Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, who is commemorated in this familiar hymn:

Jesus calls us over the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless, sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow Me!”

As of old Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for Jesus’ sake.

There are any number of nations that count St. Andrew the Apostle, brother to Simon Peter, as their patron, and many of these have a tradition that he visited them during his missionary journeys. Now writer George Alexandrou believes he can reconcile these disparate traditions and is persuaded that St. Andrew travelled very far indeed during his long lifetime, as reported in the Orthodox journal Road to Emmaus: The Astonishing Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Andrew. If these traditions are true, then Jesus’ first disciple obviously took seriously the gospel mandate to spread the good news of the kingdom to the ends of the earth. One hopes that Alexandrou’s book, He Raised the Cross on the Ice, will one day be translated from Greek into English.

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