Saint George

St. George and the DragonSaint George is perhaps most famous for slaying a dragon. The most widely known version of the story was written by Richard Johnson way back in 1596. It’s titled ‘The Seven Champions’ and tells of a young St. George who is kidnapped by a witch and later sails to foreign lands to rescue a princess.

We have a fully illustrated children’s book about St. George and the Dragon that you can download (.pdf format, 2690kb). It’s based on The Seven Champions and ideal to read to your kids the night before 23 April.

As for the real St. George, some commentators have been sceptical in the past about whether he existed. But recent evidence has persuaded some scholars to conclude he was real. The little we know is as follows:

  • Born in Turkey (either Anatolia or Cappadocia)
  • Lived in 3rd century AD
  • His parents were Christian
  • Later lived in Palestine
  • Became a Roman soldier
  • Protested against Rome’s persecution of Christians
  • Imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith
  • Beheaded at Nicomedia in Palestine

For a more details download our History of St. George (.pdf format, 49kb).

St. George is probably England’s most successful immigrant. Born in a foreign land, welcomed by the English and has worked hard for over 800 years in his adopted country. He has integrated so well that he has come to symbolise the very essence of ‘Englishness’.

The story of St. George and the Dragon dates back to the Middle Ages when the dragon was commonly used to represent evil, so it’s an excellent tale of good triumphing over evil.

Since then St. George has been popularly identified with English ideals of charity, chivalry and courage (now known as the 3 C’s).

St. George’s worldwide fame

He is not only patron saint of England but also of…

  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia, Senj
  • Ethiopia
  • Georgia
  • Germany, Haldern
  • Germany, Freiburg
  • Germany, Heide
  • Germany, Limburg
  • Gozo
  • Greece
  • Israel, Lod
  • Italy, Ferrara
  • Italy, Genoa
  • Italy, Modica
  • Italy, Nerola
  • Italy, Riano
  • Lebanon, Beirut
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Netherlands, Amersfoort
  • Palestine
  • Portugal
  • Russia, Moscow
  • Slovenia, Ptuj
  • Spain, Aragon
  • Spain, Catalonia
  • Turkey, Istanbul

He’s also patron saint of soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and field workers, riders and saddlers, and he helps those suffering from leprosy and plague. In recent years he has been adopted as patron saint of Scouts and there are some that would like him to be patron of same sex marriages as he was referred to him some religious texts as ‘the bride of Jesus’.

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