This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February 12 -- Feast of Saint C. F. Andrews

1971 Stamp of St. CFA
Perhaps you have seen Richard Attenborough's 1982 biopic, Gandhi.  If so, perhaps you recall the tragicomic Anglican priest, Charles Freer Andrews.  He was Gandhi's faithful sidekick from South Africa to imprisonment but then Gandhi kicked him out of the movement because he wanted indigenous leadership.  And since the film was about Gandhi rather than Charlie, that version of the story makes sense.

Andrews and Gandhi, as Attenborough imagined them
The Episcopal Church (USA) celebrates Rev. Andrews as a saint.  Several sources recognize that his work on behalf of human rights worldwide went far beyond the Indian independence movement, growing out of his work in Britain with the Christian Social Union.  This led him to work for reform throughout the Empire.  Although the bulk of his fame accrues from his relationship with Gandhi, he also worked with Gophal Krishna Gokhale, Rabindranath Tagore, and B. R. Ambedkar.  He was instrumental in the campaign to abolish the untouchability of outcasts (pariahs, dalits) and in 1915 he visited Fiji on behalf of the Indian government to investigate abuse of indentured servants.  He began a campaign to abolish indentured servitude, a lifelong struggle centered on Fiji but with worldwide ramifications. 

Andrews at far left, among friends.
Still, the connection to Gandhi is close, undeniable, and remarkable.  Several sources mention that he was the only person to call Gandhi "Mohan" -- everyone else called him Bapu (Father) or Gandhiji.  The Mahatma in turn referred to Andrews as Christ's Faithful Apostle, a play on his initials (CFA). 

Rev. Andrews died in Calcutta at age sixty-nine while visiting from Fiji.  Two undergraduate colleges in the University of Calcutta are named for him: Dinabandhu Andrews College and Dinabandhu Institution.  Dinabandhu, another name given by Gandhi, means "friend of the poor." 

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