ST. ANDREW, DEACON AND CONFESSOR, OF FIESOLE, IN ITALY
...The Life of this holy pilgrim—an exile from his native country—has been specially written in Italian by Philippus Villanus. When treating about his sister, St. Brigid, of Opacum, at Fiesole, in Italy, Father John Colgan, and the Bollandists have not omitted to draw their account, mainly from that Life. Filippo Villani was a Florentine gentleman of an ancient and respectable family, the son of Matteo, and the nephew of Giovanni Villani, who wrote a much esteemed History of Florence. This begins with the foundation of that city, and it continues to the year of his death, A.D. 1348. His brother Matteo continued it to A.D. 1363, the year when he died. Afterwards, his son Filippo added forty-two chapters, and ended it with the year 1364. The latter wrote in Latin the Lives of illustrious men belonging to Florence; but the original Manuscript of that work has not been hitherto discovered. Two different copies of St. Andrew's Life—the authorship attributed to Filippo Villani—were in possession of the Bollandists, with two shorter Lives, very similar to each other, and which seem to have been intended as panegyrics of the saint. They were written for one of his festival celebrations. Those appear to have been abbreviated from the longer Acts. At the 22nd of August, the Bollandists publish the Latin Acts of St. Andrew from a Manuscript of Placidus Puchinellus, and which they had obtained. These have been edited by Father Guilielmus Cuper, who has prefixed a Previous Commentary, and added notes. The editor, however, proposes some difficulties, regarding the authorship of those Acts, owing to the introduction of the name Leonardus, in the Prologue, and that person to whom the tract had been dedicated. If he were Leonardus Bonafides, the Carthusian, who became Bishop of Cortona, and who erected a chapel to St. Andrew, in the church of St. Martin de Mensula, it is quite evident, that Filippo Villani, who lived in the fourteenth century, could not have been the writer. So that, either another and a different Filippo Villani must be found; or a different Leonardus, than he who constructed a chapel for the relics of St. Andrew in the Monastery of St. Martin of Mensola, in order to synchronise the author and his patron. The Irish Franciscan Fathers of St. Isidore, at Rome, had a copy of St. Andrew's Life, and of this the Bollandists obtained a transcript. The posthumous list, referring to Colgan's unpublished Lives of Irish Saints, contained the name of St. Andreas, as if intended for printing, at the 22nd of August. Father Stephen White records him, likewise, as one of the Irish saints who went abroad. In Butler's work, at the 22nd of August, is found a very brief notice of St. Andrew, Deacon, and Confessor. There is a brief account of this holy bishop of Fiesole in "Les Vies des Saints," in the Petits Bollandistes, at the 22nd of August. Later, still, a very interesting account of St. Andrew has been inserted in a work, written by Miss Margaret Stokes.
This Irish or Scottish gentleman was born, probably towards the close of the eighth or beginning of the ninth century. In what part of Ireland, his birth took place, has not transpired, nor have we been able to find his pedigree, through any process of onomancy. From early youth, he felt a truly fraternal affection for his sister, St. Brigid, and her virtues were justly calculated to cement their mutual endearment. Andrew was the elder of the two, while he was also her constant guide and counsellor. They were the children of noble and virtuous parents. Both Andrew and Brigid were accustomed from their earliest youth to pause at the church door, to enter it and to pray, when they walked together on their way to school. This service they repeated each hour they could save from sleep. From his youth, Andrew was comely in features, modest in dress and gestures, and grave in deportment. Moreover, he loved practices of penance and mortification, while he was accustomed to fast very rigorously. He carefully avoided the company and conversation of those, who might be likely to endanger his morals. Besides, the youth of Andrew was spent in the study of letters and in the exercises of piety. There were none, however poor and miserable, who left the house in which he lived uncomforted, so deeply were compassion and the love of unhappy persons rooted in his heart. Meanwhile, his parents were careful that he should be taught the art of riding, and such other accomplishments as befitted his high rank. Time passed on, and a distinguished teacher of Divine philosophy, named Donatus, arrived near their place. He came from many miles distant. Hearing of Andrew's great promise, Donat formed his acquaintance, took him to his school, and soon a life-long friendship was established between them. The kindly greeting he received gave Andrew heartfelt satisfaction, and afterwards, he received lessons from that Christian philosopher, named Donat, or Donatus, who is thought to have been educated at Iniscaltra or Holy Island, on Lough Derg, a wide-spreading lake on the River Shannon. This conclusion has been drawn from the circumstance, that a Latin hexameter poem, giving the Life of St. Brigid of Kildare, had been written by Caolan, who calls himself a monk of Iniscaltra, and to that Donatus of Fiesole has added the Prologue.
