Saint Andrew, Archbishop of Crete, was born in the city of Damascus into a pious Christian family. Up until seven years of age the boy was mute and did not speak. However, after communing with the Holy Mysteries of Christ he found the gift of speech and began to speak. At age 14 he went off to Jerusalem and accepted monastic tonsure at the monastery of St. Sava the Sanctified. St. Andrew led a strict and chaste life, he was meek and abstinent, such that all were amazed at his virtue and reasoning of mind. As an archdeacon, he was a representative at the Sixth Ecumenical Council in the year 680. He eventually became Bishop of the city of Gortineia on the island of Crete. St. Andrew wrote many liturgical hymns and was the originator of the new form – the canon.
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