You know, it's not easy being a saint. Saints often carried the burden
of an eager entourage, most of whom, it appears, were simply
waiting for them to breathe their last. For no sooner did you pop your
saintly clogs than they were hacking you to pieces and distributing your
mortal remains hither and thither throughout the land. At one time in
our past there must have been a huge industry involved in the
distribution of saints' bones. One can imagine all sorts of religious
types gathering like vultures, waiting patiently for flesh to be
stripped from bones so that what remained could be divvied up and
distributed. Perhaps they had to fill in forms and put in requests, as
in, 'We at St Andrews wondered if we might have a knee-cap, although we
don't wish to be too much bother and would quite happily accept a
finger.' For once you had acquired some saintly bones, it was guaranteed
that folk would travel for miles to see them. It was, I suppose, an
early form of tourism, and if you didn't have any pious remains then you
were probably not worth visiting. The town of St Andrews managed to get
quite a bit of Saint Andrew. It got his knee-cap (always a crowd
puller), three finger bones, an arm bone and a tooth. Goodness, that's
almost enough to resurrect the man. Sadly, the box in which Saint
Andrew's bits and pieces were kept was destroyed during the Reformation.
And so, is the St Andrews of today worth visiting? Might you, as a
pilgrim, be a tad disappointed at not being able to ogle at a knee-cap?
Today, St Andrews is a fine historic town with plenty in the way of old
crumbly buildings. So don that knapsack, and set off an a pilgrimage.