One day, while Donatus and Andrew were standing at the entrance of that cashel surrounding their monastery, and discoursing as was their custom on various matters human and divine; the former revealed to his disciple a desire he had long entertained, to journey into distant lands, and especially to visit all the holy places throughout Italy. Then, he resolved on seeking a spot, where his family and friends could not find him. There, too, he purposed devoting the remainder of his life to God's service. Unable to part from his beloved master, Andrew prayed that he might become the companion of Donat's travels. At last, it was arranged, they should pay no heed to the opposition of their families and friends, but set out at once after taking their "final leave. Great was the grief of Brigid, when she heard of that project, and she cried out: "Brother dear, why dost thou leave me? When shall we see each other again?" At last, with much gentleness, Andrew put his sister from him. Then, in a spirit of resignation, she said : "Go in peace, and pray to God for me abandoned here in sorrow." Afterwards, accompanied by their families and friends, they went to the sea-coast, where a ship was waiting to receive them on board.
Both the master and the scholar thus left their own country of Scotia, and travelled to Italy.They had very scant provision for their journey,intending as pilgrims contented and humble in spirit to travel on foot from place to place, while resting in those monasteries, containing relics of thesaints. They often turned aside to visit certain hermitages, in almostinaccessible places, and where they might hold converse with holy anchorites. After such adventures, they at length crossed the Alps, and travelled to a resting spot among the Apennine Mountains of Italy. In those journeyings, Donatus was the guiding spirit, who directed their course. The city he went to, in fine, was situated in Etruria; and under the appellation of Faesule, it was one of the twelve cities of that province, being the most distinguished by its celebrity and beautiful situation, as also for the presumed skill of its denizens in the interpretation of omens and prognostics. With the rest of Etruria, it submitted to the Roman power, and it was colonized by Scylla. Fiesole had survived the general desolation of Italy, during the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth centuries. At the time Donatus and Andrew entered that city as pilgrims and rested in the public hospice, discord and dissension had followed those devastations caused by the Northmen, and the city had been deprived of its Bishop. The people were anxious about the appointment of his successor, and they earnestly prayed the Almighty to send them a good chief pastor. A wonderful miracle revealed to them, that two holy strangers had just arrived; and, it is stated, all the bells of the city began to ring, without human agency; while a voice from Heaven was heard, "Receive the stranger who approaches, Donatus of Scotia, and take him for your shepherd !" This was accepted as a manifestation of God's holy will. At the same moment, the lamps in all the churches were suddenly extinguished, but only to be succeeded by a miraculous light, which spread over the whole horizon.
