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St George’s Day

April 23, 2014

Saint George is the patron saint of England. He’s popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry – but actually he wasn’t English at all. Very little, if anything, is known about the real Saint George. Pope Gelasius said that George is one of the saints “whose names are rightly reverenced among us, but whose actions are known only to God.”

Facts in brief

Everything about Saint George is dubious, so the information below should be taken as mythical rather than real.

  • Born in Cappadocia, an area which is now in Turkey
  • 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 Lydda in Palestine
  • 23rd April was named as Saint George’s day in 1222

Patron saint

White flag divided into equal sections by one horizontal and one vertical red stripe Saint George’s flag

He is patron saint not only of England but also of Aragon, Catalonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Germany and Greece; and of Moscow, Istanbul, Genoa and Venice (second to Saint Mark). 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, plague and syphilis. In recent years he has been adopted as patron saint of Scouts.

Details

Date:
April 23, 2014