Feast day of St Andrew and beginning of Advent
St Andrew the King
Three weeks and three days before Christmas begins.
Saint Andrew, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ and the brother of Simon (later the apostle Peter), was a Galilean fisherman of Bethsaida, and originally a disciple of John the Baptist. In the Gospel of John (1:35-42), Andrew was the first called of Jesus’ disciples.
According to tradition, Andrew was crucified at Patmos, in Achaia, on an X-shaped cross, the form of which became known as St Andrew's Cross, which is still on the Scottish and British flags. His cross is the same as the cross of Wotan which Norse invaders of Scotland carried. In Scotland it became the national symbol, as Andrew the national patron saint. Waverly Fitzgerald points out, “The cross saltire, is also a sun symbol, which looks similar to a Catherine wheel or the rune of Gefjon, the Giver, which is associated with Freya, the great Scandinavian goddess who is much honored at wintertide.”
According to Nigel Pennick (The Pagan Book of Days, 1992, 131), Andrew is a version of the divinity Andros, the Man, personification of virility, seen as an aspect of Dionysus. Scotland’s matronal goddess is Skadi, the Scathing One.
St Andrew and the meaning of ‘X’ on a letter
People used to sign with an X if they couldn't sign their name. Then they would kiss the X and promise by St Andrew (whose cross the X resembles) to abide by their oath or contract. Over the years, ‘X’ on a letter came to mean a kiss ...
1835 Mark Twain (November 30, 1835-April 21, 1910), anti-war, anti-imperialist American humorist and novelist (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The War Prayer) ...
The death of Oscar Wilde
He wrote De Profundis while in prison, exalting revolutionary action and political agitation. This small book was not published in its entirety until 44 years later. Wilde was released, practically a broken man, on May 19, 1897, spending his last years penniless on the Continent, under the name of Sebastian Melmoth in self-inflicted exile from society and artistic circles. He chose his name from Saint Sebastian (feast day January 20)*, who was killed by archers (suggested by the broad arrows on Wilde’s prison uniform), and Melmoth, a family name ...
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