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Who Saint Andrew was, according to Benedict XVI

2011-11-29

Continuing our weekly catechesis on the Church’s apostolic ministry, today we consider the figure of the Apostle Andrew. According to John’s Gospel, Andrew was the first Apostle to be called by Jesus; he then brought his brother, Simon Peter, to the Lord. The fraternal relationship of these two great Apostles is reflected in the special relationship between the sister Churches of Rome and Constantinople.

The name "Andrew" is Greek, and in the Gospel of John, when some Greeks wish to see Jesus, it is Andrew, with Philip, who brings their request to the Lord. Jesus’ response, with its reference to the grain of wheat which dies and then produces much fruit (cf. Jn 12:23-24), is a prophecy of the Church of the Gentiles, which would spread throughout the Greek world after the Lord’s Resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. According to some ancient traditions, Andrew preached the Gospel among the Greeks until he met his death by crucifixion.

His example inspires us to be zealous disciples of Christ, to bring others to the Lord, and to embrace the mystery of his Cross, both in life and in death.