St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. St. Andrew's Day is celebrated by Scots around the world on November 30. Interestingly, St. Andrew, one of Jesus' disciples, was never in Scotland when he was alive. However, portions of his remains were sent to Scotland 300 or so years after his death. There are many versions of how this came to be. One of the most popular is that Emperor Constantine was going to move his remains. An angel warned the resident monk this was going to take place and that he should send the remains to the ends of the earth. To a monk in Greece at that time, Scotland filled the bill and St. Andrews remains were shipped to Scotland. Thus, St. Andrew's remains were brought ashore at St. Andrews where a chapel and later a cathedral were built to house them.
During the reformation, the cathedral was destroyed and the remains lost. A plaque was erected to memorialize the spot. However, in 1879 portions of St. Andrew's remains were shipped from Italy where some of his bones had been taken. Later, 1969 to be exact, Pope Paul VI gave some further St. Andrew's relics to the Catholic church in Scotland.
The cross in the Scottish flag above reflects the cross (called a saltire) on which St. Andrew was tortured to death due to his association with Jesus and his success at spreading the Christian gospel. Needless to say, the Scottish flag carries immense, intense symbolism.
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