Archbishop of Crete
July 17 (July 4 old calendar)
Born in Damascus of Christian parents, Saint Andrew was mute until the age of seven. The power of speech was given to him when his parents took him to church and he received Communion. At the age of fourteen he went to Jerusalem and was tonsured in the monastery of St. Sava the Sanctified. In his understanding and ascesis, he surpassed many of the older monks and was an example to all. The Patriarch took him as his secretary. When the Monothelite heresy, which taught that the Lord had no human will but only a divine one, began to rage, the Sixth Ecumenical Council met in Constantinople in 681, in the reign of Constantine IV. Theodore, Patriarch of Jerusalem, was not able to be present at the Council, and sent Andrew, then a deacon, as his representative. At the Council, Andrew showed his great gifts; his articulateness, his zeal for the Faith and his rare prudence. Being instrumental in confirming the Orthodox faith, Andrew returned to his work in Jerusalem. He was later chosen and enthroned as archbishop of the island of Crete. As archbishop, he was greatly beloved by the people. He was filled with zeal for Orthodoxy and strongly withstood all heresy. With his prayers he drove the Saracens out of Crete. He wrote many learned books, poems and canons, of which the best-known is the Great Canon of Repentance which is read in full on the Thursday of the Fifth Week of the Great Fast. Such was his outward appearance that, looking at his face and listening to the words that flowed like honey from his lips, each man was touched and renewed. Returning from Constantinople to Crete on one occasion, he foretold of his death. True to his prediction, as the ship approached the island of Mitylene, this light of the Church finished his earthly course and his soul went to the Kingdom of Christ. This happened about the year 740.
Troparion, Tone 5:
Like the Prophet David thou didst sing a new song/ in the assembly of the righteous./ Thou initiate of the Holy Spirit,/ thou didst thunder forth thy hymns of grace/ and the word of righteousness for our salvation,/ O Andrew glory of the Fathers.
Kontakion, Tone 2:
Thou didst sound forth the divine melodies like a trumpet/ and wast a bright lamp for the world./ Thou didst shine with the light of the Trinity, O righteous Andrew./ Wherefore we cry to thee:/ Ever intercede for us all.
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church
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