The Archons of the Order of St. Andrew are prominent and influential laymen of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, usually also major financial supporters of the patriarchate, honored by the Ecumenical Patriarch. The organization was founded on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 10, 1966, by Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I. The Archons, numbering about 800, are based in the United States, and most of their members communicants in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
The titles which the officers of the Order bear are from the Byzantine imperial period and were customarily given to government and patriarchal officials. The titles (referred to as offikia) are in themselves honorary and have no canonical or ecclesiastical standing, but those who bear them are often persons of enormous influence in the life of the Church of Constantinople.
The Archons customarily meet annually on the Sunday of Orthodoxy or they may also meet on November 30, which is the feast day of their patron saint, the Apostle Andrew. Besides their organizational meetings, the Archons also make an annual pilgrimage to the Phanar in Istanbul (Constantinople) to meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch, often meeting with Turkish government officials while there, as well.