With the multitude of the inhabitants, those pious pilgrims sought the chief temple, and there admiring the faithful at their devotions, at first it was supposed that congregation had been collected on the occasion of some great local festival. However, one of the crowd noticing the strangers asked Donatus their names and whence they came. He answered modestly, "We are both Scots; my companion is named Andrew, and I am Donatus; we are both as pilgrims travelling to Rome." That person, who had heard the voice from Heaven, immediately cried out: "Citizens, that man is present, who has been called by the Almighty." Public excitement and joy then reached the highest pitch of enthusiasm,and rushing to embrace him, the people exclaimed with one voice, "Father Donatus, as you see, the Lord hath given thee to us. Have pity on our people, and effectively remove the discord and scandal that have hitherto prevailed. Have compassion also on our labours, and do not decline, we humbly request, that mercy which Heaven has thus manifested." In vain he protested, even with tears, to be allowed to proceed as an humble pilgrim to Rome, and he tried by various arguments to dissuade the people from their purpose. However, the faithful would hear of no refusal; and, at last, knowing it to be in accordance with the Divine will, he yielded to their request. Accordingly, Donat was elected Bishop of Fiesole, where his virtues and merits rendered him so pleasing to the Almighty, that he has since been venerated as its patron saint. No sooner did he assume that sacred office, than he laboured to discharge all its duties with a zeal, prudence and moderation, which gained him the affections of his flock. His noble simplicity of character and his affable manners were united with a piety and judgment, altogether amiable and admirable. The good he encouraged, the bad he reprehended; his advice was wise and his judgments were just; he was liberal in bestowing alms ; he was assiduous in prayer; he was eloquent in exhortation, and true in word; mild and benignant in courtesy to all, it is not surprising, that he gained the affections both of his clergy and the people.
Owing to the persuasion of St. Donat, Andrew became a Deacon to serve the church of Fiesole. At first, he was reluctant to accept that grade of orders, as through sincere humility he did not think himself worthy to advance from the ranks of the laity. However, under the precept of obedience, united with argument and persuasion, he at length conformed to the wishes of his spiritual guide and master. His compliance likewise gave great satisfaction to the clergy and people of Fiesole, among whom he lived, and with whom he was especially popular. In his new position, he endeavoured to emulate the examples of the holy Levites, St. Stephen and St. Laurence, especially in looking after the wants of the poor, and in cheerfully devoting himself to the other various duties assigned him. Thus, the faithful disciple who had followed Donatus from Ireland remained at his side until death, serving him in humility and goodness. Such was his modesty and wisdom, that he was loved and trusted by the people of Fiesole no less than by his master. Furthermore, Donatus had desired to promote him to the office of Archdeacon, so as to raise his rank and esteem in the people's eyes.
It so happened, that while Andrew was still a deacon, the beloved daughter of a noble and wealthy inhabitant of Fiesole had become paralyzed, while all that medical skill could avail had been tried in vain for her recovery. At last, the father kneeling besought Bishop Donatus, and earnestly implored him to visit his house, and to place his hand on the girl's head. The Bishop extended his hand, and raising the suppliant, by a sudden inspiration, he called Andrew to their presence. He then declared, that for his deacon was reserved that gift of healing, and then asked Andrew by a precept of obedience, to part with the noble for his house, and to effect the cure. Andrew obeyed accordingly, and when they had both entered the house, that girl was found reclining on a couch. The holy deacon fell upon his knees, and extending his hands towards Heaven prayed with great fervour; then, as if moved by a sudden impulse, he arose, and cried out with a loud voice : "Daughter arise, for our Lord Jesus Christ hath healed thee." Immediately she arose, to the great astonishment of all present. Then, in a transport of gratitude, she threw herself at the feet of Andrew, kissing them, giving thanks to God and to his servant, through whose intervention she had been restored to strength. Soon the fame of that miracle spread abroad, and especially was Bishop Donatus gratified with the result. Knowing that Andrew was now a choice favourite of Heaven, he pressed on him the acceptance of the highest office in his church. The holy disciple had still a lowly opinion of his own merits ; however, he humbly submitted his own will to that of his beloved Bishop. He was accordingly promoted to be Archdeacon, under him, in the church at Faesule...
