Thursday, August 25, 2016

Knights of Saint Andrew

In 1993, Brothers in Oklahoma came together and established a Chapter of the Knights of Saint Andrew. Since then the Knights of Saint Andrew has spread around the United States. The Knights of Saint Andrew is a service organization composed of dedicated Scottish Rite Masons. The Chapter in Rochester said it best with "We serve because service is needed." From the beginning of one's journey in Freemasonry, we are reminded to be serviceable to our fellow man, and the Knights of Saint Andrew continues that tradition.

This group takes its name from the 29° of the Scottish Rite. In this degree, a Mason learns that there is no contradiction between religion and science; that religion can be better understood through science, and science can be better understood by religion. He who denies science is as fanatical as he who denies religion. Our lifetime is limited in time; thus we must see God within this limited period of our time. Yet, God transcends all time; he is an energy over and beyond time. There is no other energy that creates that energy. There is no end to that energy. Freemasonry is thus the continual effort to exalt the divine in man over the human so that we may come to better understand the nature of God in our time. The lessons of this degree teach Reverence and obey the Deity. Serve the truth. Protect virtue and innocence. Defend the people against tyranny. 

Duties of each Chapter vary, but many include aiding the Tyler, acting as greeters, serving as an honor guard for dignitaries or for special events, participating in parades, assisting the Scottish degree work, promote educational activities, and presenting the Colors. The flexibility of their duties makes them an invaluable tool for any Scottish Rite Valley. My Chapter holds fundraisers and donates the proceeds to the Idaho State's Veterans Home.

Membership is limited to those who have attained the 32° of the Scottish Rite only. If or when a member of the Knights of Saint Andrew attained the title of Knight Commander of the Court of Honor or the 33°, he becomes an emeritus member.

The hierarchical structure of each chapter varies, but each Chapter is beholden to its respective Valley and to the Sovereign Grand Inspector General of each State.

Saint Andrew, the patron of this group and the 29°, was the first disciple of Jesus Christ and the youngest brother of Saint Peter. Saint Andrew was born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. He, like Saint Peter, was a fisherman. Saint Andrew had been a follower of Saint John the Baptist, but when John declared Jesus the Lamb of God, Andrew was the first to follow the Savior. After the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, Saint Andrew traveled through Asia Minor, Scythia, and Greece to spread the gospel. Saint Andrew was crucified at Patras in Achaea in Greece. Saint Andrew was not crucified on the same type of cross as Christ, but upon a "crux decussata" which is an X-shaped cross which is why this type of cross is commonly known as Saint Andrew's Cross. Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland, Russia, and Greece as well as fishmongers, gout, singers, sore throats, spinsters, maidens, old maids and women wishing to become mothers.

Relics of Saint Andrew were said to be taken, by a Greek monk known as Saint Regulus, to Fife, Scotland. In 832, King Angus received a vision of victory from Saint Andrew the night before the battle against the Northumbrians in East Lothian. During the battle, an X-shaped cross, or Saltire, appeared in the sky emboldening the Picts and Scots while causing the Northumbrians to flee the battlefield. The Saltire was adopted as a national emblem and Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland. The colors of the Scottish flag are meant to represent the white clouds and azure color of the sky. During the Protestant Reformation, the relics of Saint Andrew were destroyed, but since that time relics have been donated to Catholic Churches in Scotland. 

One of the origin theories to the Knights of Saint Andrew dates back to the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. It is said that some Templars fleeing the persecution of the Pope and the French monarch are said to have joined the side of Robert the Bruce against the English invasion. To show his gratitude for their assistance, Robert the Bruce is said to have created the "Order of Saint Andrew of the Thistle of Scotland." It is said that Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, was the last Grand Master of the Order of Saint Andrew and took it with him during his exile in France. It is said that he was the roots of the Scottish Rite. The Battle of Bannockburn is a nexus of Templar continuation theory and is debated by scholars as to its accuracy due to the lack of extant records.


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