Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

In honour of the Protoclete

St Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, who is also known as the 'protoclete' or "first-called", is honoured today in the Church's sanctoral calendar. Little is known of his apostolate after the Ascension although the tradition is that he went to Greece. Constantinople claims their apostolic lineage from him, but there is little evidence for this. The apocryphal passio of St Andrew says that he was crucified at Patras in Achaia but he was not nailed to the cross. Rather, he was bound to it and he is said to have preached from it for 2 days until he died. The idea that his cross was a saltire (as seen in the flag of Scotland and the image to the right) did not emerge until the 10th century and become common only in the 14th century. His supposed relics were taken by the emperor Constantius II to Constantinople in 356 or 357. However, the Crusaders removed them to Amalfi in 1204 and the head was brought to St Peter's in Rome in 1461 or 1462. It remained there until Pope Paul VI returned it to the Patriarch of Constantinople.

There is a legend that a certain St Regulus, who had charge of St Andrew's relics in the 4th century, was told by an angel to take the relics and go to a place that would be indicated to him. Regulus duly set off in a north-westerly direction "towards the ends of the earth" and was finally stopped by the angel when he reached a coastal area of Scotland. There he built a church to house the relics and he became the first bishop of St Andrews, spending the next three decades evangelizing the peoples. Thus St Andrew is patron of Scotland, an association that caused the shrine, town and university of St Andrews to flourish until its sad dissolution in the 16th century.

The following hymn in honour of St Andrew is found in the classic 'Westminster Hymnal' and was written by Canon Oakeley.

Great Saint Andrew, Friend of Jesus,
Lover of His glorious Cross,
Early by His voice effective
Called from ease to pain and loss,
Sweet Saint Andrew, Simon's brother,
Who with haste fraternal flew,
Fain with him to share the treasure
Which, at Jesus' lips, he drew.

Blest Saint Andrew, Jesus' herald,
Meek Apostle, Martyr bold,
Who, by deeds his words confirming,
Sealed with blood the Truth he told.
Ne'er to king was crown so beauteous,
Ne'er was prize to heart so dear,
As to him the Cross of Jesus
When its promised joys drew near.

Loved Saint Andrew, Scotland's patron,
Watch thy land with heedful eye,
Rally round the Cross of Jesus
All her storied chivalry!
To the Father, Son and Spirit,
Fount of sanctity and love,
Give we glory, now and ever,
With the saints who reign above.

May he intercede for us and for the Scots kingdom.


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