A St. Andrew’s Day surprise

Did any of you notice this?

This took me a bit by surprise.

Card. Bertone went to Kazakhstan and gave the Orthodox Church there a major relic of St. Andrew from those venerated in Amalfi.

I recall a few years ago when John Paul II gave the relics of St. Gregory Nazianzen and St. John Chrysostom.

They had been preserved in the Vatican Basilica.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    Let’s hope, as you always say with ecumenical efforts, that Cardinal Bertone is acting as Benedict’s emmissary and by doing this, He’s doing B-16’s (Christ’s) work as “Pope Benedict is the Pope of Christian Unity.”

  2. Rich says:

    Would someone mind translating the key portion of the link? I can sift through a bit of Spanish, Portuguese, and a little Latin, but Italiano still throws me.

  3. ghp95134 says:

    Rich, courtesy Google Translate:


    From 29 November to 4 December 2010 the travel takes place in Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone at the summit of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and for meetings with government authorities and religious country.

    We publish below the homily that the Em. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone gave this morning in the course of the liturgical celebration in the Orthodox Cathedral of the Assumption of Astana for the delivery of the Relics of St. Andrew the Apostle:

    Homily of #. CARDINAL. Tarcisio Bertone

    Dear brothers and sisters!

    I am happy to be in Astana, capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and extended this noble country situated in the heart of the Eurasian territory. I wish to express my profound joy to visit this Cathedral of your recently opened for worship. I greet you all with affection, beginning with His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander, and while I thank him for the fraternal welcome, I bring him and all the warm greetings of Pope Benedict XVI, with a request to forward it to His Holiness Cyril, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. Next I greet the other religious authorities (and civil), priests, deacons and faithful of the Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan. May this our fraternal encounter a renewed impetus to join the effort, because in the near future disciples of Christ proclaim with one voice and one heart for the Gospel message of hope for all humanity.

    The occasion of my pleasant visit to Astana is the Summit of Heads of State and Government of countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to be held in the coming days. This fact suggested that the highest authorities of Kazakhstan to address a courteous invitation to visit your land. Pleasure in welcoming this respectful and appreciated gesture, I immediately thought of the joy I could bring in a country where there are ample opportunities for a peaceful and fruitful coexistence of religion. In this context, for us Christians the duty of mutual love is all the more urgent: we are called to bear witness to all, by word and deed, that God is Love. In this regard, my presence is meant to be an encouragement to continue along the path of the great respect and affection, which I know exists between the Orthodox and Catholic Community of Astana, as well as other cities. Without fail, my dear friends, the perfect occasion for mutual support and deepening friendship.

    Today, this pleasant meeting with you, I have a special joy to meet the high office entrusted to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, to give you a piece of the relic of the Apostle Andrew, who are revered in Italy, in the town of Amalfi . This delivery, which I am honored to perform in the hands of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander, is in response to the request that devoted his predecessor, Metropolitan Mefodji, Archbishop Tomash Peta, Metropolitan Catholic, have jointly addressed to Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope, wanting to meet willingly Ardenza desire, has decided to allocate to the respective churches two pieces of precious relics. This decision is of profound significance, stressing the common worship of the Apostles.

    I like to emphasize that today’s event delivery of the relic of Saint Andrew, that you so revered, coincides with the day on which, according to the timetable of the Latin Church, it celebrates the liturgical celebration. Andrea was born in Bethsaida, was the first disciple of John the Baptist and then followed the Lord Jesus, who brought his brother Peter. Along with Philip presented the Gentiles to Christ himself and pointed to the guy who brought the fish and bread. According to tradition, after Pentecost, preached and was crucified in different regions in Acacia (Greece). The Gospel tells us that Jesus, “passing along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. Jesus said unto them, Follow me, I will make you fishers of men ‘”(Mk 1.16 to 17). Andrew, therefore, was the first of the Apostles to be called to follow Jesus is on the basis of this fact, the Byzantine liturgy honors him with the nickname protoklitos, which means, the first called.

    The Gospel narrative continues by stating that “immediately left their nets and followed him” (Mk 1:18). E ‘ready this membership that allowed the Apostles to spread the word, the “good news” of salvation. Faith comes from and what you hear is the Word of Christ, who even today the Church spread to the ends of the earth. This Word is the indispensable food for the soul. E ‘in the book of the prophet Amos said that God will put a hunger in the world, not a famine of bread, but to listen to his word (cf. Am 8:11). And ‘This is a healthy hunger, because we continually seek and welcome the Word of God, knowing that it can feed us for life. Nothing in life can have consistency, nothing can really satisfy us if it is not fed, penetrated, enlightened and guided by the Word of God. Moreover, a deeper commitment to radical adherence to the Word, together with the support of the Holy Spirit, constitute the strength to realize the aspiration of every Christian community and every individual believer (cf. Benedict XVI, Apostolic Exhortation. Ap. Verbum Domini, 46).