It happened one day, that the two attached friends, Donatus and Andrew, were walking together round the foot of a hill at Fiesole, when they came to the banks of the little river Mensola, which flows beneath a certain height. It was crowned by a church dedicated to St. Martin. Ascending the hill, they found that ancient sanctuary in ruins, and on inquring the cause of this desolation from people in the neighbourhood, they learned that it had been laid waste in former days by the barbarous soldiers of Totila. As he stood in his sadness among the broken walls, and bewailed the destruction of that temple, the Bishop wept, and then in silent prayer Donatus entreated of God, to send someone who would restore His church. The deacon Andrew, standing by, and seeing the tears of his most holy father, inquired the cause for his sorrow. Then, lifting up his voice to Heaven, Donatus cried aloud : " Behold how Thy sanctuaries are laid low, and Thy high places are made desolate, and Thy temple has become the den of robbers and of wicked men, who show tyranny against Thy house before the eyes of all men''. Hearing these words, and filled with the zeal of charity, Andrew humbly offered to the bishop his earnest service for the restoration of the temple, and then, fixing his eyes on the ground, awaited his pleasure and commands. Donatus praised the devotion of the holy man, whose offer corresponded with his own thought. He made the sign of the cross, with hands stretched over him. Blessing him in God's name, the Bishop said, that henceforth he was free to devote himself to a pious work, and that when he had restored the monastery, he might therein dedicate the remaining days of his life to the Lord, along with such of the brethren as he should chose.
The basilica of St. Martin had almost gone into ruin at that time, but St. Andrew restored it suitably to serve for purposes of public worship. Though the work seemed arduous for a poor and needy man ; yet, strengthened by the holy bishop, Andrew began to clear the sacred place from brambles and from thorns, to search for the ancient foundations, and to dig out the stones of the old walls, hidden under the rubbish. He also prepared new stones, cement, and other things necessary for the building, and with sedulous care. He sought alms from pious and faithful persons in the neigbourhood around ; he hired builders, with whom he laboured himself, continually prosecuting these labours in the restoration of the church, so far as his little body attenuated by fasting allowed.
In a short time, the basilica was not only restored, but enlarged ; moreover, the man of God bought lands sufficient for his small company of monks, with such sums as he could save by a holy parsimony, or earn through his own labours, and that of his brethren. During their labours, they lived on a most scanty subsistence, rejecting all superfluous things, that might soften and enervate the rigour of their penitence. After the completion of their work, he distributed the surplus funds among the poor, not allowing those offerings he received to be hidden in chests, even to the amount of one iota ; for the man of God thought avarice one of the greatest sins of which an ecclesiastic could be guilty.
Having thus established his monastery near that of his master Donatus, Andrew led a holy life in that place, until he attained a good old age. Were we to relate all the miracles which God deigned to grant, in return for the prayers of this holy man, the account should expand beyond those limits usual in sacred writings. In San Martino a Mensola, St. Andrew drew around him a number of devoted men, who, invested with the religious garb, led a life of austerity and purity. Nor can the pen record those glorious deeds of his old age. His gift of working miracles was very extraordinary. He cast out demons, gave sight to the blind, health to the fevered, and strength to the infirm, so that they might live to render thanks to their Creator. Even the afflicted, who touched only his garments, received spiritual comfort, and often bodily health. At San Martino de Mensola the holy man lived, and there, too, he expected, with a tranquil mind, the approach of his latter end.
Thus favoured with supernatural powers by the Almighty, the mind of His holy servant Andrew received spiritual illumination also regarding his approaching dissolution. Having contracted a fever, he called all his brethren together, and affectionately exhorted them to preserve their souls in patience and perseverance, while always fearing the judgment of God. Moreover, he desired them to serve the Lord in that place which he had selected. His moving admonitions greatly affected the children of his household, especially as they now understood their superior's term of life was fast drawing to a close.
