A Scottish Feast to Celebrate St. Margaret and St. Andrew

This post was written by Robina, at Motherly Loving, and submitted for publication here at Catholic Cuisine. Thank you Robina!

In honor of the feasts of St. Margaret on November 16th and St. Andrew on November 30th who are both patron saints of Scotland, we will be having a dinner feast celebrating our family's Scottish heritage on Sunday, November 29th. This is the second year of this annual family tradition, but we will be missing our relatives from Scotland who were able to celebrate with us last year.

St. Margaret of Scotland was an exemplary Catholic wife, mother and queen. With her husband Malcolm, St. Margaret transformed Scotland "from a remote and barbaric outpost to a beacon of Christian culture. Her charity to the poor, particularly to children and the elderly, was unparalleled. (Not only did she feed and clothe the many beggars who presented themselves, but she and Malcolm personally washed the feet of these impoverished visitors.)" from Women for Faith and Family


O Heavenly Patron of Scotland, and my patron saint in whose name whom I glory, pray ever to God for me; strengthen me in my faith; establish me in virtue; guard me in the conflict; at my end be steadfast at my side and plead for me with Christ, my Judge and Savior, that I may vanquish the foe malign and attain to glory everlasting to behold one day thy beautiful countenance. Amen.

Saint Andrew - El Greco1606 - Oil on Canvas

St. Andrew was the first of the apostles of Jesus. Andrew had been a disciple of John the Baptist, he recognized Jesus as the Messiah. He brought his brother, Simon (Peter), to Jesus.

"As he was walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is now called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, 'Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him"- Matthew 4:18-20

Like Jesus, St. Andrew was crucified, but on a cross the shape of an "X" at Patras in southern Greece on November 30th. This type of cross has long been known as "St. Andrew's cross." The flag of Scotland features an X-shaped cross in commemoration of the shape of St. Andrew's cross.


O Glorious St. Andrew, you were the first to recognize and follow the Lamb of God. With your friend St. John you remained with Jesus for that first day, for your entire life, and now throughout eternity. As you led your brother St. Peter to Christ, and many others after him, draw us also to Him. Teach us to lead others to Christ solely out of love for Him, and dedication in His service. Help us to learn the lesson of the Cross and to carry our daily crosses without complaint so that they may carry us to Jesus.

Like last years Scottish feast on the Feast of St. Andrew, we will use traditional Scottish recipes given to me by my great aunt Mary who lives in Scotland and is usually here with my great uncle Jimmy this time of year with us, but can not be this year. We will have a dinner of steak pie, mashed potatoes, and peas and then shortbread for dessert. We also made scones and tea for breakfast. The recipes and other activities for celebrating the day are below. These are all family recipes.

Scottish Steak Pie

(Sorry for the poor pictures, these are from last year and I forgot to take pictures until after people started serving themselves)

1 lb. cubed beef stew meat, cut into smaller chunks if prefer
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c. flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 cup water
1 beef bouillon cube
1 onion, chopped
4 to 5 carrots, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
Pie crust, enough for 1 (9-inch) crust
1 egg
1 tbsp water

Heat oil in skillet and brown stew meat in skillet on medium-high heat. Stir in chopped in onions and cook until soft. Add 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup water and beef bouillon cube and stir until gravy thickened. Add more flour if necessary. Add carrots. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour meat and gravy mixture into pie dish. Lay pie crust on top of meat and press edges onto the rim of the dish to seal. Cut vent slits into crust. Make egg wash with egg and 1 tbsp water and brush top of of pie crust. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until pie crust golden brown.

Scottish Shortbread

2 to 2.5 cups flour (depends on preference)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 lb. unsalted soft butter
1/8 tsp. salt or a pinch
1/8 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream sugar and butter in large bowl. Beat in egg. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture gradually until well combined finishing by hand or using bread kneader attachment. Place in buttered cake pan. Pierce the dough with fork halfway down in rows. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until light with barely golden edges. Remove from oven and cut right away into rectangles. Cool in pan.

Scottish Scones

4 cups flour
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cups sugar
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-2 cups currants, raisins or blueberries (use amount you desire)
10 oz milk (sometimes may need 11 ounces & better with whole milk)

Mix flour, margarine, sugar, cram of tartar, backing soda with pastry blender. Add raisins, currants or blueberries. Add the milk with a spoon until blended. Put in rectangular cake pan. Sprinkle with sugar and butter glaze if desired. Bake at 35 for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Don't over bake or they will be dry.

Scottish Feast Activities

- As St. Andrew was a fisherman before being a "fisher of me" as an apostle of Jesus, he is also the patron saint of fisherman. His feast day is an appropriate time to teach children how the "fish is a symbol of the Christian faith because the letters of the Greek word for fish, "ichthys" form an acronym for the Greek phrase, "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior". Early Christians, during the time of persecutions when it was not safe to be a known as a Christian, drew a fish in the ground in order to secretly identify themselves to other believers. Even today one sees this fish symbol, often containing the Greek letters spelling "fish", on religious articles and even on bumper stickers." from Women for Faith and Family

- Find Scotland on a world map and color a map of Scotland or the Scottish flag.

- As the feast of St. Andrew on November 30th also marks the beginning of the season of Advent so put up Christmas decorations, start Advent wreath prayer and Jesse Tree readings.

- Another way to celebrate Saint Andrew's feast day and Advent is to say the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena, as it is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

You can make chaplets out of 15 beads and a St. Andrew medal to help you count your prayers each day.

- Listen to traditional Scottish Bagpipe Music.

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  1. So, if my family and I were to celebrate the feast of St. Margaret, how could we best do so? I ask because she is one of our ancestors.

  2. I am looking for the same information because she is one of our ancestors too.