st-george1April 23rd is St George’s Day.

I’d always known that St George is the Patron Saint of England, but I wasn’t aware until I started to travel with my job, that he is also the Patron Saint of many other towns and countries, including: Georgia, Malta and Gozo, England, Egypt, Bulgaria, Aragon, Catalonia, Romania, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Serbia, Macedonia, Ukraine, Russia and Syria, as well as the cities of Genoa, Amersfoort, Beirut, Botoşani, Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Timişoara, Fakiha, Bteghrine, Cáceres, Ferrara, Freiburg im Breisgau, Kragujevac, Kumanovo, Ljubljana, Pérouges, Pomorie, Preston, Qormi, Rio de Janeiro, Lydda, Lviv, Barcelona, Moscow and Victoria, various German cities, as well as of the Scout Movement and a wide range of professions, organizations and disease sufferers.

He’s venerated by both Christains and Muslims.

St George was probably a real person as so much is known about his life.

st-george2Born some time between 275 and 285 AD, in Lydda, Roman Palestine, George was a Greek Christian. He became an Officer in the Roman Army of Diocletian.

In the year 302AD, Diocletian declared that all Christian soldiers must be arrested and give up their religion.

George refused. As he was such a good soldier, Diocletian offered him bribes, including land, money and slaves. But still George still refused, and in the end Diocletian had no choice but to have him killed.

Preparing himself for death, George gave away all his possessions to the poor. Then he was tortured, and finally decapitated on the 23rd April, 303AD.

Very soon after this, Christians began to honour him as a Martyr. By the 4th Century his fame was rapidly spreading across Palestine, Lebanon and the Eastern Roman Empire.

st-george3The Crusaders brought the legend of St George and the Dragon back to England in the 11th Century, and this is how he’s usually pictured, riding a white horse and killing the dragon. This was supposed to have taken place in the Lebanon.

He’s also portrayed dressed in armour, like a Roman soldier.

The Arabs believe that St George can cure madness. Someone who has been sent to St George’s has been sent to a madhouse!

On the 23rd April, St George’s flag will be flying over the Houses of Parliament.

No comment about madness. It’s too obvious!