Saint George, whose name comes from the ancient Greek Γεώργιος, was a Christian Saint, celebrated today every 23rd of April, considered a Military Saint, since he was a soldier in the Roman army and member of the Praetorian Guard for Diocletian. He was a martyr sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith and, due to his “job” on earth, he has been especially venerated as a Military Saint since the Crusades.
Discover more about the fascinating story of Saint George, the soldier of God.
The legend of St. George and the Dragon
The name of Saint George is particularly linked to a legend according to which He defeated a dragon in England. The story tells about a young and brave man, named George, who decided to defy a dragon who used to scare the poor citizens of the English countryside, burning their lands and scaring the villages. Furthermore, the dragon held a princess captive and for this reason George decided to challenge it. Since he knew that alone he would have never defeated it, he asked for divine protection and help. He presented himself in front of the evil creature holding a cross in his hands so as to be able to obtain that strength capable of defeating the dragon. Thanks to his faith, he defeated the dragon. After that, the cross became his own symbol, the St. George’s Cross, depicted today in the English flag.
St. George’s Cross, the flag of England.
In sign of gratitude for defeating the dragon, the peasants converted to Christianity, trying to emulate that courage and that chivalrous behavior that the young George taught them.
The story, which comes from folk legends, seems to be one of the reasons why he is considered today the Patron Saint of England. After defeating the dragon, George would have become a soldier of the Roman Army.
The true story of St. George
Saint George was born in Cappadocia (Turkey) and was educated to Christianity since he was only a child by his own family, whose members were Christians.
When he grew up, he became a valiant soldier of the army of Diocletian, until he became imperial guard. Unfortunately, in 303 AD, the emperor Diocletian issued an edict to persecute Christians, and he decided to give all his riches to the poor and confessed to the emperor to be a Christian.
Since he refused to deny Christ, Diocletian tortured and imprisoned him. While in jail, St. George had a vision: the Lord predicted seven years of suffering, three times his death and three times his resurrection. According to history, he was resurrected after being split into two by a wheel adorned with swords and nails.
Died in 303 AD, he was buried in Lydda (Israel).
Patronage of St. George
Saint George, highly celebrated in both the Western and Eastern Christian churches, is considered the holy Patron Saint of England, whose national flag features His cross. By the 14th century, St. George had been declared both the Patron Saint and the Protector of the Royal Family.
As well as England, Saint George is the Patron Saint of Malta, Gozo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Aragon (Spain), and the military (this, together with St. Michael the Archangel, Our Lady of Loreto, St. Nicholas and St. Barbara).
Are you particularly devoted to this Saint?
Shop now for the Catholic medal depicting St. George and remember to ask to engrave its reverse for a unique religious gift.