O God! who dost ever renew the examples of virtue in Thy Church; grant that Thy people may so walk in the footsteps of Blessed Andrew, Thy Confessor and Pontiff, whose feast we celebrate today, that they may obtain the same rewards. Through our Lord.
When the pure and modest church first looked upon the Blessed Andrew, she saw that his countenance was truly made to the likness of God; she saw grace flowing in abundance from his lips; she saw his humility carried to a degree beyond which she could conceive none higher; she saw gentleness and mercy like David's, understanding and prudence like Solomon's, goodness like that of Moses, perfection like Samuel's, continence and modesty equal to Joseph's, wisdom like Daniel's; she saw him endowed with zeal for the faith like unto that of the heavenly John, gifted like Paul, with charity that could not be quenched. She saw wounded with a blessed love, and with a chaste and righteous affection she loved her spouse, lavishing upon him the tokens of love. Yet before she had fulfilled her desire, before she had indulged and satisfied her longing, and while she was still on fire with love, temptations called the athlete to combat, and she was left alone. While he was pouring forth his sweat in the strife upon which he had entered in the cause of holiness, whe waited in chastity, guarding the marriage vow. The bridegroom is not taken away from us; he stands in our midst, although we see him not. Within the shrine, and in the innermost part of the temple, within the veil, where Christ, our forerunner, is entered for us, there is the Priest, who had left behind him the covering of his flesh. No longer doth he serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, but he gazeth upon the very image of the things. No longer seeing through a glass, not through a lattice, in a dark manner, but to face, he intercedeth with God. He intercedeth for us also, and for the sins of his people. He hath laid aside his garment of skins, for they that dwell ion Paradise need not such garments, but he hath the covering which he hath woven out of purity of his life, and with it hath adorned himself. The death of such a man is honorable and precious in the sight of the Lord. Verily, it is not death, but the breaking loose from the hold of the flesh; for he sayeth, "Thou hast broken my bonds." Simon hath been dismissed; he hath been freed from the bonds of the body. The snare is broken and the little bird hath flown away. He hath reached the promised land, and he speaketh wisdom with God upon the Mount. he hath loosed the shoes of the soul, that with the pure feet of the mind he may go up to the holy ground where God is see.