23rd April 2022

Today is the anniversary of the date generally venerated to Saint George of Lydda. The patron saint of many countries, including England Catalonia and Georgia, he is of course most renowned, probably erroneously, as the brave knight who saved a damsel in distress from the terrible fate of being roasted alive by a dragon. More correctly, and in common with many another blessed soul, he was martyred, in April 303, for refusing to recant his beliefs during one of the last pre-Constantinian persecutions. His bones are interred in the Church of Saint George, Lod, Israel.

His representation as a figure head for bravery, stubbornness, reliability, is much promulgated within military circles. His name itself, Saint George, was used as a battle cry throughout much of the middle ages, when expressions of esprit de corps we much needed to uplift the spirits of soldiers about to give there all for sovereign and country. To this day his image is well represented in the stained-glass windows of churches, as an exaltation of faithfulness.

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