scotland and a great centre for Medieval pilgrims who came to view the relics.

There are other legends of how St. Andrew and his remains became associated with Scotland, but there is little evidence for any of these, including the legend of St. Rule. The names still exist in Scotland today, including St. Rules Tower, which remains today amongst the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral.

It is not known what happened to the relics of St. Andrew which were stored in St. Andrews Cathedral, although it is most likely that these were destroyed during the Scottish Reformation. The Protestant cause, propounded by Knox, Wishart and others, won out over Roman Catholism during the Reformation and the "idolatry of catholism", that is the Saints, relics, decoration of churches, were expunged during the process of converting the Roman Catholic churches of Scotland to the harsh simplicity of Knox's brand of Calvanism.

The place where these relics were kept within the Cathedral at St. Andrews is now marked by a plaque, amongst the ruins, for visitors to see.

The larger part of St. Andrew's remains were stolen from Constantinople in 1210 and are now to be found in Amalfi in Southern Italy. In 1879 the Archbishop of Amalfi sent a small piece of the Saint's shoulder blade to the re-established Roman Catholic community in Scotland.

In 1969, Gordon Gray, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland was in Rome to be appointed the first Scottish Cardinal since the Reformation. Pope Paul VI gave him further relics of St. Andrew with the words "Saint Peter gives you his brother". These are now displayed in a reliquary in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Edinburgh.

This will be a full day of festivities in Loch Avie.

The sim will be filled with the sounds of Celtic music for your enjoyment, and will be decorated for the occasion.
Come learn about St. Andrew and his connections to Scotland and see his Eastern and Western Icons
Please feel free to come at your own time and pace to try the haggis, scotch eggs, Uisge Beatha, and other Scottish delicacies.
You may also try your hand at the Caber Toss, Hammer Throw, or Academy of Arms Weapons System (Claymore, Battle Axe, Short Sword) at your leisure during the day.
Enjoy the sim with it's water and ice (including skating areas), scenic views, water horse, and snow.

  • Caber tossing contest at 1pm SLT (near the pub)
  • Hammer throwing contest at 3pm SLT (near Nellie's inlet)
  • Academy of Arms Tournament for Ducal Champions 6pm SLT (sky arena)
  • Ceilidh 7:30pm SLT (Near the Keep)

  • If you are a piper and would care to join in a piping contest please IM, Duchess Loch Avie directly. With enough interest we will hold a Bagpipe concert/contest during the day.


Kate Nicholas, F.R.S. said...

Hrm. You beat me at my own game, Your Grace! Not much more for me to add to that discussion -- as usual, your erudition is admirable!

Now, had you given a dissertation on the St Andrew's Cross seen widely in SL, however ... :)

Her Grace, Eva Bellambi said...

Why Lady Kate! I was unaware that you were writing for the Special Collections of the Caledon Library these days. I am sure Mr. Drinkwater would love to have an essay on these particular St. Andrew's Crosses for the collection.


Her Grace, Eva Bellambi said...

Oh and sorry to have scooped you, Kate. I was sure that you would have many other things to add to my brief introduction to St. Andrew. Your fund of knowledge in the religions or the world is far superior to mine.