    From the Gospel of St. John, we know another important detail about the apostle Andrew: “He first found his brother Simon and said,” We have found the Messiah “- which means Christ – and brought him to Jesus” (Jn 1 0.41-43), immediately showing a strong apostolic spirit. In this regard, St. John Chrysostom says: “That Andrew is the word of one who looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, who awaited their descent from heaven, rejoiced when they saw him coming, and hastened to inform the The other great news. See notification in that manner that he had learned in a short time? Andrew, after having stayed with Jesus and have learned all that Jesus had taught, did not keep him locked in the treasure, but hastened to run to his brother to inform him the wealth he had received. … See also the soul of Peter, from the beginning docile and ready to faith runs immediately without worrying about anything else. ” (Om. 19, 1, PG 59, 120).

    In the precious icon donated by the Patriarch Athenagoras I to Pope Paul VI January 5, 1964, the two holy Apostles Peter and Andrew the Corifeo Protoclete, embrace, in an eloquent language of love, beneath the glorious Christ. Andrea was the first to arise in following the Lord, Peter was called to confirm his brothers in faith. Their embrace under the gaze of Christ is an invitation to continue on our way, towards that goal of unity that we want to achieve together. Nothing discourages us, but we go forward in hope, supported by the intercession of the apostles Peter and Andrew, as well as the maternal protection of Mary Most Holy, Mother of Christ and our Mother. With particular intensity to ask God for the precious gift of unity among all Christians, making ours the prayer that Jesus offered to the Father for his disciples: “That all may be one, as thou, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also be in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me “(Jn 17:21).

    [01709-01.01] [Original text: Italian]

    –Guy Power

  4. newyork says:

    I see this as an act of total generosity, with no taint of being contingent on concessions in a “political” sense. We pray that it will elicit a comparable Christian response leading to the goal of unity.

  5. Fr. Basil says:

    Maybe the more we venerate the Holy Apostles, the harder they will pray for reconciliation between the Churches.

  6. Stvsmith2009 says:

    @Young Canadian RC Male
    This was from the Vatican Information Service today:

    VATICAN CITY, 30 NOV 2010 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. is currently heading the Holy See delegation to the summit of heads of State and government of the fifty-six members of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), being held in Astana, Kazakhstan, on 1 and 2 December. The cardinal is being accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States; Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendia, apostolic nuncio to Kazakhstan, and Msgr. Michael W. Banach, Holy See permanent representative to the OSCE.

    On 3 and 4 December Cardinal Bertone, in the company of Archbishop Mamberti, will make a pastoral visit to Kazakhstan during which he will meet with the governmental and religious authorities of the country.

    This morning, during a liturgical celebration in Astana’s Orthodox cathedral of the Assumption to mark today’s Feast of St. Andrew, the secretary of State pronounced a homily during which he expressed his joy “at being able to carry out the important task entrusted to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI of giving you a fragment of the relics of the Apostle St. Andrew, which are venerated in the Italian city of Amalfi.

    “The gift, which I am honoured to be able to place in the hands of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander, comes in response to the devout request that his predecessor Metropolitan Mefodji and Archbishop Tomash Peta, Catholic metropolitan, jointly made to the Pope. The Pontiff, gladly welcoming this ardent desire, has decided to give their respective Churches two fragments of the precious relics. This is a profoundly significant decision, in that it underlines our shared veneration for the Apostles”.
    SS/ VIS 20101130 (280)

  7. bmadamsberry says:

    It’s nothing new. The Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch have exchanged ’emissaries’ on the Feast of Ss. Peter & Paul and on the Feast of St. Andrew (respectively) for many years. They are sent on the feast day of the patron of their Church (in our case, Peter, in their case Andrew).

    The Pope sending a relic to the East is also nothing new (though rare). It has happened a few times in the past, and it is easier for the West to do because we have more easy access than the Orthodox Churches do to relics that are held dear by the other hemisphere.

  8. Denis Crnkovic says:

    I would be more surprised if I actually saw a notice of this in the mainstream (including Catholic “mainstream”) press. The relations between the Orthodox sees and Rome is various, but of late mostly cordial and brotherly. Add to that the fact that the current Holy Father and the Moscow patriarchate have made some very nice gestures to each other recently (e.g. the publication in Moscow of Joseph Ratsinger’s writings, the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the altar of St Peter’s tomb in the Vatican crypt by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, etc.) and you see just how much Benedict XVI is “The Pope of Christian Unity” (to steal a phrase).

  9. Random Friar says:

    UT UNUM SINT! May these, and other brotherly gestures of love lead to a new and everlasting Council of Florence, that it may heal the wounds we have dealt to Christ’s body, the Church.

  10. Rich says:

    Wow, thanks, Guy. It never occurred to me to input such a long passage into Google translate – I usually use it for single words and phrases. Nice work, and thanks again.

  11. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    @Stvsmith2009: Thanks for the news update! Awesome!!! Just like Fr. Z. Says: “Pope Benedict is the Pope of Christian Unity.”

  12. ghp95134 says:

    Rich said: …It never occurred to me to input such a long passage into Google translate….

    I pasted the entire text in Google Translate and it was rendered into English almost immediately. GT is a fairly impressive machine translator.


  13. Father G says:

    Here is an article in Russian about the transfer of the relic (with pictures): http://mitropolia.kz/novosti/eparhia/368-svdar.html

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