Monday, 30 November 2015

St Andrew's Day

After yesterday's post, a few folk have asked why St Andrew is Scotland's patron saint.  St Andrew was Christ's first apostle and was martyred on an X shaped cross because he said that he was unworthy to be crucified on the same shape of cross as Christ.  This depiction of the saint from a stained glass window in Westburn Church, Greenock shows him with the ropes and nets of a fisherman.

If you look very closely at the stained glass you will also see some other Scottish features - the lion and the thistle.  (Westburn Church, Nelson Street, Greenock was first called the West Kirk, then it became the Old Kirk before becoming St Luke's after it was joined with other congregations).

There are many legends about St Andrew and Scotland.  One of these is that relics of the saint were brought to the town of Kilrymont, later St Andrews in Scotland in the eighth century.

Another legend concerns a leader of the Picts called Angus who in 832 faced a much larger army of Angles at Athelstaneford in East Lothian.  On the eve of the battle, Angus had a dream about St Andrew.  On the morning of the battle white clouds in an X shape appeared in the brilliant blue sky.  Taking this as a positive sign Angus, heavily outnumbered, attacked the foe and won the battle.  So, not only did Scotland get a patron saint, but also a national flag - the saltire!

Andrew is also patron saint of Greece and Russia.


  1. There is a story I have never heard before. Happy St Andrews Day

  2. Thanks for that, all new to me. Hope you enjoyed the day.


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