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Current News

Today is St.Andrews Day

Today is St.Andrews Day

11/30/2018 8:00:00 AM

Name day of everyone named Andrey, Andriana (the name has the meaning “masculine”, therefore “strong”).

Bulgarians call it “Bear’s Day”.































And legends has it that once upon a time, long time ago, in a family with a small daughter the woman died. The father remarried a woman who also had a daughter. But the step-mother loved her child more and made the step-child do all the housework. And she was never satisfied. Once, when it was very cold, she gave the step-child black wool and told her to wash it till it becomes white. “Or else, don’t return home!”, said the step-mother. The small girl put the wool on her shoulder and went to the river. She began washing but… the black wool never became white. Frozen all over,  the child sat on the bank and cried. Immediately an old man with a white beard appeared in front of her. “Why are you crying, child?”, asked the old man gently. The girl told him everything and the good man said: “Put the wool on your shoulder, go back home and don’t be afraid.” Then suddenly he disappeared.

The child went home, knocked on the closed door for a while and when the evil step-mother opened the door she was struck – in front of her a golden girl was standing and shining like the sun itself. She became even more angry when she understood how the child turned golden and decided to send her own child as well, so it becomes golden too. She dressed it well, gave it wool and sent it to the river. The little girl quickly reached the river, threw away the wool for she had no intention to wash it and sat on the bank. She waited and waited but nobody came. She was all frozen and started crying. In a moment the man with the white beard appeared. “Why are you crying, child?”, the old man asked. “I’m waiting for you, old man,” the girl answered in a rude voice, “I want you to make me gold and go back home.” “All right, my girl, put the wool on your shoulder and go back home,” the old man said and disappeared. The girl grabbed the wool and ran home. The step-mother, on hearing her steps, quickly opened the door but closed it on the moment, for in front of her was standing a big black bear. The old man punished the evil step-mother by turning her child into a bear.

From that day on, people tell stories about bears. With the first rays of the sun the oldest woman in the house takes boiled corn with a wooden spoon, throws the beans into the chimney and says: “Here is boiled corn for you, bear, - so don't eat it raw!” And people believe that “bears won’t walk in the fields and won’t do harm to the people”.

From St. Andrew’s Day on, the day begins to grow, “by as much as a grain of rye”.















 















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The Holy Apostle Andrew, the First-Called, was the first of the Apostles to follow Christ, and he later brought his own brother, the holy Apostle Peter, to Christ. The future apostle was from Bethsaida, and from the time of his youth he turned with all his soul to God. He did not enter into marriage, and together with his brother he worked as a fisherman. When the holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John began to preach, St. Andrew became his closest disciple. St. John the Baptist himself sent to Christ his own two disciples, the future Apostles Andrew and John the Theologian, declaring Christ to be the Lamb of God.

After the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, St. Andrew went to the Eastern lands preaching the Word of God. He went through Asia Minor, Thrace, Macedonia, he reached the River Danube, went along the coast of the Black Sea, through Crimea, the Black Sea region and along the River Dnepr he climbed to the place where the city of Kiev now stands.

On his journeys the First-Called Apostle endured many sufferings and torments from pagans: they cast him out of their cities and they beat him. In Sinope they pelted him with stones, but remaining unharmed, the persistent disciple of Christ continued to preach to people about the Savior. Through the prayers of the Apostle, the Lord worked miracles. By the labors of the holy Apostle Andrew, Christian Churches were established, for which he provided bishops and clergy. The final city to which the Apostle came was the city of Patra, where he was destined to suffer martyrdom.

The Lord worked many miracles through His disciple Andrew in Patra. The infirm were made whole, and the blind received their sight. Through the prayers of the Apostle, one man was recovered from serious illness; he healed the wife of the governor of Patra, and his brother as well. The miracles accomplished by the Apostle and his fiery speech enlightened almost all the citizens of the city of Patra with the true Faith.















 















The Governor was mad with Andrew’s popularity and sentenced him to death. St. Andrew the First-Called accepted that sentence with joy and with prayer to the Lord, and went willingly to the place of execution. In order to prolong the suffering of the saint, the governor gave orders not to nail the saint's hands and feet, but to tie them to the cross (the so-called "St. Andrew's cross", in the form of the letter X). For two days the suffering apostle was teaching and preaching to the citizens who gathered about. The people, in listening to him, with all their souls pitied him and tried to take St. Andrew down from the cross. Fearing a riot of the people, the governor gave orders to stop the execution. But the holy apostle began to pray that the Lord would grant him death on the cross. Just as the soldiers tried to take hold of the Apostle Andrew, they lost control of their hands.

The crucified apostle, having given glory to God, said: "Lord Jesus Christ, receive my spirit." Then a blazing ray of divine light illumined the cross and the martyr crucified upon it. When the light faded, the holy Apostle Andrew had already given up his holy soul to the Lord. The governor’s wife, whom Andrew himself converted to Christianity, had the body of the saint taken down from the cross, and buried him with honor.

A few centuries later, under the emperor Constantine the Great, the relics of the holy Apostle Andrew were solemnly transferred to Constantinople, and placed in the church of the Holy Apostles, beside the relics of the holy Evangelist Luke and St. Paul's disciple, St. Timothy.

 

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