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Forum Home > General Discussion > History and Legend of St Andrew

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bout the middle of the tenth century, Andrew became the patron saint ofScotland. Several legends state that the relics of Andrew were broughtunder supernatural guidance from Constantinople to the place where themodern town of St Andrews stands today (Gaelic, Cill Rìmhinn).


The oldest surviving manuscripts are two: one is among the manuscriptscollected by Jean-Baptiste Colbert and willed to Louis XIV of France,now in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, the other in the Harleian Mssin the British Library, London. They state that the relics of Andrewwere brought by one Regulus to the Pictish king Óengus mac Fergusa(729–761). The only historical Regulus (Riagail or Rule) — the name ispreserved by the tower of St Rule — was an Irish monk expelled fromIreland with Saint Columba; his dates, however, are c 573 – 600. Thereare good reasons for supposing that the relics were originally in thecollection of Acca, bishop of Hexham, who took them into Pictishcountry when he was driven from Hexham (c 732), and founded a see, not,according to tradition, in Galloway, but on the site of St Andrews. Theconnection made with Regulus is, therefore, due in all probability tothe desire to date the foundation of the church at St Andrews as earlyas possible.


Another legend says that in the late eighth century, during a jointbattle with the English at what is now known as Athelstaneford, KingUngus (either the Óengus mac Fergusa mentioned previously or Óengus IIof the Picts (820–834)) saw a cloud shaped like a saltire, and declaredAndrew was watching over them, and if they won by his grace, then hewould be their patron saint. However, there is evidence Andrew wasvenerated in Scotland before this.


Andrew's connection with Scotland may have been reinforced followingthe Synod of Whitby, when the Celtic Church felt that Columba had been"outranked" by Peter and that Peter's brother would make a higherranking patron. The 1320 Declaration of Arbroath cites Scotland'sconversion to Christianity by Andrew, "the first to be an Apostle".


Numerous parish churches in the Church of Scotland and congregations ofother Christian churches in Scotland are named after Andrew. Thenational church of the Scottish people in Rome, Sant'Andrea degliScozzesi is dedicated to St Andrew.


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November 25, 2009 at 8:07 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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