Feast Day: May 28th

The Life of Saint Andrew the Fool for Christ: Yet Andrew did not always pretend to be insane; talking to his spiritual father or to his disciple – a wealthy young man named Epiphanios – Saint Andrew would remove the mask of folly, and then his divine wisdom and extraordinary spiritual beauty would be revealed…



Apolytikion: Thou didst choose foolishness for the sake of Christ and didst make the crafty one foolish. Thou didst persevere with thy struggle in the midst of turmoil, and Christ has brought thee to Paradise. Intercede with Him, O Andrew for those who honour thee.

Apolytikion: For Thy sake, O Christ, Thy servant Andrew became a fool on Earth. He heard the Apostle Paul proclaiming, ‘We are fools for the sake of Christ.’ As we now honour his memory we pray Thee to save our Souls

Kontakion: Thou didst finish thy life in piety, O Godly-minded Andrew, thou wast a pure vessel of the Trinity and a companion of the Angels. May peace and forgiveness be granted, through thine intercession, to those who honour thee.

Kontakion: Of thine own free will thou didst become a Fool, O Andrew, and utterly hate the lures of this world. Thou didst deaden carnal wisdom through hunger and thirst, through heat and bitter frost. By never avoiding the hardships of weather thou didst purify thyself as gold in the furnace.

Hymn of Praise: Fool-for-Christ Andrew stood at night under the starry firmament, Praying: “O Most-High God, Three Persons in One Essence, Salvation and Revival of Souls that slumber! O sweet Jesus, sweeter than life, Treasury of joy and Eternal beauty, cleanse the shepherds, enlighten the kings, console the troubled and Sanctify the whole world. Do not separate even me, the sinner, Andrew the Fool-for-Christ, from Thy Holy people, O Lord!” O Saint Andrew, full of God’s wisdom, you who taught the world by words of foolishness – with the language of the world you spoke to the world, and by feigned foolishness you Glorified Christ. Men despised you for your foolishness, and their dogs rose up from their lairs and chased you! You were God’s Altar on the rubbish heap of the world. You censed the world with your Prayers – and the world is not worthy of this marvel. Glory to you, Andrew, Holy Fool-for-Christ!

As a young man Saint Andrew was a kind-hearted slave. He loved to attend Church, read the Holy Scriptures and lives of the Saints, and he was especially inspired by the Holy Martyrs. His zeal and love for Christ and asceticism led him to become a fool-for-Christ upon obeying a Heavenly revelation.


Saint Andrew had the habit of Praying in the Sacred Temples or in deserted places, at times when people were busy and would not pay attention to him. One morning, at dawn, he went to Pray in the Sacred Temple of the Panagia and the gates were closed. Upon doing the Cross over the main gate, it opened immediately. A young man who happened to be passing by and saw him said: “This is a servant of God whom we idiots call crazy. And how many other such servants of God are there that no one knows about!” Saint Andrew called for him to come near, he appropriately admonished him and taught him how to walk in life, in order to progress and be saved. Also, he told him not to reveal to anyone what he saw until after his death, otherwise he would face a great temptation.

Saint Andrew therefore endured mockery, humiliation and insults, and in doing so he brought many people to Christ because he Prayed all day and night.


Saint Andrew’s vision of the demons at work during Divine Services: When the righteous man had given this advice, they stood up and entered the Church. The reading began and Epiphanios sat down on one of the benches, while the blessed man sat down on the floor like one of the poor, his body covered by a cheap rag. When those present noticed him sitting on the floor they wondered, “What happened to this demoniac, since he has come in here?” And some said, “Perhaps for a moment he was relieved from the evil spirit that disturbs his mind.” Others said, “He happened to pass by and went in to see as if it were an ordinary house, for how could he know that this is a Church? May the Lord punish similarly the one who did this to him!” The righteous man saw the demon of boredom staying there, trying with various tricks to push some worshippers out of the Church and make them alien to the reward of the Lord, reminding them of worries and tasks before the dismissal, suggesting, “Leave and do your job! When work is waiting this is no sin.” With these suggestions the devil, the hinderer of righteousness, persuaded many to leave before the dismissal, because they did not consider the word of the Saviour in the Gospels that says, “Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink or what you shall put on, but seek first the Kingdom of God,” and so forth. He also noticed that the demon of indifference and drowsiness busied himself there, putting those who sat listening to the Word of God to sleep during the reading. Observing the contrivance of the evil demon the righteous man became furious with him and said to himself, “You wholly evil and destructive demon, how dare you use the darkness of your futility to make us alien to the reading of the Divine Word by plunging us into the sleep of indifference! But you, Lord of the heavenly powers, pour out your wrath on them and strike them down!” As he said this a flame of fire came out of the Sanctuary and burned them up. At once those who had been overwhelmed by sleepiness through the influence of the demons became alert again and listened to the reading.

