Crucifixion of St. Andrew
This apostle and martyr was the brother of St. Peter. He preached the gospel to many Asiatic nations. At Patrae, in Greece, the governor of the country threatened him with death for preaching against the idols which he worshipped; but St. Andrew fearlessly continued to tell the people of Christ. He was therefore sentenced to be crucified on the cross made of two pieces of wood of equal length, the ends of which were fixed in the ground. He was fastened to it, not with nails, but with cords, so that his death might be more slow.
An ancient writer tells of the apostle's sublime courage and fearlessness, in the following words:
"When Andrew saw the cross prepared, he neither changed countenance nor color, as the weakness of mortal man is wont to do; neither did his blood shrink; neither did he fail in his speech; his body fainted not; neither was his mind molested; his understanding did not fail him; but out of the abundance of his heart his mouth did speak, and fervent charity did appear in his words. He said, "O cross, most welcome and oft-looked for; with a willing mind, joyfully and desirously, I come to thee, being the scholar of Him who did hang on thee; because I have been always they lower, and have longed to embrace thee!"
St. Andrew hung upon the cross three whole days, suffering dreadful pain, but continuing constantly to tell the people around him of the love of Jesus Christ. The people as they listened to him began to believe his words, and asked the governor to let him be taken down from the cross. Not liking to refuse them he at last ordered the ropes to be cut, but when the last cord was severed, the body of the apostle fell to the ground quite dead.
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