It seems to be pretty well established, that St. Donatus and St. Andrew lived together in Fiesole about the middle of the ninth century; although no certain date can be assigned for their respective dates of death. Nevertheless, as Grausolphus, Bishop of Fiesole, was present at the Council of Rome, held in 826, most likely he was immediately succeeded by Donatus, who nourished there as Bishop forty-seven years, and he was again succeeded by Zenobius Fesulanus, who, among other Bishops, subscribed an Epistle, which issued from the Council of Ravenna, A.D. 877. It seems very probable, as Andrew is said to have survived his master Donatus, and as he was a junior in age to him, that the date for his death must have been towards the close of the ninth century.
Having outlived the holy Bishop Donatus, his faithful friend and master, St. Andrew was afterwards called to bliss. Just before his departure, the memory of his childhood and of his native country came to his mind, and above all others, he thought on his dearly loved sister Brigid, whom he had left behind in Ireland, and whom he had not beheld for upwards of forty years. He longed greatly to see her before his death. Mercifully willing to comfort Andrew, the Lord was pleased to gratify that earnest desire. At this time, Brigid was seated at her retired home, where she lived usually on a frugal meal of salad and of small fishes. Then an angel came to her chamber, and bore her in a miraculous manner to the bedside of Andrew. The monks who stood around his couch were quite amazed, and they were struck dumb at her appearance. In like manner, trembling and awe-struck, Brigid gazed upon her aged and dying brother, as also on those who were there in their strange costumes. She thought it was a vision. However, on lifting up his eyes, Andrew knew what had happened, and looking upon her, he said in tender tones: "Brigid, my beloved sister, long have I wished in my soul to see thee before I die, but all my hope was fading out as death approached, and I remembered the great distance between us. But the fount of eternal love has granted to me, a sinner, this great favour that thou hast now known. Fear not, for it is in very deed and truth Andrew of Ireland, thy brother, whom thou beholdest before thee. Now thou shalt but for a short time see him, whom thou hast thought had long departed from this world. I trusted that God would grant my dying request through thy merits; I always hoped thou wouldst come, a solitary and a penitent, to this place, where far from my country, I have passed my days a feeble soldier, so that my shortcomings might be filled up by the measure of thy virtues. Behold herein the mercy of God. Fear not, but pray for me with all the fervour of thy soul. Behold the hour is at hand and my summons has come. Abandon thy amazement, and know that what thou here seest is true."
Then, awaking as it were from sleep, Brigid wept through joy, and fervour, and grief; kissing her brother's hand, she held it tightly, but could not speak, so choked was she by sobs and sighs. She folded her brother in a chaste embrace, and crying out in prayer, she bathed him with her tears. Then wearied in this hour of sorrow, she was at first silent, but afterwards kneeling, she thus broke forth in prayer: "All powerful God, who alone doest marvels, whom the powers of Heaven serve, whom the elements obey, on whom all creatures justly wait, I give Thee thanks with praise and blessing, since Thou hast vouchsafed to Thy handmaiden to lead her to the presence of her brother. All honour and glory be unto Thee." Then turning to the dying man, she said: "O most holy brother, long years ago the best guide of my youth and the director and guardian of that life which through thy holy persuasion I have dedicated to the Lord, now I both rejoice and mourn at the same moment. For when I see thy weakness, I pity thee in my affection, and yet I grieve and mourn that thou shouldst go so soon from this miserable world wherein thou leavest me unconsoled. But, when I see with what great striving thou hast resisted the temptations of this life, and hast defeated the evil one, and in thy good deeds art justified before the Lord, I exult and rejoice. For the rest, I do but say: whatsoever days remain for me, after thou hast gone, I am resolved to dedicate to thy just will, following in thy footsteps so far as the weakness of my sinful frame allows. I will tarry patiently in this place, whither the angel of the Lord has borne me, so long as God wills, but praying of thee, dearest brother, to entreat of Him, that He may grant a man's strength to aid my woman's frailty. And now, my brother! be strong in the Lord, and show in death that strength in the cross, which thou didst bear in life."
