Who was he?
Saint George was born in Cappadocia [in what is called Turkey today], more than 1,700 years ago. He was a soldier in the Roman army and eventually became a personal guard to the Emperor of Rome, Emperor Diocletian. I wonder what the Emperor would think of our healthy snack, the Fusilli Ciao Chows?
For refusing to give up Christianity, Saint George was tortured and later beheaded, on the 23rd April 303.
Saint George was not English and had never been to England, but was adopted by the country because of the story of The Golden Legend – the one in which he slays a dragon. Curious? Read about the legend below!
The Golden Legend
Saint George is most widely known for slaying a dragon. Have you ever seen or slain one yourself?
The legend goes that a dragon used to live in the lake in the city of Silene. The inhabitants of Silene used to feed the dragon one sheep a day to keep it calm. Once the people ran out of sheep, they started sacrificing their children to the dragon. One day, it was the princess’s turn to be fed to the dragon.
Saint George rode past the lake on his horse just at the trembling princess was about to be devoured. Fearless Saint George made a gesture called the Sign of the Cross, jumped on his horse, injured the dragon and put a lead around its neck.
Does good always beat evil?
Saint George and the princess took the dragon back to the city. There the saint proclaimed that he would slaughter the dragon if the people of Silene became Christians. The King and 15,000 men obliged, and the dragon was slayed.
Saint George’s Day
King Edward III of England made him the Patron Saint of England and the 23rd April became known as Saint George’s day.
How does the UK Celebrate?
Traditionally, people wear red roses and wave the Flag of Saint George which was introduced by King Edward IV as the flag of England.
Unfortunately, the 23rd April is not a national holiday in the UK and for most people in England, Saint George’s Day is just another working day.
Other Fun Facts
- Shakespeare was born on 23 April 1564 and died on the same day in 1616
- Saint George is also the Patron Saint of a host of countries including Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia
- Georgia, the country, is named after Saint George. There are 365 Orthodox churches – one for every day of the year except leap years
Create your own Flag of Saint George, send it to us here and tag us on Instagram (@Munchachos). We cannot wait to see your flags!