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St Andrew was celebrated in Scotland as early as 800AD and after Scottish Independence with the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 he was officially made Patron Saint of Scotland.
How did a Galilean fisherman become the patron saint of Scotland?
Andrew and his brother Simon Peter were the first of the Apostles. Andrew later became the first Arch Bishop of Greece where he was crucified by the Romans. It has been said that he chose a diagonal cross as he was not worthy to die on the same cross as Jesus.
Legend has two stories about Scotland and Andrew.
A Greek Monk by the name of St. Regulus or St Rule had a vision to take St. Andrew relics to the “ends of the earth” and he ended up on the coast of Fife at what is now the city of St Andrews. During the Scottish Reformation the pilgrimage site was destroyed, but in 1879 the Arch Bishop of Amifa where Andrew’s remains had been moved gave a shoulder blade to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh and Pope Paul VI gave more relics in 1969.
The other legend is of Angus Mac Fergus, King of the Picts, before a battle with the Angles in 832AD, had a vision of St. Andrew and during the battle clouds formed a diagonal cross which inspired the Picts to victory. The Cross of St Andrew became the badge of the Picts.
Gentlemen, charge your glasses and be upstanding: I give you the St. Andrew's Society.
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