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St. Andrew the Apostle, the Founder of the Church of Constantinople

St. Andrew the Apostle (Commemorated on November 30) was from Bethsaida, son of some Jew named Jonas, and brother of the apostle Peter. Initially, he was a disciple of John the Baptist and Forerunner. It was John the Baptist who pointed him to Jesus saying: There is the Lamb of God. Then, Andrew left John and followed Jesus Christ. He then said to his brother Peter: We have found Jesus of Nazaret, and so Peter also followed Christ. There exist several other texts in the god-inspired Scripture that refer to him. But this is how he followed Christ, and was hence named the First-called.

After the Ascension of Christ, each Apostle went to teach to a different place. Andrew the First-called went and taught to Bithynia, to the Black Sea, the Propontis, Halcedon, Byzantium, Thrace, Macedonia, and the places until Istro, to Thessaly, mainland Greece, and the Peloponnese; also to Aminsos, Trapzoun, Heraklia, and Amastris. He did not simply pass through all those countries, as the wind does, but stayed there and taught and endured many toils and afflictions for the Gospel.

At Sinopis, he taught the word of the gospel to the people, and was tested by many afflications: they throwed him on the ground, beat him, streched his hands and legs, piersed and cut him, hitted him with woods, throwed stones at him, and left him alone far from the city; then they also cut his finger with a knife. But he immediately regained his full health and piece by the our Saviour God. Leaving that place, we passed by several towns and villages: Neoceasaria, Samosata, Alani, Abasgi, Zicchi, Vosporini and Chersonis.

Then he sailed to Byzantium, where he ordained the Apostle Stachys as the first Bishop of Byzantium. Then he continued his journey passing through many countries, and reached at the Peloponnese. There he stayed at the house of Sosias, who was very ill. But since the Apostle healed him from his disease, the whole city of Patras believed in Christ. Maximilla, the wife of the governor, was freed from the painful bonds of sickness and recovered quickly, and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. And Stratocles the wise, the brother of governor Aigeas, and many others having various diseases, were made healthy by the laying of the hands of the Apostle.

For this reason, Aigeas became furious and nailed the Apostle on a cross, who so departed from the current life. The governor then jumped off some high cliff and took his life. The relics of the Apostle, a long time later, during the reign of Constantios, were transfered to Constantinople at the command of the king by the Martyr Artemios and were set with Luke’s and Timothy’s relics in the temple of the holy Apostles.