St. George Patron Saint

St. George's Cross
19th-century icon of Patron St. George killing the dragon from Church of St George, Ain Bourdai, Lebanon. St. George is the patron saint of Beirut Lebanon.

19th-century icon of Patron St. George killing the dragon from Church of St George, Ain Bourdai, Lebanon.
St. George is the patron saint of Beirut Lebanon.

The intercession of saints is a common doctrine to the vast majority of the world's Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican and Roman Catholic religions. A number of Reformed Christian communities also use intercessory prayer to petition God on the behalf of others. The justification being that the saints are close to God and because of their holiness are accessible to humans. They are the example of chastity and devotion set before mankind.

Throughout the first three centuries of Christian history the faithful assembled in private homes, cemeteries or other private places. While there were opportunities to erect buildings uses for the sacred rites of religion, those buildings were not dedicated to the saints. They were referred to as the House of God, or Temple of God.

After Constantine granted peace to the church, sacred places were openly erected and the celebration of solemn rites became intimately associated where the bodies of martyrs reposed or where they had suffered. Constantine himself founded the great basilicas of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Lawrence, St. Sebastian and St. Agnes. These churches are referred to as 'cemeterial basilicas' because they were built over places of these saints' burial.

The title of the church has been reference to the name of the saint whose relics are placed beneath the altar of sacrifice. Such dedication was later extended to confessors and holy women who were not martyrs. These are better known as the 'communion of saints' or 'the bond of spiritual union existing between God's servants on earth, in heaven or purgatory. Thus, the 'communion of saints' is regarded as the advocates and intercessors of those on earth.

George of Lydda, a Roman soldier in the Guard of Emperor Diocletian is one of the most venerated saints, especially of the military, in all the churches. He is immortalized in the tale of 'George and the Dragon' and is one of the 'Fourteen Holy Helpers'. His memorial is celebrated on April 23rd.

St. George Patron Saint of Aragon, Catalonia, England, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia, as well as the cities of Amersfoort, Beirut, Bteghrine, Cáceres, Ferrara, Freiburg, Genoa, Ljubljana, Gozo, Pomorie, Qormi, Lod and Moscow. St. George the Patron Saint intercedes to Equestrians and Boy Scouts, a number of professions and organization and of course, the military.

St. George was born Cappadocia (eastern Turkey) and later moved to Lydda, Palestine which was his mother's ancestral home. He served many places throughout his life but did not become the patron saint of England until the soldiers returned from the Crusades declaring his aid in their battles.

Legend tells that St. George turned the Battle of Antioch for the Christians in 1099. He appeared at the head of a heavenly army of white horses. His followers displaced white banners and adopted him as the patron.

Some claim a red cross was in use in Britain long before St. George was born. The early Crusaders wore plain white tunics upon which a red cross was designed. This became known as the 'Cross of Saint George'. Eventually, the bold Red Cross was painted on the large banners armies carried into battle.

Richard Lionhearted was the first to take up the Red Cross of St. George as his personal banner. At the time English Crusaders wore white crosses, the French wore Red and the Flemings wore Green. The first known appearance of the flag of St. George was at the siege of Caerlaverock in 1300.

Both Edward I and Edward II flew the Banner of St. George in their wars against Scotland but it was not until Edward III that St. George became Saint George Patron Saint of England. Edward II ordered his soldiers to wear white Coats with Red Crosses over their armor, both face and back, in order to identify themselves in battle.

In 1415 English ships displayed St. George's Cross and in 1418 Henry V ordered his soldiers to wear the Red Cross.

In the French campaign of 1513 Henry VIII wore the Red Cross. His war cry was 'Saint George and St. George's banner was displayed. In 1552 Edward VI revised the Statutes of the Order of the Garter noting that St. George's name would no longer be used but the Red Cross would be kept because it had become the special ensign of the English soldiers.

The cross and dragon over a white background have become the primary object in many different St. George icons. The symbol of a slain dragon represents the defeat of Satan. Modern Russia interprets this symbol (or icon) as our constant struggle with evil. The Tretyakov Gallery, where many of the most famous St. George symbols are exhibited, displays St. George as the coat of arms of Moscow over its entrance.

Other representations & Symbols of St. George beyond the banner, the cross and the dragon include armor, buckler and horse.

