Andrew the Apostle, born at Bethsaida, a village in Galilee, was Peters brother and a disciple of John the Baptist. When he heard the Baptist saying of Christ, Behold the Lamb of God!, he followed Jesus and brought his brother with him. Later, when Christ was passing by as Andrew and his brother were fishing in the lake of Galilee, He called them both, before any of the other Apostles, with these words: Come follow Me. I will make you fishers of men. Without a moments delay, they left their nets and followed Him.
After Jesus Passion and Resurrection, Andrew went to Scythia in Europe, the region assigned to him for spreading the faith of Christ. Then he went about through Epirus and Thrace, converting a great number to Christ by his teaching and miracles. Finally he arrived at Patras in Achaia and brought many to the truth of the Gospel. But here the proconsul, Aegeas, resisted the Gospel preaching, and Andrew freely pointed out his errors, saying that Aegeas, who wished to be considered a judge over men, was deceived by devils in not recognizing Christ as God, Judge of all men.
Then Aegeas grew angry and cried, Stop boasting about this Christ; words like yours did not prevent His being crucified by the Jews. When Andrew still boldly continued to preach that Christ had offered Himself to be crucified for the salvation of the human race, Aegeas interrupted him with blasphemous words and finally urged him to look to his own safety and be willing to sacrifice to the gods.
But Andrew told him, Every day at the altar I offer in sacrifice to the one true almighty God, not the flesh of bulls nor the blood of goats, but the immaculate Lamb; His flesh is then eaten by all the faithful, and the Lamb who is sacrificed remains whole and living. At this Aegeas became enraged and cast Andrew into prison. The populace were eager to free him, but he calmed the crowd and earnestly pleaded with them not to keep him from the crown of martyrdom he so eagerly desired, towards which he was hastening.
Soon after, he was brought before the tribunal, where Aegeas could no longer endure Andrews praising the mystery of the Cross and accusing him of impiety, and commanded that he be raised on a cross and so imitate the death of Christ. When Andrew was being led toward the place of his martyrdom and saw the cross in the distance, he began to cry out, O good Cross, made beautiful by the body of the Lord; long have I desired you, ardently have I loved you, unceasingly have I sought you out; and now you are ready for my eager soul. Receive me from among men and restore me to my Master, so that by means of you He may receive me, He who by means of you redeemed me.
Then he was fastened to the cross and hung there alive for two days, never ceasing to preach the faith of Christ; finally he passed on to Him whose death he had so desired to imitate. The priests and deacons of Achaia, who wrote the account of his passion, testify that they have recorded what they actually heard and saw. Andrews bones were first taken to Constantinople, when Constantius II was emperor, and then transferred to Amalfi. His head was taken to Rome, during the pontificate of Pius II, and placed in the basilica of St. Peter.
Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. III: August to Advent (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1848-1851.
Epistle and Gospel for November 30