The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle
Religious Freedom, Self-Defense, and the Orthodox Communities in Ukraine
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The Order of St. Andrew of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was organized on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 10, 1966 when His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos conferred upon thirty outstanding laymen of the Church the various Offikion or Offices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on behalf of His All Holiness Patriarch Athenagoras of blessed memory. They were honored because of their love, loyalty and support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and their contribution to its advancement and welfare.
The Order of St. Andrew meets annually and celebrates on November 30, which is the feast day of Saint Andrew the Apostle who is the Patron Saint and namesake of the Organization. The fundamental goal of the Order of St. Andrew is directed at an ongoing concern for religious freedom and the defense and advancement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
An Archon is an honoree by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for his outstanding service to the Church, and a well-known distinguished, and well-respected leader of the Orthodox Christian community. It is by the grace of God that the Archon has been able to offer his good works and deeds of faith. Further, it is the sworn oath of the Archon to defend and promote the Orthodox Christian faith and tradition. His special concern and interest is to serve as a bulwark to protect and promote the Sacred See of St. Andrew the Apostle and its mission. He is also concerned with the human race's inalienable rights wherever and whenever they are violated - and the well-being and general welfare of the Christian Church.
This honor extended by the Ecumenical Patriarchate carries with it grave responsibilities, deep commitments, and sincere dedication. Consequently, it is of utmost importance that this honor of obligation be bestowed upon individuals of proven Orthodox Christian character, who conform faithfully to the teachings of Christ and the doctrines, canons, worship, discipline, and encyclicals of the Church. Those selected to serve as Archons have demonstrated a commitment greater than average toward the stewardship of time, talent and treasure for the betterment of the Church, Parish, Diocese/Metropolis, Archdiocese and the community as a whole.