St Andrew's Day: story of Scotland's patron saint
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Nov 30: Saint Andrew's Day, national day of Scotland. This video explains the story of how St Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland. Aimed at children, it tells the story of his early days as a fishermen and the long journey that Rule embarked on to bring St Andrew's remains to the end of the earth.


A long, long time ago in Galilee a fisherman called Andrew spent his days fishing. One day he heard a man call out from the bank, “Follow me!” That man was Jesus of Nazareth and Andrew immediately lay down his nets and became one of the twelve Disciples.

Andrew watched Jesus perform many miracles. It was Andrew who first spoke to the boy who offered to share his five loaves and two fishes with Jesus at the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus managed to feed all five thousand people from only the food the boy had shared.

After Jesus died Andrew preached Christianity throughout Poland, Russia and Greece. It was in Greece that Andrew was crucified on an X shaped cross as he thought himself unworthy of dying on an vertical cross like Jesus.

Time passed, a monk called Regulus, or Rule was watching over St Andrew’s bones. The story goes that an angel appeared to Rule and told him to take the relics to the far West. The journey was long and arduous. Rule was shipwrecked on the east coast of Scotland in the place where the town of St Andrews now stands.

Over the centuries St Andrew became important to the Scottish people. This is why the X shape of his cross, or saltire, is part of the Scottish flag. St Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland about a thousand years ago.

And St Andrew’s day continues to be celebrated on the 30th November each year.


GALILEE= The northern part of the ancient kingdom of Israel. In Jesus' times, Israel was divided by the Romans into 3 different territories: Galilee to the north, Judea to the south and Samaria between both.

FISHERMAN= A man whose job is fishing.

CALL OUT= To say something in a loud voice.

NETS= What fishermen use to capture fish (see picture).

DISCIPLES= /dɪspləz/ A disciple is a person who follows a master to learn from him, not by studying, but by following him, observing his life and learning from his words. The Twelve Disciples are the most important men among Jesus' many disciples, the hardcore of His group, His closest friends, and later they became the leaders of Christians. Their leadership was passed down from generation to generation to what we call today "bishops" (a bishop is the leader of a local church and their church is called "cathedral").

PERFORM= Do, make.

LOAVES= plural form of a loaf of bread (see picture)

THE FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND= (feed= give food) One of Jesus most famous miracles. There were 5000 people sitting on the ground listening to Jesus preaching. They were men, women and children who had come from far and near. Late in the day, Jesus' disciples told Him to send the people away because they would be hungry. Instead Jesus told them to feed the crowd, so they began to look for food. The nearest population was far away, and looking around, all the disciples could find was a boy who had two fishes and five loaves of bread, but Jesus took them and multiplied them. The baskets with food would never empty so they could feed the entire multitude with that.

MANAGED= Was able to, could.

PREACH= Talk about religious or moral teachings.

THROUGHOUT= /θru:t/ Throughout a place = everywhere in that place, all over the place.

CRUCIFIED= /kru:sɪfaɪd/ A Persian (and later Roman) most cruel way of execution where the person was nailed to a cross and left to die. Jesus was crucified and died on the cross. A representation of Jesus on the cross is called a "crucifix" /kru:sɪfɪks/. Many people think "cross" and "crucifix" are interchangeable but if a cross has no Jesus on it, it's simply a "cross", not a "crucifix" (crucifix is a Latin word that means fixed to a cross, so it refers to the person nailed). See St Andrew's crucifixion here.

AN X SHAPED CROSS= A cross in the shape of an X (Jesus' cross, as all crosses at the time, was + shaped).

AS...= Since, because.

HE THOUGHT HIMSELF= He considered himself..., he thought that he was...

UNWORTHY= Not good enough for something.

WATCHING OVER= Looking after.

BONES= The hard parts inside our body. Years after we die, the only parts that remain are the bones.

THE STORY GOES THAT...= This is what the legend says (but I don't know if it's true or not). When we use this phrase we mean that the information we are going to say is part of the story, not our personal information (we may believe it or not).

RELICS= The remains of a saint, usually their bones or any object used by them.

ARDUOUS= Difficult, demanding a great effort.

SHIPWRECKED= If you are shipwrecked, you are travelling by ship and the ship has an accident and sinks (goes under water).

SALTIRE= The heraldic name used for the image of two red bands crossed in the shape of an X. The saltire is St Andrew's symbol, that's why the Scottish flag is made up of a white saltire over a blue background (see picture).

PATRON SAINT= A saint is a person that was good and is now in heaven, but we usually use this word to refer to famous saints that everybody thinks were important role models for Christians. A nation, town, profession, problem, etc. was put under the special protection of one of these saints, so they are called the "patron saint" of that. For example, St George is the patron saint of England, St Anthony of Padua is the patron saint for people who are looking for somebody to marry, St Jude Thaddeus is the patron saint of the Chicago Police Department, St Lucy is the patron saint of those who are blind or those who want to keep a good sight.