Saint Andrew was blessed with the gift of discernement and prophesy. This was known because when he would speak to his Spiritual Father or his disciple he would lay aside his feigned foolishness and his Divine wisdom and Spirituality was revealed.


It was a great blessing of God for Epiphanios, a young virtuous man, to come to know Saint Andrew. Epiphanios, because he had inner purity, realized that this was a Saint and not someone crazy or demon possessed, as others called him. In the life of Saint Andrew incidents from their meetings are recorded, as well as the lofty theological analyses of the Saint, which were responses to the queries of Epiphanios. Whenever Epiphanios had a problem he would flee to Saint Andrew, who gave him solutions, and he would protect him from temptations and the attacks of the devil. In one of their meetings Epiphanios bent to kiss his hand, then the Saint knelt before him and said: “Bless me, Master!” Then he advised him how to shepherd his reasonable flock, which was by trusting in Christ through the Church. And indeed Epiphanios became the Patriarch of Constantinople forty years later.



Saint Andrew reposed at the age of 66, and a scent of Myrrh came from his body as his spirit departed. A poor woman followed the scent to find the body of the Saint with Myrrh flowing from it, she then ran to tell people about the Miracle, but when they returned they could not find his holy body.

One day as Andrew was wandering the streets he met a Monk whom people considered pious and virtuous. Saint Andrew, however, with his Spiritual gifts, understood that this Monk was avaricious, because he saw the demon of avarice wrapped around his neck, and his Guardian Angel sadly abandoned him. This Monk would exploit the Mystery of Confession in order to become rich by receiving gifts from those he would confess. And as much as he increased in wealth it seemed as if he was a Monk dedicated to gold rather than Christ. Saint Andrew approached him and with his therapeutic words tried to lead him to repentance and Salvation. He said to him, among other things, the following: “I sense great sorrow for your sake and unbearable suffering. How has it happened that you went from being a friend of God to a friend of the devil? You who had wings like the Seraphim, why have you uprooted them and handed them to Satan? You who had a brilliant countenance, how have you become darkened?… How did you become a friend of the dragon of avarice? What do you want with gold, brother? Why have you gathered it? Why do you love it? How did you gain it to cause your destruction?… Others hunger and thirst, others die from the cold, and you see your wealth increase and you rejoice? Are these signs of repentance? Is this your Monastic life?… I heard the Lord frown upon you and say: ‘My Kingdom is for the merciful.’… If you disobey my words I will tell the devil to trouble you. Then you will become a laughing stock not only in the city, but throughout the world.” With what the Monk heard he was moved. He asked the Saint to Pray for him and promised that he would strive with all his strength for his correction. He was finally redeemed from the shackles of the demon of avarice and rediscovered the true purpose of his life.


Epiphanios said to [Andrew], “I beg you, if I have found favour with you, tell me what the Soul of man is like, for although I too know her nature, I do not trust my own assumptions as I will trust the Divine words you speak to me.” The Blessed man answered, “My son, the Soul of man, she is everything. She is the life or even, if I may say so, the god of this flesh of our Earthly body, and nothing else. For God gave to her the power of giving it life and guiding it and quickening and refreshing it with her warmth. Without her our bodies are mud and dust and ashes.” Epiphanios said, “I know this too, but I am asking what the essence of the Soul is, what her appearance is after she has left the body and what the sinful Soul is like and what the Divine token is of the just Soul.” The Blessed man answered, “The essence of the Soul is an intellectual spirit, light and most wise, an altogether intelligent and very fine spirit, calm, pleasant, quiet, very gentle, worked as if with a lathe into a kind of invisible limbs, beautiful and pleasant beyond description, entirely comely and highly agreeable to God and the Choirs of the Holy Angels. At the beginning all men are shining clearer than the sun, but as we grow up and advance in age, our persons change according to how we treat them. The Souls of those who live in virtue are not all equal in brilliance, but each one becomes brilliant in his Soul through Divine and virtuous struggles according to his endeavour. During this time, as I said, one becomes shining according to one’s struggles, and the closer one gets to God, the more one flashes forth, and the more one suffers oppressions and hardships for the Lord’s sake, the more one is lifted up, approaches God, turns bright and brilliant, and becomes God through participation as a Grace of the Holy Spirit. In the same way as iron is black and cold but becomes brighter the longer it stays in the fire, so it is with men: the Holy Spirit is fire, we are the black iron, and as much as we persist in our fasting, our standing in all-night Prayer, our supplication and abstinence, which have been imposed upon us by the Holy Spirit, so much we become illuminated, beaming, radiant. Consider that the same applies to the Souls living in sin: at the beginning, at the moment they are laid down in the bodies of the embryos carried in the womb of their mothers they are stainless, but when they are released into life and start to sin they grow dark, and the deeper they sink, wallowing in the mire of sin, the more they become like the black ones and like ashes. Take this in spiritual sense, my son, for the instruction of your Soul, because you are my very dear sparrow.”