The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called and Protector of Romania was celebrated Wednesday, 30 November 2016. In Romania, Saint Andrew enjoys a special honour, being considered the Apostle of Romanians or the Enlightener of Romanian people. That is why he is the protector saint of many monasteries and churches, but also the protector saint of Romanians all over the world.
The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church decided in 1995 that the feast day of Saint Andrew be marked with a red cross in the church calendar. In 1997, St Andrew was proclaimed Protector of Romania. His feast day became a national church holiday, following the decision of the Holy Synod taken on 14 November 2001.
Because of the devoutness of Romanian Orthodox faithful to Saint Andrew, he was appointed protector saint of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral. The Cathedral was also dedicated to the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Heroes’ Day in Romania). On 29 November 2007, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, officiated the blessing service of the National Cathedral’s cornerstone.
The relics of Saint Andrew were carried for the first time to Iaşi, Romania, in 1996. The origin of the Orthodox Church in Romania is connected to Saint Andrew. Testimonies of historians and the Holy Tradition show that Saint Andrew is the first preacher of the Gospel to our ancestors, the Dacians. Therefore, Romanian Christianity has apostolic origin.
Popular customs and traditions consider Saint Andrew as the spiritual father of Romanian nation.
The cave of Saint Andrew, located on the territory of Romania, is the oldest church in the country and is considered the Bethlehem of Romanian Christianity.
The cave of Saint Andrew is located in a clearing near the Migilet forest, at the vicinity of Ion Corvin Village, Constanţa County, in the old Roman Province of Scythia Minor. Tradition and some archaeological discoveries accredit this cave as the place where Apostle Andrew dwelled for a time, during his mission among our Dacian ancestors.
The President of Romania promulgated the bill adopted by the two chambers of Parliament in 2012, establishing the feast day of Saint Andrew, Protector of Romania, (November 30th) as public holiday.
Over 700,000 Romanians celebrate their Name’s Day on the Feast of the Holy Apostle Andrew, the First Called.