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Archive for April 23rd, 2010

St George on Google ūüôā

¬†Most countries which observe St George’s Day celebrate it on April 23, the traditionally accepted date of Saint George’s death in 303 AD.

St George’s Day is celebrated by the several nations, kingdoms, countries, and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint. St George’s Day is also England’s National Day.

Saint George is the patron saint of some important cities, mainly belonging to the territories added to the old kingdoms of Castille, Leon and Aragon in the historic period of the “Reconquista”.

The legend

St. George and the Dragon, wood sculpture by Bernt Notke in Stockholm’s Storkyrkan

St. George and the Dragon in Stockholm’s Gamla stan

Woodcut frontispiece of Alexander Barclay, Lyfe of Seynt George (Westminster, 1515)

According to the Golden Legend the narrative episode of Saint George and the Dragon took place in a place he called “Silene,” in Libya; the Golden Legend is the first to place this legend in Libya as a sufficiently exotic locale, where a dragon might be imagined. In the tenth-century Georgian narrative, the place is the fictional city of Lasia, and it is the godless Emperor who is Selinus.

The town had a pond, as large as a lake, where a plague-bearing dragon dwelled that envenomed all the countryside. To appease the dragon, the people of Silene used to feed it two sheep every day, and when the sheep failed, they fed it their children, chosen by lottery.

It happened that the lot fell on the king’s daughter. The king, distraught with grief, told the people they could have all his gold and silver and half of his kingdom if his daughter were spared; the people refused. The daughter was sent out to the lake, decked out as a bride, to be fed to the dragon.

Saint George by chance rode past the lake. The princess, trembling, sought to send him away, but George vowed to remain.

The dragon reared out of the lake while they were conversing. Saint George fortified himself with the Sign of the Cross, charged it on horseback with his lance and gave it a grievous wound.¬† ¬†Then he called to the princess to throw him her girdle, and he put it around the dragon’s neck.¬†¬† ¬†When she did so, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash.¬†¬† ¬†She and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene, where it terrified the people at its approach.¬†¬† ¬†But Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptised, he would slay the dragon before them.

The king and the people of Silene converted to Christianity, George slew the dragon, and the body was carted out of the city on four ox-carts. “Fifteen thousand men baptized, without women and children.” On the site where the dragon died, the king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George, and from its altar a spring arose whose waters cured all disease.

Traditionally, the sword with which St. George slew the dragon was called Ascalon, a name recalling the city of Ashkelon, Israel. From this tradition, the name Ascalon was used by Winston Churchill for his personal aircraft during World War II (records at Bletchley Park), since St. George is the Patron Saint of England.

How cool is that!¬†¬† Thanks to Wikipedia¬†for the above….a font of information as always.¬†This story¬†has fascinated me ever since I discovered that my birthday falls on the¬†day of the¬†Patron Saint of England, especially as I so love England.¬† It is quite thrilling. ūüôā

So who was St George?

Quick Facts about St George

  • Born in Turkey (in Cappadocia)
  • Lived in 3rd century
  • His parents were Christian
  • 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

St. George is believed to have been born in Cappadocia (now Eastern Turkey) in the year A.D. 270. He was a Christian. At the age of seventeen he joined the Roman army and soon became renowned for his bravery. He served under a pagan Emperor but never forgot his Christian faith.

When the pagan Emperor Diocletian started persecuting Christians, St. George pleaded with the Emperor to spare their lives. However, St. George’s pleas fell on deaf ears and it is thought that the Emperor Diocletian tried to make St. George deny his faith in Christ, by torturing him. St George showed incredible courage and faith and was finally beheaded near Lydda in Palestine on 23 April, 303.

In 1222, the Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be St George’s Day and he replaced Edward the Confessor as England’s patron saint in the 14th century. In 1415, April 23 was made a national feast day.

my thanks to woodlands-junior for the info

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