|Black Country and Staffordshire enjoy parades celebrating St George’s Day|
Happy St. George’s Day if you are English. He’s the patron saint of England and his red and white crossed flag has long stood for England’s supremacy.
Yet St. Patrick was far more British than he. St. George was born in Syria around 275 AD and never set foot in England. St.Patrick was born in Wales.
George was born to a Christian family and became a great warrior. Roman emperors tried to get him to denounce his Christianity but he refused to and he eventually died a martyr.
When it came time for the Crusades, George became an obvious saint to rally around, being from that neighborhood.
He became especially worshiped in Britain where by the 14th century he was very much the patron saint of the land.
Even when the Reformation hit and Catholicism was banished, St. George’s Day remained intact, a clear example of his popularity.
St. George and the Dragon is the motif most people associate with him. The tale is that there was a dragon threatening a state and each day it demanded more and more sacrifice.
George eventually killed the dragon because the dragon's next victim was a princess and George loved her.
Or so it goes. Most see it as a symbolic tale about George slaying the pagans.
Anyway, the British will celebrate, but hardly with the ferocity that we do with St. Patrick.
When it comes to patron saints I think the Irish have definitely got the better of this one.