6 Fun Facts About St George

April 23rd marks St George’s Day here in England – a day we remember our Patron Saint who is often depicted as a heroic knight slaying a ferocious dragon. But, as with many saints, St George’s true life and history will largely remain a mystery. Here are 6 fun facts about St George and today’s historic celebrations to shed a little light on England’s Patron Saint.

St George Never Visited England

According to English Heritage, St George never actually made it to good old blighty. His reputation as a virtuous and holy man spread across Europe, and upon reaching England, He became popular with the English Monarchy – Edward I created banners bearing St George’s emblem (the famous red cross on a white background) in the late 12th Century.

England isn’t the only Country to Celebrate St George

St George’s fame and reputation spread through much of Europe – and the world. Today, he is the patron saint of dozens of countries including Georgia, Portugal, Ethiopia, and Cyprus!

Middle Age Protection

Throughout the Middle Ages, people believed St George to be one of the 14 holy helpers. These helpers were a group of saints who could help and protect the public during epidemic diseases. From 1100, St George’s help was also sought to protect the English Army! During the Great War, the ghost of St George is said to have aided troops during their retreat from Mons, saving the lives of countless British soldiers.

English Celebrations

Although St George’s Day celebrations are relatively low key in today’s society, many local communities across England still mark St George’s Day with historic traditions and activities. From Morris Dancing, to eating fish and chips, or watching a Punch and Judy puppet show, there’s always something going on in local towns and villages on April 23rd!

Protests and Punishment

St George met his end after resigning from his military post and protesting against his pagan leader – the Emperor Diocletian (the leader of Rome’s persecution of Christians). Although these protests ultimately cost St George his head, many were inspired by his bravery and loyalty to his religion. In fact, the Emperor’s wife was so inspired, she became a Christian and was later executed for her faith.

Dragon or no Dragon?

The legend of St George tells the tale of a knight riding into Silene (Libya) to free the city from a ferocious dragon – but this story only appeared in literature in the 9th Century (500 years after George even existed).

Do you celebrate St George’s Day? Let us know in the comments below!

Charley x

4 Comments on “6 Fun Facts About St George

  1. As an American, I didn’t even know about this day! It is always interesting to hear about traditions and holidays in other countries. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank You for sharing these facts. We knew other countries celebrated St George but we had no idea he didn’t actually make it to England. It’s so funny – Many years ago, I was travelling home on a train one afternoon – it was St George’s Day, and there was a young fella, younger than me sitting behind me drinking from a can of Red Stripe. I don’t know who he was talking to, but I heard him say “This is my country. And my skin is white. My blood is red. What are the colours of St George’s Flat? Red and White. It’s our blood, our country. NOT Black and Red, not Brown and Red”. He expressed this in a carriage full of commuters from the Asian and Black community. And got off at Dewsbury, a Northern town riddled with racial tension. I must point out that I myself am from an Indian background but I am born and raised in this country, Older than him…meaning I was a part of this country long before he was born and in that one second, flippant comment he had made me a stranger in my own home. I am much wiser now, and actually couldn’t care less about people like. It’s lack of education, not actually knowing what and who St George was and what he actually stood for. I feel sorry for the lad now. However some things stay with you. Thank you for the post x

    Like

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