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Andrew of Crete (Athos) (Detail) Icon - S320

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Saint Andrew was born about the year 650 in Damascus, Syria. At the age of 14 he joined the Monastery of St. Sabbas the Sanctified in Jerusalem. Known for his virtue, he became the secretary of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and attended the Sixth Ecumenical Council in 680. He served as the Archdeacon of the Hagia Sophia cathedral in Constantinople, and later he was consecrated as Archbishop of Crete. He reposed about the year 720.

He was a prolific liturgist, composing numerous canons that continue in use today, most famously the Great Canon of Repentance, which is sung in Orthodox parishes during Great Lent. His feast is celebrated on July 4.

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