Sunday, April 26, 2009

STORYHEART'S SUNDAY UK BLOG - WHO WAS ST GEORGE?

During the week I have been blogging about St George's day (April 23rd) back home across the pond. But who was St George?

The image of Saint George, renowned for his defense of all in need, is among the most well-recognized of Christian martyrdom figures. Primarily famous for being the Patron Saint of England (replacing the former patron, Edward the Confessor), George is also known as "Victory Bringer" and "The Quick to Hear." Of the man himself, very little can be considered a certainty, save that he lived during the Fourth Century and was executed by decapitation in Lydda, Palestine. He was most probably born in Cappadocia of noble, Christian parents and, upon the death of his father, accompanied his mother to Palestine, her country of origin, where she owned land and where George may have been expected to oversee the estate but instead, chose the life of a military man.

The earliest mention of St George is in 322 A.D when Eusebius of Caesarea mentions a
"noble-born soldier of high rank the Roman army, being thrown into prison for vehemently disagreeing with Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians and, despite being tortured, refused to recant his beliefs. The following day, April 23, 303, he was dragged through the streets of Nicomedia and beheaded. The Emperor's wife, Alexandria, was so impressed at the soldier's courage, that she converted immediately to the Christian faith and was also put to death."

He was adopted as the Patron Saint of soldiers after he was said to have appeared to the crusading armies during the Battle of Antioch in 1098. Many such similar stories were transmitted to the West by Crusaders who heard them from Byzantine troops. The tales were circulated even further by the troubadours. When Richard I (also known as "The Lionheart") was campaigning in Palestine during 1191 and 1192, he put his army under the direct protection of Saint George.

In addition to being the Patron Saint of England, George is the Patron Saint of Aragon, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Germany and Greece. He is the Patron Saint of Catalonia, where legend has it that, after killing the dragon, he gave the princess a red rose and, as a result, on April 23 (especially in the City of Barcelona), it is traditional for men to give their sweethearts or wives a red rose and the lady in question reciprocates the gesture with the gift of a book. He is also the Patron Saint of Moscow, Istanbul, Genoa and Venice (where he is second only to Saint Mark), as well as being the Patron Saint of the State of Georgia. He is the patron of soldiers, cavalry and chivalry; of farmers and field workers; of Boy Scouts and of butchers; of horses, riders and saddlers; and of sufferers from leprosy, plague and syphilis.

He is particularly the Patron Saint of archers, which gives a special meaning to these famous lines from William Shakespeare's "Henry V," Act 3, Scene 1:

I see you Stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the Start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge
Cry "God for Harry, England and St. George!"


This is even more interesting as William Shakespeare's was born and died on St George's Day.




Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
Across the Pond
http://acrossthepond-storyheart.blogspot.com/
http://across-t-pond.com



OTHER BLOGS ABOUT GREAT BRITAIN:


THE GRAND NATIONAL

WHY UK DRIVES ON THE LEFT

MOTHERS DAY ACROSS THE POND

ABOUT THE UNION JACK

ENGLISHMANS VIEW ON BASEBALL

WHAT IS BOXING DAY

BRITISH TV TRANSPLANTS

5 comments:

  1. Great background. Thank you! I'd never heard this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very interesting. I seem to remember the story of St. George slaying the dragon, but the rest was new to me.

    Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
  3. Having your content end up ranking in the top links london ten search results for the keywords, it will try to acquire more links links of london bracelet sale over time. Several "high-quality editorial links" are usually a result of Google search links of london engine placement.Unless you already have a well aged links of london charms sale established authority site, you already know who you are. links jewellery And it's going to be pretty tough, as great as it would be to have your content rank on the links of london charms sale first page of search engine results for your most cherished keyword phrase. links of london uk If you happen to write four times per month and each of those rank on links of london watch uk page one of search results, in due course the links will add up. The good thing is that a small number of cheap links of london links from lots of diverse directions end up carrying a lot more weight and links of london necklaces uk being more sustainable.

    ReplyDelete