Saint George is the patron Saint of the UK, most commonly known for slaying a dragon – a story which has led him to be painted in a brave and gallant light. But did you know, St. George wasn’t actually British? In fact, it’s highly unlikely that he ever even set foot on English soil.
Here are 10 other facts about the Patron Saint you may, or may not, know.
- St. George was born in Cappadocia, an area now in Turkey, in the 3rd Century AD.
- His parents were Christian and St. George maintained his Christian faith up until his final days when he was beheaded by the Pagan emperor for refusing to give it up.
- St. George was a Roman soldier who resigned from his post for the same reasons noted above.
- It is said that the Emperor’s wife was so inspired by St. George’s gallantry that she turned Christian – a choice she was also subsequently executed for.
- April 23rd is traditionally accepted as the day in which St. George was killed in AD 303. The anniversary of his death falls on the same day as the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
- The UK flag is based on St. George’s cross.
- St. George is also the Patron Saint of Aragon, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia.
- The country Georgia is even named after St. George.
- The Golden Legend about St. George slaying a dragon was first credited to St. George in the 12th Century.
- George was adopted as an English Saint because The Golden Legend story was similar to an Anglo-Saxon legend.