The fame of St. George increased throughout Europe in 1265 by publication of the Legenda Aurea (The Golden Legend) by James of Voragine, a collection of stories which included that of George and the Dragon. Actual origin of the legend of George and the Dragon is unknown. It may have been begun by the Crusaders when they returned home but was not recorded until the sixth century. St. George was a prominent figure in the secular miracle plays performed in the springs of medieval times. Some hold the story to be a christianized version of the Greek legend of Perseus said to have rescued a princess near the Lydda where St. George's tomb is located.

Boy scouting has its origin in England in 1907 -08. General Robert Baden-Powell was one of few heroes to survive Britain's Boer War. He wrote the book 'Aids to Scouting' and was startled to discover many boys used the book as an aid to outdoor activities. He sought to convert his concepts of army scouting for men to 'peace concepts' for boys. He tested his theories on a group of boys on Brownsea Island in 1907 and that camp was so successful he rewrote his military book gearing it for boys.

In 1910 William Boyce, a Chicago publisher, founded the Boy Scouts of America (also known as Scouting USA). He organized the BSA as a business and incorporated the organization in Washington D.C.

In his 'Scouting for Boys, Baden-Powell referred to the Knights of the Round Table in the Arthurian Legend and to St. George who was the Knights' patron saint. He wrote, "He is also the Patron Saint of Scouts everywhere. Therefore all Scouts should know his story. St. George was typical of what a Scout should be. When he was faced by a difficulty or danger, however great it appeared, even in the shape of a dragon - he did not avoid it or fear it but went at it with all the power he could ... That is exactly the way a Scout should face a difficulty or danger no matter how great or how terrifying it may appear. He should go at it boldly and confidently, using every power that he can to try and overcome it and the probability is that he will succeed." From Baden-Powell, Scouting for Boys (1908)

Baden-Powell also had a favorite rhyme about the Patron Saint:

My warmest good wishes I am sending to you
And hoping that the winter is through
You will start out afresh to follow the lead
Of our Patron Saint George and his spirited steed;
Not only to tackle what ever my befall,
But also successfully to win through it all
And then may you have an enjoyable spell
Of hiking, and jolly good camping as well.

Saint George is also patron of:
against herpes
against leprosy
against plague
against skin diseases
against skin rashes
against syphilis
patron saint of Amersfoort, Netherlands
patron saint of Appignano del Tronto, Italy
patron saint of Aragon, Spain
patron saint of agricultural workers
patron saint of archers
patron saint of Arcole, Italy
patron saint of Beirut, Lebanon
patron saint of Boy Scouts
patron saint of butchers
patron saint of Canada
patron saint of Cappadocia
patron saint of Carpeneto, Italy
patron saint of Catalonia
patron saint of cavalry
patron saint of Cerreto Grue, Alessandria, Italy
patron saint of chivalry
patron saint of Constantinople
patron saint of Crusaders
patron saint of England (by Pope Benedict XIV)
patron saint of equestrians
patron saint of Ethiopia
patron saint of farmers
patron saint of Ferrara, Italy
patron saint of field hands
patron saint of field workers
patron saint of Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
patron saint of Genoa, Italy
patron saint of Georgia
patron saint of Germany
patron saint of Gozo, Malta
patron saint of Greece
patron saint of Haldern, Germany
patron saint of Heide, Germany
patron saint of Hone, Italy
patron saint of horsemen
patron saint of horses
patron saint of husbandmen
patron saint of Istanbul, Turkey
patron saint of knights
patron saint of lepers
patron saint of Limburg, Germany, diocese of
patron saint of Lithuania
patron saint of Malta
patron saint of Modica, Sicily, Italy
patron saint of Moscow, Russia
patron saint of Nerola, Italy
patron saint of Order of the Garter
patron saint of Palestine
patron saint of Palestinian Christians
patron saint of Portugal
patron saint of Ptuj, Slovenia
patron saint of Qormi, Malta
patron saint of Riano, Italy
patron saint of riders
patron saint of saddle makers
patron saint of saddlers
patron saint of Senj, Croatia
patron saint of sheep
patron saint of shepherds
patron saint of soldiers
patron saint of Teutonic Knights
patron saint of Venice, Italy
patron saint of Victoria, Gozo, Malta

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