Like his brother, Simon Peter, Andrew began as a Fisherman who, mentored by the Lord, later became a Fisher of Men. Originally a follower of St. John the Baptist, once John declared, “Behold the Lamb of God!”, Andrew accepted his calling as the first disciple of Christ. It is believed that after Jesus ascended into heaven, Andrew took the Good News to Greece. Suffering persecution for his faith, he was tied to a cross and left to die. For two days as he hung there, he continued to preach to those gathered. A remarkable example of faithfulness to his last breath, St. Andrew, pray for us.
The following Novena prayer was given to me by an employee of Franciscan University, affectionately called the “Queen of Novenas”. As she handed me the prayer card, the beloved Switchboard Operator, Erla, confided that this was a powerful Novena, and to choose my intention carefully. As such, I faithfully uttered it fifteen times a day as my Grandfather suffered from terminal Cancer. How blessed was I then to share the most tender and undoubtedly the most memorable of all of our Christmas gatherings with Grandpa and our family on the final day of the Novena.
It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.
+MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897
Further reflecting on the call of St. Andrew (John 1:35-42), there is a simple exchange between he and Jesus that has revealed a more profound meaning to me this day. As the passage relates, the Lord had sensed Andrew walking behind him, and asked, “What do you seek?”. Andy responded, “Where are you staying?” Jesus replied, “Come and see.” And after they had stayed with him but a short time, Andrew went to his brother, Simon Peter, and told him, “We have found the Messiah.” In this “the Rock” was led to his Discipleship, to encounter Christ and thus embrace the greatest calling on his life. In meditating on this passage and prayer as we prepare for His coming, I feel He poses the same question to us, “What do you seek?” Whatever the intention may be, all of it can be traced back to our deepest longing — for Him. Desiring to experience more of Him, we may inquire just as Andrew did, “Where are you staying?” Just as He did over 2,000 years ago, he lovingly responds, “Come and see,” and He takes us deeper into our hearts to encounter Him ever anew during this Advent. Growing in our relationship with Him – the King of Kings who resides within us – may hopefully lead us to respond as this Saint did. Unable to contain his life-altering discovery, Andrew sought out his brother exclaiming, “We have found the Messiah” and led his loved one to Him.
May this Advent be a time of blessing for you, a new journey of deeper discovery after that which you seek.