Who Was St Andrew of Scotland?

We take a closer look at just who was St Andrew of Scotland, how he became the Scottish Patron saint and how his life influenced history.

If you’ve never visited Scotland before, you seriously should change that as soon as you’re permitted to do so. Seriously, just visit it as it is one of the nicest countries you’ll ever encounter.

Complete with rolling hills, the rugged Highlands, friendly locals, historic cities, gorgeous coastline, delicious food, and the finest whisky you’ll ever sample, Scotland is a country that needs to be explored to be enjoyed.

Who Was St Andrew of Scotland?
Saint Andrew the Apostle by Artus Wolffort.

The patron saint of Scotland is St Andrew, also known as Andrew the Apostle, and it is he whom we will be learning about today.

Here is a brief overview of Andrew the Apostle, Patron Saint of Scotland.

Who was St Andrew?

Despite being the patron saint of Scotland, Andrew was not actually born in Scotland, but rather, he was born in Copernicum and was a fisherman, along with his brother Simon Peter.

Andrew, along with James, Peter, and John, formed what is known as the ‘inner circle’ of Jesus’ 12 apostles. Before becoming a follower of Christ, Andrew was actually a disciple of John the Baptist.

Who Was St Andrew of Scotland?
The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew by Caravaggio (1603–1606).

There isn’t a great deal known about the early life of St Andrew, other than the fact that he is referenced in the Holy Bible as having taken part in the ‘Feeding of the Five Thousand’.

Patron saint of Scotland

For more than a thousand years, St Andrew has been celebrated in Scotland, and feasts in his honour have been celebrated as far back as 1000 AD.

In 1320, when Scotland finally became independent thanks to the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, St Andrew was officially named as the patron saint of Scotland. Ever since, he has become a symbol of Scotland, with St Andrew’s cross becoming the national flag of Scotland and a symbol to honour him.

Who Was St Andrew of Scotland?
Statue of Andrew in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran by Camillo Rusconi (1713–1715)

There was even a town named after him, as the town we now know as St Andrews, which is now synonymous with golf, is believed to be the final resting place of him.

It is believed that Andrew traveled the world, and came to Scotland, and built a church in Fife. There is, however, some belief that relics of St Andrew were brought to Fife, Scotland, sometime in the 4th century.

St Andrew’s Day

The St Andrew Cross is synonymous with Scotland and is included on the Union Jack flag of Great Britain. However, how the cross came about is not very pleasant.

Who Was St Andrew of Scotland?
Saint Andrew of Patras cathedral, where Saint Andrew’s relics are kept.

Deeming himself to be unworthy of being crucified on a cross the same as Jesus, Andrew instead was crucified on an X-shaped cross known as a Saltire.
The date in which he became a martyr is believed to be the 30th of November, and it is this very date in which Saint Andrew’s Day is celebrated in Scotland, with feasts being held in his honour.