We have already seen in the Acts of this holy sister, St. Brigid, how she was thus miraculously conveyed from Ireland to Fiesole, and how she appeared at her brother's bed-side to console him when death was approaching. She then expressed her intention of remaining in that place, and of devoting the remainder of her days to the service of the Almighty. When she had spoken, and in the manner already related, the man of God, strengthened by his sister's words, raised himself on his knees from the hair couch on which he lay, and having clasped his hands on high, so far as his failing strength allowed, he bade farewell to his sister and to his brethren. Then raising his eyes to heaven he prayed, "Receive into thy bosom, O Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour, the spirit of Thy servant Andrew." Then having covered his eyes, he straightway died. The brethren, who with his sister were praying around him and expecting the hour of his departure, suddenly beheld a splendour of light descend upon the man of God from heaven. Owing to excessive brilliancy, it was more than their eyes could endure, and at the same time, the whole house was filled with a fragrant odour. When that great light returned to the heaven whence it came, and when they could look upon the holy corpse again, they saw Andrew laid upon the bed, as if in sleep, his arms folded and crossed upon his breast.
The monks then, according to their usual custom, reverently carried the body thence, and laid it on a bier opposite the altar, until such time as they could duly celebrate the funeral obsequies. Meanwhile, all the people of Fiesole, male and female, young and old, as if summoned by a heavenly trumpet, left the city and hastened in crowds to the monastery of St. Martin on the Mensola. Moreover, crowds assembled from regions round about, to that place where the body lay. They kissed Andrew's hands and feet, in their reverence and devotion, carrying away with them as relics whatever little fragments of the holy man's garments they could secure.
His body was buried in a chapel of the basilica of St. Martin, which he had restored. At the shrine of St. Andrew, many miracles were afterwards wrought, in favour of the infirm and afflicted; while numbers of the faithful from the country around, and pilgrims from afar, were accustomed to frequent his chapel, and to pray for spiritual and temporal blessings, through his merits and intercession.
When consigned to the earth, no particular mark seems to have indicated that exact spot where his body lay; or, at least, in course of time, all memory of it had passed away from popular traditions. However, a miracle revealed the secret, when a married lady of rank and great beauty, but of light character, died. She had been buried over the coffin of St. Andrew, and before his altar. In a vision, the holy man thrice appeared to a priest, who was chaplain to certain nuns at Fiesole, and warned him, that the remains of that lady should be removed, and that the chapel should be purified. As the priest at first had neglected that warning, he was suddenly struck with epilepsy, to the great horror of the nuns, who poured forth their prayers to St. Andrew for his recovery. He was thus restored to his former condition, when that priest declared what had happened in the vision. Then it was resolved, that the mortal and putrid remains of that lady should be removed, and this labour was effected with some difficulty and loathing by the grave diggers. Nevertheless, when that work had been accomplished, on digging somewhat deeper, the workmen found St. Andrew's coffin, in which his remains were freshly preserved, and from which an agreeable odour then emanated. This event took place in the year 1285. The remains of St. Andrew were therefore raised from that grave, in which they had been so long buried, and with great solemnity, they were placed before the high altar. A handsome shrine had been prepared for their reception; and thenceforward, the veneration for our saint became more extended.
It is stated in the Latin Life of this saint, the miracles then wrought so frequently were notified by testimony sufficiently convincing to the sovereign Pontiff at Rome, who did not hesitate canonically to inscribe Andrew's name in the Catalogue of the saints. However, confirmation of such statement is otherwise wanting; yet, it seems to have been derived from an ancient local tradition. About the year 1380, a certain noble Florentine matron, having experienced the efficacy of St. Andrew's intercession, ordered a silver bust of the holy patron to be made, and on it were inscribed these characters: " D. Andreae natione Scoti, S. Donati Episcopi Faesulani concivis, discipuli, comitis, ac Levitae. Claruit circa Annum DCCCLXXX." This she brought, and with gratitude she placed it in the church of St, Martin at Mensula. However, as that sanctuary had been exposed to various depredations, the Benedictine monks at Florence translated it thither to their abbey, and for greater security. In it, they enclosed the middle part of St. Andrew's head. On solemn festivals, and on the octave of the Festival of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that relic was exposed on the high altar of their church; for veneration of the faithful.
