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Monday, December 6, 2021, 4:33AM  
On November 30 in the Holy Orthodox Church we commemorate the holy, glorious, and all-laudable Apostle Andrew the First-Called.

He was the son of Jonah and brother of Peter, was born in Bethsaida and was a fisherman by trade.  At first he was a disciple of John the Baptist, but when the Forerunner pointed to the Lord Jesus, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36), Andrew left his first teacher and followed Christ.  Then, Andrew brought his brother Peter to the Lord.  Following the descent of the Holy Spirit, it fell by lot to Andrew to preach the Gospel in Byzantium and Thrace, then in the lands along the Danube and in Russia around the Black Sea, and finally in Epirus, Greece and the Peloponnesos, where he suffered.  In Kiev, he planted a Cross on a high place and prophesied a bright Christian future for the Russian people.  In the city of Patras, he performed many miracles in the name of Christ, and won many over to the Lord.  Among the new faithful were the brother and wife of the Proconsul Aegeates.  Angered at this, Aegeates subjected Andrew to torture and then crucified him.  While the apostle of Christ was still alive on the cross, he gave beneficial instructions to the Christians who had gathered around.  The people wanted to take him down from the cross but he refused to let them.  Then the apostle prayed to God and an extraordinary light encompassed him, which lasted for half an hour.  When it disappeared, the apostle gave up his holy soul to God.  Thus, the First-called Apostle, the first of the Twelve Great Apostles to know the Lord and follow Him, finished his earthly course. Andrew suffered for his Lord in the year 62.

Through his intercessions, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon us, and save us.  Amen.
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