From the Chief Knight (April 2018)

posted Apr 10, 2018, 5:37 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

 

St Andrew is Scotland’s patron saint, but who was he? What did he do that was so saintly? In addition, how did he get the honor of becoming Scotland’s patron saint?

As we look forward to this year’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations, we thought it would be a good idea to give you a little peek into his life, his work and all the things that made him such an impressive character, not just for Scotland, but also for countries all around the world.

St Andrew has been celebrated in Scotland for over a thousand years, with feasts being held in his honor as far back as the year 1000 AD. However, it was not until 1320, when Scotland’s independence was declared with the signing of The Declaration of Arbroath, that he officially became Scotland’s patron saint. Since then St Andrew has become tied up in so much of Scotland. The flag of Scotland, the St Andrew’s Cross, was chosen in honor of him. In addition, the ancient town of St Andrews was named due to its claim of being the final resting place of St Andrew.

Popularization of St Andrew’s Day

Despite the fact that St Andrew has stood as Scotland’s patron saint for so many years, it wasn’t until the 18th century that the popular celebration of his day became commonplace. What might surprise you even more is that the tradition of celebrating on November 30th was not even technically started in Scotland, but by a group of ex-pats in the USA who were keen to reconnect with their Scottish roots.

It all began with the creation of the ‘St Andrew’s Society of Charleston’ in South Carolina, which was founded in 1729 by a group of wealthy Scottish immigrants. The organization is actually the oldest Scottish society of its type in the world and was set up with one simple premise. Their goal was to adhere to St Andrew’s philanthropic beliefs and they became famous throughout the region for their work assisting orphans and widows in that area.

Fraternally, Naresh Rampershad, Chief Knight

 

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