The Icon on the left is of St. Andrew, and was purchased at St. Andrew Skete on Mt. Athos. On the right is a photograph of the Relic of St. Andrew at the Skete–his holy skull.

The feast of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called is a particularly meaningful feast for me. When I visited Mt. Athos last summer, I was given the great blessing of being able to venerate the holy relics of St. Andrew. His skull is at the Skete of St. Andrew, just outside the capital city of the Holy Mountain. When you enter the monastery it looks no different than all of the other monasteries. Until they show you to the catholikon—the main Church. It is enormous—as of Summer ’05 it was the largest Church in the Balkans. You enter the Church and it is magnificent—a towering iconostasis, gilded icons—the space is as large as a stadium, only it’s an Orthodox Church. And St. Andrew’s relic is simply in the Church; anyone can walk in and pray and venerate, have items blessed, and take Holy Oil home with them. It’s something so natural, for people to come into the Church at any time to be in the presence of God.

Holy Apostle Andrew, pray to the merciful God, that He grant healing and salvation to our souls.

You can find the life of St. Andrew here