Andrew the Apostle (Greek: Ἀνδρέας, Andreas; from the early 1st century – mid to late 1st century AD; known by some as Saint Andrew), called in the Orthodox tradition Prōtoklētos, or the First-called, was a Christian Apostle and the brother of Saint Peter. The name "Andrew" (Greek: manly, brave, from ἀνδρεία, Andreia, "manhood, valour"), like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews,Christians, and other Hellenized people of the region. No Hebrew or Aramaic name is recorded for him. He is considered the founder and the first bishop of the Church of Byzantium and is consequently the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. He is one of the Apostles of Jesus.
The New Testament states that Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter, by which it is inferred that he was likewise a son of John, or Jonah. He was born in the village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. Both he and his brother Peter were fishermen by trade, hence the tradition that Jesus called them to be his disciples by saying that he will make them "fishers of men" (Greek: ἁλιεῖς ἀνθρώπων, halieĩs anthrōpōn). At the beginning of Jesus' public life, they were said to have occupied the same house at Capernaum.
The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew by Caravaggio
The Gospel of John states that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, whose testimony first led him, and another unnamed disciple of John the Baptist to follow Jesus. Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and hastened to introduce him to his brother. Thenceforth, the two brothers were disciples of Christ. On a subsequent occasion, prior to the final call to the Apostolate, they were called to a closer companionship, and then they left all things to follow Jesus.
In the gospels, Andrew is referred to as being present on some important occasions as one of the disciples more closely attached to Jesus. Andrew told Jesus about the boy with the loaves and fishes (John 6:8), with Philip told Jesus about the Greeks seeking Him, and was one of four (the others being Peter, James, and John) to hear Jesus' teaching about what would soon happen.
Crucifixion of St. Andrew.
Eusebius in his church history 3,1 quotes Origen as saying Andrew preached in Skythia. TheChronicle of Nestor adds that he preached along the Black Sea and the Dnieper river as far asKiev, and from there he traveled to Novgorod. Hence he became a patron saint of Ukraine, Romania and Russia. According to tradition, he founded theSee of Byzantium (Constantinople) in AD 38, installing Stachys as bishop. According to Hippolytus of Rome, he preached in Thrace, and his presence in Byzantium is also mentioned in the apocryphal Acts of Andrew, written in the 2nd century; Basil of Seleucia also knew of Apostle Andrew's mission in Thrace, as well as Scythia and Achaia. This diocese would later develop into the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Andrew is recognized as its patron saint.
Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at the city of Patras (Patræ) in Achaea, on the northern coast of the Peloponnese. Early texts, such as the Acts of Andrew known to Gregory of Tours, describe Andrew as bound, not nailed, to a Latin cross of the kind on which Jesus is said to have been crucified; yet a tradition developed that Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross, or "saltire"), now commonly known as a "Saint Andrew's Cross" — supposedly at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus had been. "The familiar iconography of his martyrdom, showing the apostle bound to an X-shaped cross, does not seem to have been standardized before the later Middle Ages," Judith Calvert concluded after re-examining the materials studied by Louis Réau.