St. Andrew of Crete
c. 660 - 740 AD
St. Andrew of Crete (c. 660-740), whose "great eucharistic prayer" the Orthodox pray during Lent, was born in Damascus. He became a monk at Mar Saba and served later at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Around 685, he was ordained a deacon at Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. He also ran a refuge that took in orphans and cared for the elderly. He ended his days as Archbishop of Gortyna on the island of Crete, a position to which he was elevated in 692. He wrote homilies that display great oratorical skill, as well as panegyrics to the saints.
Today, in harmony with prophecy, the shoot of David has budded
forth from the always blossoming staff of Aaron, the staff that announced the
flower it would bring forth, the staff of power, Christ.
Today has emerged from Judah and David a young virgin girl, presenting the face of royalty and the priesthood of Aaron, who has exercised the priestly functions according to the order of Melchisedech.
Today grace, whitening the mystical Ephod, wove the divine priesthood mystically in advance from levitical seed, and God painted the blood of David with royal purple. First Homily on the Nativity, PG 96, cols. 864B-865A.
For more quotations from St. Andrews writings, read the Titles of Marys priestly dignity.
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