The New Testament records that St Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter, by which it is inferred that he was likewise a son of Jonah, or John, (Matthew 16:17; John 1:42).
He was born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee (John 1:44). Both he and his brother Peter were fishermen by trade, hence the tradition that Jesus called them to be his disciples by saying that He will make them "fishers of men" .
The Gospel of John teaches that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, whose testimony first led him and John the Evangelist to follow Jesus (John 1:35-40).
Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and hastened to introduce him to his brother (John 1:41). Thenceforth the two brothers were disciples of Christ. On a subsequent occasion, prior to the final call to the apostolate, they were called to a closer companionship, and then they left all things to follow Jesus (Luke 5:11; Matthew 4:19-20; Mark 1:17-18).
Eusebius quotes Origen as saying Andrew preached in Asia Minor and in Scythia, along the Black Sea as far as the Volga and Kiev.
Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at Patras (Patrae) in Achaea. Though early texts, such as the Acts of Andrew known to Gregory of Tours, describe Andrew bound, not nailed, a tradition grew up that Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross) and commonly known as "Saint Andrew's Cross"; this was performed at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross on which Christ was crucified. "The familiar iconography of his martyrdom, showing the apostle bound to an X-shaped cross, does not seem to have been standardized before the later Middle Ages,"
Saint Andrew is the patron of Patras. According to tradition his relics were moved from Patras to Constantinople, and thence to St Andrews (see below). Local legends say that the relics were sold to the Romans. The head of the saint, considered one of the treasures of St Peter's Basilica, was given by the Byzantine despot Thomas Palaeologus to Pope Pius II in 1461. In recent years, by decision of Pope Paul VI in 1964, the relics that were kept in the Vatican City, were sent back to Patras. The relics, which consist of the small finger, part of the top of the cranium of Saint Andrew and small parts of the cross, have since that time been kept in the Church of St Andrew at Patras in a special shrine, and are revered in a special ceremony every November 30.