I was believed blessed last Nov. 30 when I stumbled upon the Christmas prayer of St. Andrew simply because the Novena starts on Nov. 30! I had wanted to post about this the same day but was unable to till now. Nevertheless I am still writing this to share with everyone so you can still continue saying the prayers several times a day up to Christmas.
The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is often called simply the “Christmas Novena” or the “Christmas Anticipation Prayer,” because it is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas. The First Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew.
St. Andrew Christmas Novena Prayer to Obtain Favors
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)
+MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897
Who is St. Andrew?
Brother to Simon Peter, Saint Andrew was a fisherman who heroically died — martyred on a saltire, or x-shaped cross, where he is said to have preached from for two days. For this reason, the x-shaped cross is often called the Saint Andrew cross and is featured on the flag of Scotland of which he is the patron saint.
Saint Andrew was the first disciple of Jesus. He was the younger brother of Saint Peter and was born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. The brothers were fishermen by trade. Jesus called them to be his disciples by saying that he would make them “fishers of men.”
The Gospel of John teaches us much about St. Andrew who was originally a disciple of St. John the Baptist. When John pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” Andrew understood that Jesus was greater and immediately left John to follow Jesus. He visited in Jesus’ home and later brought his brother Simon Peter, who Jesus also called to be an apostle.
It is believed that Saint Andrew and Saint Peter continued their trade as fishermen until Christ called them to a closer relationship, and they left all things to follow Jesus.
After Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, St. Andrew the Apostle preached the gospel in Asia Minor and in Scythia as far as Kiev. Not much is mentioned in the Book of Acts regarding the life of Saint Andrew.
Saint Andrew was martyred by crucifixion at Patras in Achaea in Greece. Because St. Andrew deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross on which Christ had been crucified, he asked to be tied to a Crux decussata or an X shaped cross. The Apostle Andrew did not die right away but instead he was left to suffer for two days while he continued to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ until he finally died.
Although little is mentioned in the Book of Acts regarding the life of St. Andrew, much can be learned through St. Andrew’s life. He and Saint Peter gave up their lifelong careers and lifestyles, leaving everything behind, to follow Jesus. Their undying faith in a difficult world is an inspiration to all Christians.
His relics consist of a small finger, the top of his cranium and pieces of the cross. These are kept in a shrine at the Church of St. Andrew in Patras.
Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland, Russia and Greece. Scots celebrate Saint Andrew’s Day around the world on the 30th of November. The flag of Scotland is the Cross of St. Andrew.