St George: Facts About the Patron Saint of England

Here are some facts about St George.

  • St George is the patron saint of England, as well as many other countries, including Greece, Portugal and Lithuania. He is famous for supposedly killing a dragon.
  • He was a real person who was born in Palestine in 280 AD and joined the Roman army. He was executed in his early 20s for refusing to offer a sacrifice to the Roman Gods.

  • The legend of St George and the dragon began in the 11th century. The dragon may have represented the Devil or pagan cults, while St George represented Christianity.
  • Because the story was similar to an English legend, he became England’s patron saint. George’s fame was assured when King Edward III made him saint of the Order of the Garter (an order of knights) in the 14th century.
  • St George has also become the patron saint of soldiers, archers, butchers, farmers and boy scouts. He is also the saint of those suffering from the plague and leprosy.
  • There are 365 churches named after St George in the country of Georgia. According to local legend, his body was cut into 365 pieces after he was killed in battle.
  • St George’s Church in Fordington, Dorset is the oldest English church dedicated to the saint. A stone carving over the door depicts him leading soldiers into battle.
  • St George’s Day is April 23rd, the date of his death. The holiday is celebrated in several countries and has been observed in England since the 15th century.

St George

  • The tomb of St George can supposedly be seen near Tel Aviv in Israel. A convent in Egypt claims to have several of his personal possessions.
  • The George Cross was introduced in 1940 for extreme acts of heroism, and is often given to civilians. The silver cross shows George killing the dragon and was given to the island of Malta during World War 2.