Antwerp, Churches and Tourism
Tourism Pastoral, Diocese of Antwerp (TOPA vzw)

Antwerp's St Andrew's Church, a revelation.

Saint Andrew in art: iconography

Male person: rectangular face, advanced age: ‘manful’ full grey beard, long sharp nose, and piercing eyes.
From antiquity: often dressed in a long tunic and a cloak.
Saint: a halo symbolises the divine light of love and wisdom radiating from the saint.
Disciple: ·       a book of the gospel, open or closed. Christ, ‘the Word of God’, formed the source of inspiration of his life, and he proclaimed his belief in Christ on his missionary travels.

·       scroll with inscription: on the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem in 44, each disciple supposedly expressed one of the creed’s twelve Articles of Faith. Andrew formulated the fourth article: “who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered, died, and was buried”.

·       barefoot: Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road(Lk 10:4), “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!” (Rom 10:15), saying based on Isaiah (52:7).

Fisherman: fishing attributes, such as nets, fish, a little boat, and a shell.
Bishop of Patras and of


especially during the Baroque era, one would have expected to see any disciple accompanied by bishop’s insignia, such as a mitre, a crosier, a pectoral cross and a cope. Depictions of Andrew were exceptional in this regard; moreover, the bishopric of Andrew, which was in the Orthodox areas, was not well-known.
Martyr: ·       crucifixion: bound to a cross, not nailed.

·       from the end of the 12th century onwards, this cross was given the special shape of a crux decussata (Lat. ‘decussis’: decem (10, in Latin characters: X) + ‘axis’: division by use of an X-cross). Later on, this cross became known as St. Andrew’s Cross or saltire.

·       Often constructed out of unplaned trunks, a cross in this shape thus became seen as the quintessential instrument of Andrew’s martyrdom, as Patras lore would have it. This tradition became more widespread during the 14th century and dominated during the 15th century. This was partly due to the influence of the Burgundy dynasty and the Order of the Golden Fleece: hence, the shape was also called ‘the Cross of Burgundy’. Influenced by the West, the St. Andrew’s Cross was later introduced in the Orthodox church; also in Patras!

·       Andrew hugs the cross, thus showing how he doesn’t shy away from martyrdom.

·       a palm branch. Sacrificing his own life for his faith, the martyr was given a joyous entry into heavenly Jerusalem: although he did lose out by dying, he was given heavenly victory in the end.

Miracle worker: balsam. The saint’s body would have escaped disintegration and had a fragrant scent, see the relic shrine ‘Boat of Amalfi’ (p.152).
Patron of: Greece, Scotland, Russia and of the Order of the Golden Fleece, which has sported the St. Andrew’s Cross as armorial bearing.