by Gordon Nary
St. Andrew the Apostle has five distinctions. He was St. Peter's () brother; he is the patron saint of both Russia and Scotland; he is the only saint honored with a bank holiday (Scotland); he has a world famous golf course named after him; and he was the first apostle to sign up with Jesus Christ and Company. Although he is mentioned several times in the gospels, there is no reliable historical evidence of Andrew's life after Christ's death.
His Scottish patronage is based on an eighth-century legend that St. Regulus was commanded by an angel to transport Andrew's bones from Greece "to the ends of the earth." St. Regulus, for some reason, believed that the angel meant Scotland, so St. Regulus built a chapel there to house Andrew's bones.* The relics were placed in a specially constructed chapel. This chapel was replaced by the Cathedral of St. Andrews in 1160.
The naming of Andrew as the patron saint of Russia was based on a fabrication that Andrew carried the gospel to Russia and preached as far as Kiev.
There was also an unsubstantiated legend that Andrew was martyred on a saltire (x-shaped cross/St. Andrew's Cross) which led to the symbol being incorporated on the Scottish flag.
The Scots commemorate St. Andrew's memory annually on his feast day by baking a St. Andrew's Cake (Tandra Cake) and, after a long day on the golf course, with a St. Andrew's Platter, a cold seafood (salmon, trout, and mussels) platter surrounded with hard boiled eggs, lemon slices, and lettuce wedges, served with a mayonnaise dressing.
St. Andrew's Cake (Tandra Cake)
1 package yeast
1 cup scalded milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup melted butter
5+ cups flour
1 cup currants
1 TB grated lemon zest
butter for bowl and pan
1. Dissolve yeast in cooled scalded milk.
2. Dissolve sugar and salt in melted butter,
3. Beat egg yolks, yeast, and butter/sugar mixture until well blended. Beat in flour. Fold in currants and zest.
4. Knead dough (add more flour if necessary). Place dough on a floured surface. Cover with a damp towel and put in a warn place to rise until doubled.
Place dough on a floured surface. Punch dough down. Place in a buttered bread loaf pan. Cover with a damp towel and put in a warm place to rise until doubled.
5. Preheat oven to 375º F. Bake for 35 minutes or until browned,
*Some might argue that St. Regulus was referring to the territory in the New World that later became New Jersey
© 2010 Gordon Nary