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November 30, 2020

On Andrew, the Apostle of Christ (Archimandrite George Kapsanis)


By Archimandrite George Kapsanis


The Holy Apostle Andrew was very close to Christ, as was his brother, the Apostle Peter. Because he had a steadfast love for Christ, this love allowed him to be always close to Christ and to be His helper in the work of evangelism.

He had a soul that longed for God. He did not find rest in vanity and on earth. He had a desire for God. And so, when he heard that there was a Prophet in the wilderness of Jordan, John, he left what he had and ran to become his disciple, even though he was old and had obligations.

But as he was following John, Jesus appeared. Andrew, a faithful disciple of John, saw then that his teacher John was pointing to Jesus, and saying, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (Jn. 1:29), and other things as well as that He was the expected Messiah.

He realized then that this desire in his soul to know God and to be united with Him, through Jesus would be achieved, the expected Messiah. For this reason, and with the blessing from who until that time was - let's call him - his Elder and his spiritual father and teacher, the Honorable Forerunner, he left John to follow Jesus. And the later course of the Apostle Andrew is known from the holy Gospel.

We also heard in the Gospel reading the fact narrated by the Holy Evangelist John the Theologian, which shows the intimacy and boldness he had towards Jesus, because of the love he had for Him. When the Greeks went and asked to see Jesus, they first turned to the Apostle Philip, who did not seem to have as much courage towards the Lord. And so he turned to the Apostle Andrew and said to him: "What shall we do? The Greeks ask to see our teacher." And the Apostle Andrew led them to the Lord (Jn. 12:20-23). But also in other places the Evangelists show the intimacy of the Holy Apostle Andrew towards Jesus.

He also was chosen to preach the gospel to many nations. Like the few Apostles he traveled around the inhabited earth. Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite in his synaxarion makes a graceful comment, after listing the regions and nations and cities in which the Apostle Andrew preached, which is quite long. Then he says:

"Let us not think that the traveling to all these places was easy, just as these names are easily mentioned in words. It was laborious and martyric, as was his end in the city of Patras."

It is a blessing for our Orthodox nation and our people that we have the Apostle Andrew in the bowels of our homeland, whose blood has watered our country and our homeland and who is also the founder of the Church of Constantinople.

We thank him for his contribution to the Church and to the whole world, and we humbly ask him to be an intercessor to the Lord to help us, as he had not only a love for Christ, but a steadfast love for Christ without fluctuations and falls, so may we also have a steadfast love for Christ every minute of our lives.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.