St George the myth, the legend, the truth?

What better way to be celebrating the patron Saint of England than sitting on the throne of my newly built wheelchair accessible bathroom 🚽 happy at the finished room. I will add some sneak previews of it shortly!

I got to thinking about St George, legend has it he rid England of the last Dragon and became a national hero in doing so. I love stories like this because it has the whole mythological dragons and intrigue to the story. It captivated my interest as a primary school child and made think what a great Saint to have as your Patron Saint. As I grew older my love of history and or historical faction like the Bernard Cornwell and Simon Scarrow novels my interest in the truth bethind the mystery.

This took me to what is now Eastern Turkey, the birth place of St George. The story goes that he was born a Christian in 270AD, and at the age of 17 joined the Roman Army. His battles became the stuff of legends as he helped defeat many armies and eventually served under a Pagan Emperor. He never forgot his Christian routes and stood up against the rulers once the persecution of Christians began. Emperor Diocletian tried to get him to relinquish his beliefs and it is said that he was tortured but never did change his beliefs. Eventually he was beheaded on 23rd April 303 near Lydda in modern day Palestine.

In 1222 April 23rd was declared as St George’s day and he was taken to be the Patron Saint of England in the 14th century replacing St Edmund the Martyr. In 1415 April 23rd was made a national feast day. St George is also the Patron Saint of a number of other countries including Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Russia and Palestine to name a few. He is also the Saint of regions and cities across the globe. He is also the Saint of soldiers, scouts, archers, farmers and field workers to name a few and it is said he brings relief to those suffering from the plague, leprosy and syphilis.

So there you have it a little bit of myth, legend and history. It is perhaps to me a little ironic that in the late 20th and early 21st centuries that many far right extreme English factions have tried to claim the flag of St George and this day as some sort of bigoted anti rest of the world England should renounce all other countries symbol of hatred. When history itself shows us that he wasn’t born in England, he is the patron Saint of many other countries and cultures and if anything is the perfect embodiment of respect and acceptance of others and other cultures. So when I say I am proud to be celebrating St George’s Day and when I fly the flag of St George celebrating my English heritage (which itself has dubious tracings to overseas as do many other “English” people giving the fact we are an island that has been invaded through history) I do it with a true understanding of history, of knowing when and how St George was adopted by England to be their patron Saint and more importantly happy in the knowledge that for me St George stands for acceptance of others, tolerance or others, understanding of others and most importantly of all alongside other nations and am happy of the demographic we have in the UK and I will not let extremists take this day, or flag away from me and it’s true meaning.

Thank Mel Jay for the image x


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