Saint George's Day

St George lived about 1 700 years ago. 

He was born to Christian parents in the third century in Cappadocia, now Eastern Turkey. 

He and his mother moved to Palestine, where he became a Roman soldier and eventually


had a high rank.  He later resigned his military post and protested against his pagan leader, the Emperor Diocletian, who led Rome's persecution of Christians.  Because of his rebellion he was imprisoned, but he stayed true to his faith, even when he was tortured.  The emperor was very angry at this, and had St George dragged through the streets of Nicomedia, Turkey, and had him beheaded on 23rd April 303. 

This backfired when the Emperor's wife was so inspired by St George's bravery and loyalty to his religion, that she too became a Christian.  She was subsequently executed for her faith. 

A church in Dorset, England, records the time in 1099 when St George led the Crusaders into battle. 

King Edward IV and King Henry VII oversaw the construction of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. 

In the year 1415 AD St. George became the Patron Saint of England when English Soldiers under Henry V won the battle of Agincourt.

In 1620 it the flag of St George was flown by the Mayflower, the ship on which the Pilgrim Fathers arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  

The flag is also the flag of the Church of England.  St George is the patron saint of Scouting, because of the ideals that he represents.  Virtually every country in Europe and the Commonwealth has a church dedicated to St. George. 

The legend of St George and the dragon is over a thousand years old. Apparently a dragon made its nest by the fresh water spring near the town of Silene in Libya. Whenever people came to collect water, they disturbed the dragon.  To save themselves, they offered sheep as a distraction.  When there was no sheep left, the people of Silene decided to choose a young girl from the town by drawing lots. It turned out that the princess was to be the dragon's next victim.  The king protested, but the people needed water and the princess Cleolinda was offered to the dragon.  At that moment St George, returning from the Crusades, came riding by on his white stallion. St George dismounted and drew his sword, protecting himself with the sign of the cross. He fought the dragon on foot and managed to kill the dragon and save the princess.  The people of Silene were so grateful that they abandoned their pagan beliefs to convert to Christianity.

Last modified on Monday, 27 January 2014 21:33

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