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 Offikia for the Order of St. Andrew derive from some of the most prestigious offices of the ancient world. Originating in the Ancient Greek City-States, these civic offices were transformed when the Roman Empire embraced the Christian faith during the fourth century. As a consequence of this transition, not only were the office holders important leaders of the Christian community, the offices themselves took on specific religious responsibilities for the service and promotion of the faith in the Roman Empire. The ancient order of Archons is, in fact, the oldest and most prestigious honor that can be bestowed upon a layman in the entire Christian world.
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.