From a time very remote, the people of Florence, of Fesule, and of that country around, had established a Confraternity, which assembled in the Church of St. Martin at Mensola, on Sundays and on Festival Days, to practise devotions, and to ask the intercession of St. Andrew. In lapse of time, that religious confraternity had dissolved; but, in 1473, a pious servant of God resolved on its revival, by associating women with men to perpetuate more those devout exercises. However, even the latter sodality fell away, owing to the casualties of intestine wars and pestilence. It was again revived, in 1600, owing to the pious zeal of Father Luke Bartolino, Abbot of the Florentine monastery, and he also ordered the ancient tomb of St. Andrew in the middle of St. Martin's Church to be restored. Honours were likewise paid to the memory of St. Andrew, long after his death, by the noble family of Mazzini, and in the Church of St. Donninus, where they erected a chapel dedicated specially to him. Also Leonardus Bonafides, afterwards raised to the see of Cortona, took care that a chapel in honour of St. Andrew should be erected in the Church of St. Martin de Mensula ; and, he transferred the relics of our saint to the altar of that chapel with great solemnity. The Roman Pontiffs also granted various indulgences to the faithful who devoutly visited his shrine. Moreover, Leonardus restored the chapel of St. Andrew, and erected a marble altar in it, which was consecrated in 1602, on the xv. Of the August Kalends. In fine, about the year 1613 or 1614, certain workmen repaired the confraternity room and chapel of St. Andrew; in which they were accustomed to assemble, and to celebrate the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who, with St. Andrew, was regarded as their particular patron.
It may be inferred from the foregoing narrative, that the local veneration for St. Andrew has been observed, especially in the country around Fesule, from the ninth to the present century. In the Calendars, he has been recorded, and in many of them with high eulogy. Thus, the Florentine copy of Usuard has the feast of St. Andrew, deacon and minister to St. Donatus of Scotia, at the 22nd of August. While Dempster and Camerarius assign the feast of St. Andrew, Archdeacon of Fesule, to the 4th of August, nearly all other Calendarists are agreed, that his festival belongs more properly to the present date. At the 22nd of August, this holy Archdeacon is commemorated by Philip Ferrarius, in words of eulogy, and he is followed by Castellan. That this was his true festival has been shown by Placidus Puccinello, in the Life of St. Andrew, which is written in Italian. He proves it to have been an ancient custom for the Benedictine monks of the Abbey at Florence to expose, on the 22nd of August, a part of St. Andrew's head for public veneration of the faithful each year, on the high altar of their church. Moreover, on that same day, the Florentine monks went to the Church of St. Martin at Mensula, and there with the congregation, St. Andrew was solemnly reverenced by them, while the other part of his head was carried around in religious procession. Nor is this proof weakened owing to the circumstance, that a confraternity of working men, instituted to honour their patron saint, have selected the first Sunday after the 22nd of August for a special religious ceremony; because they deemed Sunday to be a more suitable day for collecting a greater number of people to join in their devotions, and to add much more to the solemnity. This saint is probably the Andreas mentioned in Henry Fitzsimon's list, but without a date for his festival being assigned. A notice of him occurs in the " Circle of the Seasons," and also at the present date. Long after St. Andrew's time, we learn from certain Manuscripts remaining to our own days, that the people of Florence, Faesule and the neighbourhood, were accustomed to assemble, and to celebrate his Festival with great devotion, as also to hear his panegyric pronounced by eloquent preachers.
Although nearly forgotten in his native country, or at least not honoured in a similar manner; yet, among the heavenly choirs, and in the assembly of the saints, his glory remains perpetually preserved, while his virtues on earth have only their transitory record.
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