Courage is what St Andrew represents

Galileo Galilei spent the last few years of his life under house arrest following a spell of imprisonment. His crime was a refusal to deny his scientific discoveries, which put him at odds with the authorities in the Catholic Church at the time. Nelson Mandela and Emmeline Pankhurst were imprisoned too, also for refusing to compromise on their beliefs. And Rosa Parks, who, failing to give up her seat on a bus in a stand against racial segregation, had to show courage in the face of fierce criticism and societal pressure.


Courage is what unites these people and courage is what St Andrew represents too. The name ‘Andrew’ comes from the Greek Andreia and carries the literal meaning of ‘manly valour’. I believe the name St Andrew’s was chosen for the school because the first headmaster wanted the boys in the school – because it was only boys then – to be courageous and brave.


Andrew was one of the twelve apostles and he stood up for what he believed in which is perhaps the most courageous thing one can do. Andrew would have considered himself to be a very ordinary person. He never wrote a gospel or an epistle; some would say he never did anything ‘outstanding’. Yet he is known as a ‘fisher of men’ rather than a fisherman. In other words, he believed in what God was calling him to do and he acted upon it, encouraging others to do the same. We might sometimes think that we are not important and that we are incapable compared to others but if we have the courage to put our faith in others and stand up for what we believe in then we can achieve great things.

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