St Andrew was the first of Jesus Christ’s disciples and is believed to have been crucified on a saltire (X-shaped) cross at Patras in Achaia, where he preached to the people for two days before he died. His martyrdom took place during the reign of Nero, on 30 November, AD 60, when he must have been a very old man. In 345, Emperor Constantine the Great translated Andrew’s bones from Patras to Constantinople. After Constantinople fell to the Crusaders in 1204, St Andrew’s relics were taken to the Cathedral of Amalfi, Italy. Also in the mid-fourth century, St Rule (or Regulus) took some of Andrew’s relics to the far northwest. He stopped on the Fife coast of Scotland, where he built a church and founded the settlement later known as St Andrews. After Robert the Bruce’s victory over the English at Bannockburn (1314), the Declaration of Arbroath named St Andrew patron saint of Scotland and the Saltire became the national flag in 1385.
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