St George, Martyr was a Christian soldier of Cappadocia in the Roman army.
He was born in the 3rd century in Cappadocia (modern-day Turkey), and died as a martyr on April 23 303 in Lydda, (modern-day Lod, Israel).
We celebrate his feast day on April 23 every year in the Catholic Church.
St George is the patron of knights, soldiers, scouts, fencers, archers, England, Georgia & Catalonia.
|St George, Martyr Biography
|Date of Birth
|3rd century AD
|Place of Birth
|Roman soldier of Greek and Palestinian origin and officer in the Guard of Roman emperor Diocletian
|Place of Work
|Date of Death
|April 23 303
|Place of Death
|Lydda, (modern-day Lod, Israel
|Patron Saint of
St George’s Life History
There is limited information available about the life of St George, but it is believed that he was a Roman officer of Greek origins.
Pope Gelasius I proclaimed in 494 AD that George was one of those saints “whose names are rightfully respected by people, although their deeds are known solely to God.”
St. George was born to a Christian household in Cappadocia, but after his father’s death, he and his mother relocated to Lydda, her native land.
He subsequently joined Diocletian’s military and served as an imperial guard for the emperor in Nicomedia until his late twenties, when he became a Tribunus.
St George, in response to emperor Diocletian’s edict of persecution against Christians in 303, donated all of his possessions to the poor and boldly tore the edict in front of Diocletian himself, declaring his unwavering faith in Christ. As a result, he endured brutal torture and was eventually executed by beheading on April 23, 303.
The body of St George was transported to Lydda (which is now Lod, Israel), the birthplace of his mother, and was subsequently relocated to the church erected in his honor in the same location. He was laid to rest in Lydda, where Christians began to revere him as a martyr.
During the crusades, St. George’s image as a martyr underwent significant transformation in England, as he was viewed as a warrior for the faith who slayed a dragon, symbolizing the defeat of Islam.
King Richard I of England, also known as “the Lionheart,” hailed St. George as the defender of all soldiers.
Following the Norman conquest, the veneration of St. George took firm root in England, and in 1348, King Edward III founded the Order of the Knights of St. George.
St. George’s heroic tale inspired numerous epic literary works throughout the Middle Ages.
St. George is recognized as the patron saint of several groups, including knights, soldiers, scouts, fencers, and archers, among others.
Meanwhile, in the West, he is revered as the patron saint of various places, including Malta, Barcelona, Valencia, Aragon, Genoa, and England.
Additionally, he is called upon for protection against diseases such as the plague and leprosy, as well as against venomous snakes.
His veneration is one of the most ancient and widespread in the Church. In the East, a church attributed to Constantine is dedicated to St. George, and his name is invoked in the oldest liturgies.
Due to insufficient details about hiss life, the Church altered his liturgical feast to an optional memorial on the universal calendar in 1969.
Nevertheless, this change did not diminish the veneration of the saint. The remains of St. George are located in various parts of the world, and his skull has been kept in the church of San Giorgio al Velabro in Rome since the reign of Pope Zachariah.
The Legend of Saint George and the Dragon
The story of St. George and the Dragon revolves around a fearsome dragon that was causing chaos in the city of Silene, Libya, around the time he arrived there.
To appease the dragon, the city’s inhabitants provided two sheep to it every day. However, when the sheep supply became insufficient, they were compelled to offer human sacrifices instead.
The person to be sacrificed was selected by the citizens, and once the king’s daughter was chosen. No one volunteered to take her place, but St. George intervened and killed the dragon with a lance, thereby rescuing the girl.
Despite being offered riches by the grateful king, he declined and gave the treasure to the poor.
The people of the city were astounded by what they had witnessed and embraced Christianity, becoming baptized.
The devotion to St. George is one of the most ancient and widely spread in the Church. In the East, a church of St. George is ascribed to Constantine, and his name is invoked in the most ancient liturgies; whilst in the West, Malta, Barcelona, Valencia, Arragon, Genoa, and England have chosen him as their patron.
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