I’m an awful photographer but took this in Rome last May — happily, mass began in one of the side chapels just a few seconds after I snapped this! Sant’Andrea della Valle is much simpler than many other churches but very beautiful, and I lingered, here.
It’s recently cleaned-up exterior is very pretty, too — much more so than the image at the link would suggest.
At News.va we read how the relics of Andrew first came to Rome:
In 2006 Benedict XVI travelled to Turkey to coincide with this Feast Day .Shortly before leaving on this Apostolic journey the Pope spoke several times during his weekly general audiences about the figure of this Saint, who as we know was Saint Peter’s brother.
Earlier on in the course of thats same audience, before stresssing the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople as Sister Churches , speaking in Italian the Holy Father had emphasized this relationship. Insisting quote : “ my Predecessor to the See of Peter , Pope Paul VI, returned in 1964 the important relic of Saint Andrew, which until then had been kept in the Vatican Basilica, to the Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop of the city of Patras in Greece, where tradition has it that the Apostle was crucified.”
Listen here. Interesting story recounted by Carmelite Father Reginald Foster — who seems to be enjoying himself thoroughly — about the head of St. Andrew.
Fr. James Martin has video of the very site where Jesus may have made his lovely call for “fishers of men”. I have loved the scene since I was a little girl, because it made Jesus very “real” to me: he was someone who liked wordplay!
In the Office of Readings, today, a sermon from Saint John Chrysostom:
After Andrew had stayed with Jesus and had learned much from him, he did not keep this treasure to himself, but hastened to share it with his brother. Notice what Andrew said to him: We have found the Messiah, that is to say, the Christ. Notice how his words reveal what he has learned in so short a time. They show the power of the master who has convinced them of this truth. They reveal the zeal and concern of men preoccupied with this question from the very beginning. Andrew’s words reveal a soul waiting with the utmost longing for the coming of the Messiah, looking forward to his appearing from heaven, rejoicing when he does appear, and hastening to announce so great an event to others. To support one another in the things of the spirit is the true sign of good will between brothers, of loving kinship and sincere affection.
Notice, too, how, even from the beginning, Peter is docile and receptive in spirit. He hastens to Jesus without delay. He brought him to Jesus, says the evangelist. But Peter must not be condemned for his readiness to accept Andrew’s word without much weighing of it. It is probable that his brother had given him, and many others, a careful account of the event; the evangelists, in the interest of brevity, regularly summarize a lengthy narrative. Saint John does not say that Peter believed immediately, but that he brought him to Jesus. Andrew was to hand him over to Jesus, to learn everything for himself. There was also another disciple present, and he hastened with them for the same purpose.
When John the Baptist said: This is the Lamb, and he baptizes in the Spirit, he left the deeper understanding of these things to be received from Christ. All the more so would Andrew act in the same way, since he did not think himself able to give a complete explanation. He brought his brother to the very source of light, and Peter was so joyful and eager that he would not delay even for a moment.
Some Benedictine lauds of St. Andrew (yes, more audio)
At Summit, the Dominican Nuns are today beginning their special “novena” of St. Andrew. Keep Sister Mary Magdalene in your prayers as she enters retreat before making her first vows!
More from Vatican Radio, Scotland’s Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien talks about Andrew.
And please pray for my intention…
UPDATE: Kathy Schiffer has a great meditation for the day