On the Evangelizer of Romanians, the Apostle Andrew, we have him at heart…but he is not only of ours.
Because he preached in Bithynia, ie from Hrisopolis and until Nicomedia and Nicaea, in the parties of the Black Sea [and in Dobrogea he lived in a cave], in Sevastopol and the Bosphorus, in Kherson, in Russia to the Dnieper, and then in the Mountains of the Kiev, in Chalcedon and Byzantium, in Thrace, Macedonia and Thessaloniki, in Tessalia, Farsala, Hellas, Zitunion, Achaia, Paleapatra…and dies crucified, on a X-shaped cross, in Patras, on November 30, in the 60th year after Christ.
And, as he preached in many parts, and his body was divided into many parts of the world…his Holy Relics are kept in Patras, Greece [his head], in Scotland, at Edinburgh, in the Holy Mountain Athos, in Russia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Romania [Galați and Constanța], in Germany, Italy, Austria, Poland, France, the Basque Country, Malta, Hong Kong…
The reason for that, Saint Apostle Andrew is the spiritual patron of Scotland (the Scottish flag is the cross of Saint Andrew), of Spain, of Sicily, of Greece, of Russia and our country, Romania.
He is also the patron city of Naples, Ravenna, Brescia, Amalfi, Mantua, Bordeaux, Bruges, Patras and Galați.
Because Saint Andrew won the world not by force of arms, not with money, not as a tyrant…but with the grace of Christ, his Master, Which strengthened him and gave him all the power to change the world.
And this is true, real change of the world: the people change themselves because they are convinced that life in Christ is the true, the real life of people!
But, in comparison with what also means today the evangelism, the work of Saint Andrew was a total one and, primarily, a spiritual work, sanctifying and deifying.
He brought to the world, like the other Apostles of God, the life of God, the divine life, through word, through the Sacraments of the Church, through the example of his life.
And from Andrew shone the glory of God and His truth, the motive for which he could change the world from within it.
On short: do not go with the sermonial strategy!
The sermons are not for made adherents but they are a living witness of the true relation with God.
And only if you are full of God’s life can irradiate and others this beauty of heaven, immortal.
From Saint Andrew we still have his deeds and the proof of his holiness: his Holy Relics.
The conversions made by him…and his Holy Relics are imperishable evidence, like as the Holy Eucharist, the Holy Water, and the Holy Chrism.
These all are historical evidences but, in the same time, they transcend history, because they are full of grace of the Most Holy Trinity.
And in Church where the historical evidences are full of grace is Church where the grace and the priesthood comes from Christ, the Founder and the Foundation of the Church.
And the huge sum of the sanctological evidences, at 20 centuries, of the Orthodox Church, proves us the fact that Church is not of Paul’s or Peter’s, which it’s not of the patriarchs who lead it, that it does not travel randomly through history, but that it is led by our Trinitarian God, that it is the arch that leads us, all of us, to the Kingdom of Most Holy Trinity.
Saint Andrew is with us! This is the capital thing which experiences the orthodox believer.
And when we put wheat at germinated in the day of Saint Andrew, we believe in life, in pending the fruitfulness of life.
And Saint Andrew believed with power in man and in his change!
Because you can not change the world if you do not feel that you have changed in your relation with God.
Only someone who feels changed…can change others.
And the real change is the cleaning of passions from love of God, the continuous change of mind indebted the irradiation of the God’s glory in our lives.
You change yourself and change the world: this is the ecclesial way of the preaching!
If you try to change the world for that you hate it, for that you do not support it, you will create the religious monsters…but not the spiritual people.
You create monsters like you…because you are still full of stench passions. Because you can not create from ugliness but only from the beauty of God.
And the new man, the spiritual man is formed from God’s beauty, beauty that is an ascetic, mystical, liturgical, dogmatical, moral, and existential.
In this autumn we enjoyed at Bucharest the presence of Saint Andrew’s head…it has been a hardener presence, uplifting, encouraging.
We met with whom that we owe our spiritual identity…and it is a privilege, for that the love kept it and brought it in Romania.
And only when you understand what treasure you have, you want to show to others.
The Holy Relics are the treasure on that we show and others…for that all to be filled with divine beauty.
But, if and now we can fill God’s glory, then every orthodox may have Holy Relics after his death.
So help us God! Amen!