Andrew the Apostle Icon

Andrew the Apostle Icon: 5 Facts About Jesus’ First Disciple

Saint Andrew was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus and His first disciple. According to the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Mark, God met him and his brother Saint Peter fishing by the Sea of Galilee. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said that day, “and I will make you fishers of men.” And the brothers followed Him. In iconography, Andrew is one of the few saints who were individualized. Due to his wild hair and beard, it’s easy to recognize Andrew the Apostle icon among other sacred images. Here are some facts about the life of the saint.

Andrew the Apostle icon: five facts about Jesus’ first disciple

1. He was born in Syria

Contrary to popular belief, Saint Andrew wasn’t born in Scotland, nor was he Scottish by blood. He was born between 5 AD and 10 AD in Bethsaida, a village mentioned in the New Testament. The place was lost in the fog of time. It is suggested to be the territory of modern-day Syria.

2. Saint Andrew is a patron saint of Scotland

And also Romania, Russia, and Sarzana. Even though he became the symbol of Scotland long ago, he visited the country in the form of remains only after his death. More than that, he is associated with fishing, as he and his brother once were fishermen.

3. He was crucified on an x-shaped cross

You might have already seen Andrew the Apostle icon where the saint holds an x-shaped cross. He was crucified on November 30, 60 AD, by order of the Roman proconsul Aegeas. The martyr believed that he was unworthy of the same fate as Jesus and requested an x-shaped cross that you can see in many antique Russian icons.

4. Andrew’s relics can be found in different places around the world

Andrew’s remains were repeatedly moved after his death, with the majority of them being transported to Scotland. Nowadays, the saint’s relics are kept in different cathedrals, monasteries, and churches in Greece, Italy, and Poland.

5. He was a “networker”

The Apostle was the one to bring the Gentiles (non-Jews) to Jesus Christ and preached about Him. His role as a “networker,” meaning a person who introduced the Messiah to foreigners, was a key to the spread of Christian core beliefs back then.

Andrew the Apostle icon becomes more meaningful when you get to know the historical figure behind the image. It is a great example of how iconography manages to fuse history and religion into one.