Who Was St. George?

The real St. George is a bit of a mysterious figure - with little actual evidence that he ever really existed. What is thought, is that he was born in 270AD in Cappodocia (which is now Turkey) - to a Turkish father - serving in the Roman army and a Palestinian mother. He joined the Roman army - but protested against the treatment of Christians. He was held in high regard in the army - but his opposition to their practices was not appreciated and he was imprisoned and tortured in an attempt to break his faith. He remained true to his beliefs, however and was eventually beheaded for them on April 23rd 303AD.

In April 1222, the Council of Oxford declared St. George as our Patron Saint - replacing St. Edmund the Martyr.

In addition to England, St George is the patron saint of many other countries, including: Portugal, Georgia, Genoa, Milan, Beirut, Malta, Ethiopia, Lithuania and Palestine. He is also the patron Saint of Boy Scouts, archers, sheep and shepherds, horses and horsemen, field workers, farmers, soldiers and Teutonic Knights!!

Even though St George fought dragons, he didn't get a national holiday, unlike St Patrick in Ireland who has National holidays in several countries.

Shakespeare was born, and died, on St George's Day.

The St George's Cross became the national flag in the 16th Century.

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