Most biographical notes on this Apostle begin “Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother,” and he is so described in the Gospels. Identifying Andrew as Peter’s brother makes it easy to know who he is, but it also makes it easy to overlook the fact of Andrew’s special gift to the company of Christ. The Gospel according to John tells how Andrew, a disciple of John the Baptist, was one of two disciples who followed Jesus after John had pointed him out, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). Andrew and the other disciple went with Jesus and stayed with him, and Andrew’s first act afterward was to find his brother and bring him to Jesus. We might call Andrew the first missionary in the company of disciples.
Though Andrew was not a part of the inner circle of disciples (Peter, James, and John), he is always named in the list of disciples, and appears prominently in several incidents. Andrew and Peter were fishermen, and Matthew’s Gospel records Jesus’ calling them from their occupation, and their immediate response to his call. Andrew was the disciple who brought the boy with the loaves and fishes to Jesus for the feeding of the multitude.
We hear little of Andrew as a prominent leader, and he seems always to be in the shadow of Peter. Eusebius, the Church historian, records his going to Scythia, but there is no reliable information about the end of his life. Tradition has it that he was fastened to an X-shaped cross and suffered death at the hands of angry pagans.
Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland.