(800) 523-5842

 


– DEAL$
& SPECIAL OFFERS

 

HOT TRAVEL BARGAINS!

 

GET BARGAIN ALERTS

 

IN$TANT DI$COUNT$

 

GET A FREE PROPOSAL!

 

GET A FREE CATALOG

 

-2017-
DESTINATIONS

MANY PRICES STILL WELL
BELOW 8 YEARS AGO!

 

BRITAIN &

IRELAND

 

SCOTLAND
DARE TO COMPARE!

2017 PRICES

IRELAND

DARE TO COMPARE!

CALL 4 2017 PRICES

LONDON

DARE TO COMPARE!

2017 PRICES

ENGLAND
'THE LIONHEART'

2017 PRICES

WALES
'THE PENDRAGON'

2017 PRICES


 
 

PARIS

'LA BELLE'

 

2017 PRICES
DARE TO COMPARE!

PARIS + LONDON

 

 

NEW!

SWI+ZERLAND

6 special regions

2017 PRICES
DARE TO COMPARE!


 

 YOUR DREAM TRIP!  

CUSTOM-MADE

 EUROPE 

FRANCE

GERMANY

ITALY

NETHERLANDS

SPAIN

SWITZERLAND

 

 

bermuda

A PRETTY PLACE PLUS

2017 PRICES
LOWER PRICES AGAIN!


 

HOT!

ICELAND

2017 PRICES

COMBINED

ITINERARIES

 

 

SCANDINAVIA

THE GREAT NORTH

2017 PRICES
WOW! UP TO 14.54% BELOW 2009 LEVELS!

NORWAY

 

SWEDEN

 

DENMARK

 

COMBINED

ITINERARIES

 

 

NEW

ZEALAND

ROAD TRIP!

2017 PRICES
 WOW! UP TO 9.64% BELOW 2009 LEVELS!

NORTH ISLAND

 

SOUTH ISLAND

 

 
CURRENTLY
FEATURED @
HOMEATFIRST.COM
 

EDITOR'S BLOG

 

ADVENTURE

 

PEOPLE

 

GOLF COURSE

 

LODGING

 

EVENTS CALENDAR

 

 
HOME AT FIRST
 

CONTACT INFO

USA & CANADA
(800) 523-5842

WORLDWIDE
+1 610 543 4348

info@homeatfirst.com
 


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 travels.

SAINT ANDREW

PATRON SAINT OF SCOTLAND

Why is this Apostle of Jesus the Patron Saint of Scotland?

        The four nations of the British Isles — England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales — maintain national days named after patron saints: St. George, St. Patrick, St. Andrew, and St. David, 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 Scotland’s 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) martyr’s death by crucifixion on a distinctive X-shaped cross. The legend of St. Andrew — historic fact cannot be ascertained here—tells 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

The Saltire, the flag of Scotland with the Cross of St. Andrew.

THE SALTIRE

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 Apostle’s remains as he could as far away from Constantinople as possible. Rule/Regulus took what he could of St. Andrew’s 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. ANDREW'S CATHEDRAL
        Three or more centuries pass until the building of St. Andrews Cathedral in (begun in 1160; consecrated 1318) made the future home of golf Scotland’s center for

 

Christianity. The relics of St. Andrews in St.

St. Rule's Church (the rectangular tower) still stands on the grounds of the ruins of St. Andrew's Cathedral, St. Andrews, Scotland. Photo © Home At First.
ST. RULE'S CHURCH AT ST. ANDREW'S CATHEDRAL
Photo © 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. Rule’s 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 Scotland’s reborn Roman Catholic church community, where they are now on display at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh. In 1969 more bones from St. Andrew were presented to Scotland’s first Catholic Cardinal of modern times, Gordon Gray.

SCOTTISH NATIONALISM
          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 Scotland.
          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 nation’s 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 England’s Cross of St. George to form the double cross of the Union Jack.

TOWARD A SCOTTISH NATIONAL HOLIDAY —
ST. ANDREW'S DAY

          St. Andrew’s Day, November 30, unlike the national days of the other countries of the British Isles, is an official "bank holiday", where government offices, schools, banks, stores and businesses may close and government buildings may fly the Saltire.

          In 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 Scotland within sight of Bannockburn -- has been restored to its medieval glory when it was home to Scottish royalty. Photo © Home At First.
Stirling Castle -- in Central
Scotland  within sight of
 Bannockburn -- has been restored
to its medieval glory when it
was home to Scottish royalty.

Photo © Home At First

II opened the restored Great Hall at Stirling Castle,

 

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 Scotland.

YOUR DREAM TRIP TO SCOTLAND BEGINS BY CONTACTING 

HOME AT FIRST