30 November 2011

30 November - Saint Andrew; Ktenia me Ryzi

Weather: On St. Andrew's day we feel the cold, even in bed. 

Andrew bright and clear, brings a prosperous year.

If on St. Andrew's day in the evening, much dew or wet remains on the grass, it betokens a wet season to follow; if the grass is dry, so will the season be.

Fill a glass to the brim with water and let it stand all night.  If any of the water has run over the side by morning, expect a wet year; if none of the water has escaped, then it will be a dry year.

“At Patras, in Achaia, the birthday of the apostle St. Andrew, who preached the gospel of Christ in Thrace and Scythia.  Being apprehended by the proconsul AEgseas, he was shut up in prison, severely scourged, and finally, being suspended on a cross, he lived two days on it, teaching the people.  Having besought our Lord not to permit that he should be taken down from the cross, he was surrounded with a great brightness from heaven, and when the light disappeared he breathed his last.”

Come, follow Me, I will make you fishers of men.

Today is the feast of Saint Andrew, the first disciple of Our Lord, who spent his life leading people to Christ, starting with his own brother Simon (Peter), and including the unnamed boy with five loaves and two fish, whose lunch fed the multitude (John 6:1-15).  He is said to have been martyred in Patras, Greece, by being tied to an X-shaped (decussate) cross, where he preached for two days before dying.

This feast was once important enough to have not only a vigil, but also an octave (which ends on 7 December).

You can read more about the life and ministry of Saint Andrew here. The Golden Legend follows up the life of the saint with several of his miracles, including an interesting story about a bishop whom he saved from being ensnared by the devil in the shape of a beautiful woman.

As seen yesterday, unmarried women invoke his help in finding a husband.

He is the patron (understandably) of those who take their livelihoods from the waters - not only fishermen, but fishmongers and fish dealers - and even those for whom fishing is not an occupation but a hobby, such as anglers.  If for some reason the fish aren't biting, say a quick prayer to Saint Andrew.  He'll understand.

Please pray for fishermen and mariners and those who make their living from the sea.

He is the patron of the countries of Greece, Russia, Romania, and Scotland, of the Greek province of Achaia and its capital Patras (where Andrew was martyred); of the Italians cities of Amalfi, Antey-Saint-Andre, Cartosio, Conflenti, Grognardo, and Samolaco; the German cities of Berchtesgaden and Lampertheim; of Burgundy, France; Encinasola, Spain; Luqu, Malta; and Plymouth, England; of the dioceses of Constantinople, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Victoria, British Columbia.

“When the blessed Andrew had come to the place where the cross was made ready, he exclaimed and said, ‘O good cross, long wished for and now made ready for a desirous spirit, I, without care and joyful, come to thee, so that thou, rejoicing, mayst receive me, the disciple of the one who hung on thee, my master Christ’.”

“We beseech Thee, O omnipotent God, that blessed Andrew Thine apostle may implore aid in our behalf; so that, absolved from the charges against us, we may also be rescued from all dangers.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, O God, world without end.  Amen.”
Suffrage of Saint Andrew the Apostle, from the Primer, or Office of the Blessed Virgin Marie (1599).

For dinner tonight, the main course should be fish or seafood, fixed in the manner of one of the countries of which he is a patron, like this Greek recipe for KTENIA ME RYZI (Scallops with Rice):

Finely chop 1 onion.
Wash 2 pounds of scallops.
Preheat oven to 400° F.

Saut√© the chopped onion in ¼ cup of butter until golden.  Add the scallops and simmer for 15 minutes, turning the scallops occasionally.   Remove from heat and drain the juice from the scallops.  Add enough water to the juice to equal 1-1/2 cups.

In another pan, brown 1 cup of uncooked rice in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until golden, and place in a 2-quart casserole.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the reserved juice, and pour it over the rice.  Cover casserole and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Stir in scallops and onion and bake for another 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

To accompany this repast? Perhaps St. Andrew's Ale, from the Belhaven Brewery Company of Scotland.  Or a Chardonnay from St. Andrew's Estate in Adelaide Plains, Australia.

For dessert, you can find a recipe for Saint Andrew's Walnut Cake here and one for "Tandry Wigs" (also called Tandrew Cakes), which seem to be a lot like the St. Catherine Wigs of November 25th.