With Saint Andrew’s day just around the corner, it seemed only fitting that we take a brief look into our patron saint and his relationship with Scotland.
Saint Andrew, who was also known as Andrew the Apostle, was born in Galilee. He and his brother Saint Peter were both simple fishermen before each becoming one of the 12 Apostles and travelled great distances spreading the holy word. Saint Andrew was ultimately crucified in Patras on 30 November 60AD, by order of the Roman governor Aegeas. His crucifixion was carried out on an X shaped cross because he felt that he was not worthy of being crucified on the same shaped cross as Jesus had been. Popular theories suggest that St. Andrew never actually visited Scotland while he was alive. Instead, his remains were brought to Fife after Saint Regulus (otherwise known as Saint Rule) had a vision that told him to hide Saint Andrew’s remains at the ends of the earth. In 35AD, the distant lands of Scotland would have sufficed that request.
Fast forward to the 8th century on the morning of a battle between the Picts and Scots against King Athelstan’s Anglo-Saxons. King of the Picts, Oengus (Angus) II, was preparing to lead his severely outnumbered army into battle when he is said to have seen an X shape in the sky and took this as a sign from Saint Andrew. He prayed to Saint Andrew and promised that if his army won the battle, he would make Saint Andrew the patron saint of Scotland. He of course won the battle and in 1320, Saint Andrew was officially declared the patron saint of Scotland during the signing of The Declaration of Arbroath. The X shaped cross that Saint Andrew was crucified on and the X that Oengus (Angus) II saw in the sky on the morning before the battle led to the creation of Scotland's national flag. Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Russia, Amalfi and Barbados but no country celebrates him quite like Scotland does.
Each year on the 30th of November the people of Scotland and people with Scottish heritage all around the world celebrate Saint Andrew with dinners, music, recitations and ceilidhs. However you choose to celebrate Saint Andrew’s day this year, you’ll need to think about what to wear. Saint Andrew’s day is a good excuse for dusting off your old kilt outfit or even a great time to buy or hire something new.