|Duccio, Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew
Washington, National Gallery of Art
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
At once they left their nets and followed him.
Thus the New Testament describes the calling of the Bar Jonah brothers, Simon and Andrew. Simon, as we know, went on to acquire a new name, Peter, the leading Apostle and the “Rock” of the Church. Andrew is less well known, at least in the West. It appears from what evidence we have that Andrew’s mission, following the dispersal of the Apostles after Pentecost, was to the regions surrounding the Black Sea, including what is today northern Turkey, southern Russia , the Balkans and Greece. According to tradition, Andrew was martyred in 60 AD in Greece by being tied to a cross. Like his brother, Peter, who suffered his martyrdom in Rome a few years later, Andrew insisted on his own unworthiness to share the same method of execution as Jesus and, therefore, was crucified on a “cross” in the form of the letter X. 1
|Jean Fouquet, Martyrdom of Saint Andrew
French, ca. 1450
Chantilly, Musée Condé
Andrew, as Apostle to the Black Sea area, is considered to be the founder of the Church in Byzantium, which later became the capital of the eastern Roman Empire after its refoundation in 325 by the Emperor Constantine, who renamed it after himself. Consequently, Saint Andrew is the patron of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the modern period, since the pontificate of John Paul II, the Popes, as successors of St. Peter, and the Ecumenical Patriarchs of Constantinople, as successors of St. Andrew, have exchanged high-level missions to celebrate their feast days of June 29 and November 30 in brotherly fashion.
|Camillo Rusconi, Saint Andrew
Rome, St. John Lateran
It is the work of one artist/architect in relation to Saint Andrew that I would like to focus on today. The artist is Gianlorenzo Bernini. Bernini is probably best known as an architect and as the designer of the interior of Saint Peter’s basilica.
|Gianlorenzo Bernini, Sant' Andrea al Quirinale (exterior)
In 1658 Bernini was commissioned by the Jesuits to design a new church, dedicated to Saint Andrew, for their new novitiate on the Quirinal hill.2 Work continued on the building until 1670. Bernini had personal ties to the Society of Jesus, known as the Jesuits, the religious order of men, founded in 1534 by Saint Ignatius Loyola. Bernini attended Mass every day in the Gesù, the mother church of the Jesuits. One of his sons was, for a time, a Jesuit novice.
|Bernini, Interior, Sant' Andrea al Quirinale
|Guillaume Courtois, il Borgognone, Martyrdom of Saint Andrew
French, ca. 1660
|Bernini, Saint Andrew Ascending to Heaven
Italian, ca. 1660s
Rome, Sant' Andrea al Quirinale
|Bernini, Dome of Saint Andrea al Quirinale
|Bernini, Holy Spirit at the top of the dome
Sant'Andrea al Quirinale
© M. Duffy, 2011