LEGENDARY & MYTHICAL FIGURES
Travel is people. You may go abroad to see the famous sites, but
what you remember best are the people you meet. Among them, like
unexpected treasure, are a few memorable contacts that will make
your travels unique, special, and delightful. "People" is devoted to some
of those you may come in contact with during your Home At First
PATRON SAINT OF SCOTLAND
Why is this Apostle of
Jesus the Patron Saint of Scotland?
nations of the British Isles England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales maintain
national days named after patron saints:
St. Patrick, St. Andrew, and
respectively. Two of these, St. Patrick and St. David, were historical persons important
to the religious and political growth of their nations. England (like a lot of places)
adopted St. George, likely a historical figure from Asia Minor who had never heard of
England, but represented chivalric ideals admired by the English from the time of the
Crusades. But what is Scotlands association with and attachment to St. Andrew?
THE 1ST CENTURY: FROM
SIMPLE FISHERMAN TO APOSTLE
The St. Andrew in
question is the very same brother of St. Peter and Apostle of Jesus Christ whose first
century AD life took him from Galilee fisherman to early evangelist of Christianity and
ultimately to a (possible) martyrs death by crucifixion on a distinctive X-shaped
cross. The legend of St. Andrew historic fact cannot be ascertained heretells
us the Romans crucified Andrew on November 30, 60AD, for preaching Christianity in
southern Greece and that his remains were placed in a tomb.
THE DARK AGES: FROM GREECE
TO TURKEY TO SCOTLAND
Almost 300 years later, when the Roman Emperor
Constantine converted the republic to Christianity, he ordered
Andrew’s bones moved to the
empire’s new capital, Constantinople. (Here the legend gets fuzzier.)
Two to four hundred years later, a Greek monk (or Irish monk in the
service of St. Columba) named St. Rule or St. Regulus dreamt that the relics of St. Andrew were threatened with
displacement. In the dream an angel directed St. Rule/Regulus that he should take as much
of the Apostles remains as he could as far away from Constantinople as possible.
Rule/Regulus took what he could of St. Andrews remains and headed for the end of the
earth. Off the Fife coast of northern Britain in the 6th century, Rule/Regulus was
shipwrecked, and washed ashore at the site of what would become St. Andrews, Scotland.
Or it may be that in the 8th century an
English bishop named Acca somehow obtained relics of St. Andrew and brought them for
placement in a Christian chapel in St. Andrews, Scotland.
|THE MIDDLE AGES: ST.
Three or more centuries pass until the building
of St. Andrews Cathedral in (begun in 1160; consecrated 1318) made the future home of golf
Scotlands center for
Christianity. The relics of St. Andrews in St.
ST. RULE'S CHURCH
AT ST. ANDREW'S CATHEDRAL
© Home At First
Andrews Cathedral became a pilgrimage goal for British Christians throughout the Middle Ages. That the bones of St.
Andrew were ever in the cathedral that bears his name cannot be proved. They are not there
now. The cathedral itself is but a ruin, having suffered catastrophic fires, pillaging by
the English army, ransacking by anti-Catholic Presbyterians incited by John Knox, and,
finally, the taking of the very building blocks of the medieval church by the builders of
17th century St. Andrews town. But among the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral, visitors will
find St. Rules Tower and a plaque
noting where the saint’s relics once lay when the church stood.
MORE RELICS FROM TURKEY TO
ITALY TO EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND
After the fall of
Constantinople to Islamic Turks, Crusaders took the remaining relics of St. Andrew in
1210. They worked their way to Amalfi, Italy, where they remain except for a small
piece of bone sent to Scotlands reborn Roman Catholic church community, where they
are now on display at St. Marys Cathedral in Edinburgh. In 1969 more bones from St.
Andrew were presented to Scotlands first Catholic Cardinal of modern times, Gordon
Scottish nationalism has been associated with
St. Andrew since the time his bones first came to Scotland. One story has King Angus
McFergus shortly after receiving the relics of St. Andrew receiving a vision of
the Apostle prior to fighting and winning a battle with the English at a place called Athelstaneford. On the morning of the battle, white clouds crossed overhead against the
blue sky, forming the Saltire Cross of St. Andrew, a vision that became the flag of
By the Middle Ages St. Andrew and his cross
were widely associated with Scotland. Scottish hero William Wallace
("Braveheart") famously painted the blue and white Saltire on his face before
entering battle. The great victory of Scottish independence from the English, at
Bannockburn in 1314, was commemorated at the 1318 consecration of St. Andrews Cathedral.
Andrew was officially made the nations patron saint when Scotland declared its
independence from England signed by Robert the Bruce and other Scottish nobles at Arbroath
in 1320. Thereafter, Scottish coins began displaying the Cross of St. Andrew, and the
cross was made part of official Scottish military insignia. In the 18th century, when
Scotland was merged into the United Kingdom, the Cross of St. Andrew was merged with
Englands Cross of St. George to form the double cross of the Union Jack.
TOWARD A SCOTTISH NATIONAL
ST. ANDREW'S DAY
St. Andrews Day, November 30,
unlike the national days of the other countries of the British Isles, is an
holiday", where government offices, schools, banks, stores and businesses
may close and government buildings may fly the Saltire.
Scotland and among Scottish communities elsewhere the day is celebrated as a cultural
feast day, with traditional food, drink, music, and dancing. It is a day when you might
see a few kilts out and about, and hear the discordant droning of the bagpipe in places
not necessarily expecting tourists.
November 30 is also a day often reserved for symbolic
Scottish ceremony, as it was in 1996 when the Stone of Destiny was returned to Scotland
after 700 years in English hands. In 1999 Queen Elizabeth
Stirling Castle -- in Central
within sight of
Bannockburn -- has
to its medieval glory
was home to Scottish royalty.
© Home At First
II opened the restored Great Hall at
re-establishing it to its former medieval
glory from the days of the great Stewart kings. That same year, Scotland
regained much of the status of an independent nation, electing its first
parliament in almost three centuries. Above the Scottish Parliament in
Edinburgh once again flew the Cross of St. Andrew, probably the oldest
extent national flag in Europe.
This article comes from
Home At First's exclusive
"Scotland Activities Guide"
that comes to you as you prepare to depart for
Home At First's