St. Andrew saw Our Lord as the Messiah and immediately introduced Him to his brother, St. Peter. But St. Andrew's greatest glory was not that he had the honor of presenting the first Pope to Our Lord or that the first Pope was his brother. St. Andrew's true glory was his great love for the cross.
When he saw the cross on which he was to be crucified, he said in salutation:
"O most beautiful cross that was glorified by carrying the Body of Christ! Glorious cross, sweetly desired, ardently loved, always sought, and finally prepared for my heart that has so long awaited you. Take me, O cross! Embrace me. Release me from my life among men. Bring me quickly and diligently to the Master. Through you He will receive me, He, Who through you has saved me."
The cross was "sweetly desired" and "ardently awaited".
How many men can say that with sincerity? Today, men flee from any kind of suffering, any kind of fight, any kind of renunciation.
To live, in modern man's mind, is to enjoy the "good" life, totally in opposition to the true meaning of life. As St. Louis de Montfort states, the truly supernatural man is a "Friend of the Cross".
St. Andrew preached to the people who surrounded him while hanging on his cross for two days.
His last words were:
"Lord, eternal King of glory, receive me hanging from the wood of this sweet cross. Thou Who are my God, Whom I have seen, do not permit them to loosen me from the cross. Do this for me, O Lord, for I know the virtue of Thy Holy Cross."
St. Andrew had the courage and serenity to say these words because his entire life was lived in preparation for his death and for his eternity.
Let us pray to St. Andrew for the grace to embrace our cross with fortitude and resolve knowing that there is no greater proof of friendship with Our Lord than to love Him and follow Him as He showed us.
Perhaps you may like to recite the following traditional Christmas novena in petition to St. Andrew. It is said from his feast on November 30 to Christmas day.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
To be said 15 times a day until Christmas.