St Georges Day – A Quick Guide
April 23rd, 2006 · 1 Comment
A English celebration day today. If you have no idea what this is about, and I think the majority of my readers are American, then read on:
“There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England.” Sir Winston Churchill
He was born around 280 AD, although a decorated military leader George was Christian. Not exactly approved of in Roman times. Under increasing Roman persicution George refused to renounce his Christianity, he rebelled against the Emporer Diocietian aiding other Christians as much as possible. George’s reputation grew and the number of his followers around him, Diocietian chose to act.
St George, having defended his faith was beheaded at Nicomedia near Lyddia in Palestine on the 23rd of April in the year 303 AD.
Stories of St. George’s courage soon spread and his reputation grew very quickly. He soon became known in Russia and the Ukraine as the Trophy Bearer and his remains are said to have been buried in the church that bears his name in Lydda. However, his head was carried to Rome, where it was preserved in the Church that is also dedicated to him.
St George was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church and is recognised in the liturgy of the Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Churches as well as the Roman Catholic Church. He has been revered in the Ukraine since Christianity was established in 988 AD by Volodymyr the Great the Prince of the Kyivan empire. The Romanesque Monastic order in Prague established St. George’s Church in the Castle in the year 920AD and in the year 1119 AD the Cathedral of St George was founded in Novgorod. His reputation for virtue and chivalrous conduct became the spiritual inspiration of the Crusaders and by this time the pennant or flag with a red cross on a white or silver background became prominent as a means of recognition by English Knights. It was also worn on breast plates.
In the year 1348 King Edward Ill established the Knights of the Garter, which is the oldest order of Chivalry in Europe. The Order of the Garter was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Edward the Confessor and St George. The Insignia of the order consists of a collar and badge appendant known as the George, the Star, the Garter and the Sash with the Investment Badge called the lesser George. This is a gold and richly enamelled representation of St George on horseback slaying the dragon.
So now you know.