“Follow your spirit; and upon this charge, cry, “God for Harry, England and St. George!” (Henry V, Act III, Scene i)
23rd April, St. George’s Day – the patron saint of England. Surrounded by myths and legends! In all probability George was an officer in the Roman army who gave to the poor, and openly confessed his Christianity in court. George was martyred during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, in 304.
He became the patron saint of soldiers during the Crusades. Richard I called upon him for protection before the third Crusade in 1187. The red cross on a white background became the “uniform” of his crusaders and, in time, England’s national flag. He was personified as the ideal knight. Edward II made him patron of England in 1347. Shakespeare added to his reputation in Henry V’s speech before the battle of Agincourt.
Perhaps rather than myths of slaying dragons, we should remember George for his work helping the poor and openly confessing his Christian faith…..and follow his example.