Happy St George’s Day!

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Facts of St George’s life have passed through the centuries growing in legend and myth. However, he must have been some character in his lifetime for his reputation to have survived for almost 1,700 years!

There are many accounts giving what are believed to be the facts outlining the life of England’s Patron Saint. Below are the widely accepted ‘facts’ of St George’s life.

  • St George was born to Christian parents in A.D. 270 (3rd Century) in Cappadocia, now Eastern Turkey
  • He moved to Palestine with his Mother and became a Roman soldier, rising to the high rank of Tribunus Militum
  • However, he later resigned his military post and protested against his pagan leader, the Emperor Diocletian (245-313 AD), who led Rome’s persecution of Christians
  • His rebellion against the Emperor resulted in his imprisonment, but even after torture he stayed true to his faith
  • The enraged Diocletian had St George dragged through the streets of Nicomedia, Turkey, on the 23rd of April 303 AD and had him beheaded
  • The Emperor’s wife was so inspired by St George’s bravery and loyalty to his religion, that she too became a Christian and was subsequently executed for her faith

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The History of St George’s Day

  • In 1222 the Council of Oxford declared April 23rd to be St George’s Day
  • It was not until 1348 that St George became the Patron Saint of England
  • In 1415, St George’s Day was declared a national feast day and holiday in England
  • However, after the union with Scotland at the end of the 18th Century, the tradition diminished and since has not been widely acknowledged and is no longer a national holiday
  • Traditional customs were to fly the St George’s flag and wear a red rose in one’s lapel
  • The hymn ‘Jerusalem’ was also sung on the 23rd April, or the nearest Sunday to that date, in churches across the nation

The 23 April 1616 was also the date of the death of the English playwright William Shakespeare. UNESCO marked this historic date by declaring it the International Day of the Book

Mooooo

xxx

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