Commemorated on October 2
Blessed Andrew, Fool-for-Christ, was a Slav and lived in the tenth century at Constantinople. From his early years, he loved God’s Church and the Holy Scriptures. Once during a dream, the saint beheld a vision of two armies. In the one were men in radiant garb, in the other, black and fiercesome devils. An angel of God, who held wondrous crowns, said to Andrew, that these crowns were not adornments from the earthly world, but rather a celestial treasure, with which the Lord rewards His warriors, victorious over the dark hordes. “Proceed with this good deed,” the angel said to Andrew. “Be a fool for My sake and you will receive much in the day of My Kingdom.”
The saint perceived that it was the Lord Himself summoning him to this deed. From that time Andrew began to go about the streets in rags, as though his mind had become muddled. For many years the saint endured mockery and insults. With indifference he underwent beatings, hunger and thirst, cold and heat, begging alms and giving them away to the poor. For his great forebearance and humility the saint received from the Lord the gift of prophecy and wisdom, saving many from spiritual perils, and he unmasked the impiety of many.
While praying at the Blachernae church, St Andrew beheld the Most Holy Mother of God, holding her veil over those praying under her Protection (October 1). Blessed Andrew died in the year 936.
Last night my husband, Gregory, read to me the full life of St. Andrew, Fool for Christ. What a life! What a spiritual path to follow! It is amazing to me how someone would choose to be mocked and scorned, rejected by others and fain foolishness for Christ’s sake. Yet, that is exactly what Our Lord lived. People laughed him to scorn, spit on Him, rejected Him, and crucified Him. St. Andrew followed Christ on this path and during one of his most intense spiritual struggles, after days of freezing cold and near death – St. Andrew was lifted up the the “third Heaven” as was St. Paul. His account of this experience is in the full text of his life.
The Collection of The Lives of the Saints, Volume II: October, Chrysostom Press
Being Orthodox involves spiritual warfare with the dark side and its forces, which I address in my book and podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio. Last night during a dream I was able to more fully realize and employ the power of the Cross thanks to the reading of St. Andrew’s life. Reading his story help me to find a courage and belief in the power of the Cross I have to this point only prayed and hoped for. I somehow was able, by the grace of God to shift my understanding of its power to protect and defeat the devil during and after my dream. Thank you Holy St. Andrew! Glory to God!