Saint Andrew Zorard (Polish: Andrzej Świerad, Żurawek, Żórawek, Świrad, and Wszechrad; Slovak: Svorad, Czech: Sverad; German: Zoërard, Latin: Zoerardus) was a Benedictine monk and Roman Catholic saint.
Saint Andrew was born around 980 in Opatowiec, a small village in Kazimierza, Poland. At around the year 1000, at about the age of 20, he began living as a hermit and a missionary, evangelizing in Olawa, Silesia (modern Poland). Also in his youth he lived as a monk in the small village of Tropie. Around the year 1003 AD he settled in Hungary, becoming a Benedictine monk at the St. Hippolytus Monastery on Mount Zobor near Nitra—then part of the Kingdom of Hungary. There he became the spiritual guide of Benedict of Szkalka. Andrew and Benedict, with the permission of their superior Philip, later left the monastery and became hermits in a cave along the Vág River near Trenčín in modern Skalka nad Váhom. Andrew died of natural causes in 1009 (or 1010, 1030 or 1034), but Benedict continued to live in the cave for three years until he was murdered by a gang of thieves looking for treasure. In 1083 Andrew's relics were transferred to the St. Emmeram's Cathedral in Nitra where they remain to this day. A biography of St. Benedict and St. Andrew was written by St. Maurus, Bishop of Pécs. It is said, that Svorad led a hermit life living in a small cave near the monastery. The cave has since been called Svoradova. He lived in such severe austerities that, according to legend, his iron chain he wore wrapped around the belt, eventually grew into his body.
Feast Day and Veneration
St. Andrew is venerated especially in Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland, but also in the United States. His feast day is 17 July, but in some calendars he is venerated together with St. Benedict on 13 June.
King Géza I of Hungary declared him one of the patron saints of Hungary.
Svorad died sometime around 1030. Duke of Nitra, Geza as early as 1064AD took the first steps towards his canonization, although this first Slovak cult of the saint was officially confirmed in 1083 by Pope Gregory VII. thanks to the Hungarian King Ladislaus I. The remains of St. Svorada are stored in the Cathedral of St. Emeráma in Nitra.