Saint George is the patron of Scouting.
His feast day is April 23rd.


Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to rescue a beautiful lady.  The dragon stands for wickedness.  The lady stands for God's holy truth.  St. George was a brave martyr who was victorious over the devil.

He was a soldier in the army of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, and he was one of the Emperor's favorite soldiers.  Diocletian was a pagan and a bitter enemy to the Christians.  He put to death every Christian he could find.  George was a brave man of God.  Without fear, he went to the Emperor and sternly scolded him for being so cruel.  Then he gave up his position in the Roman army.  For this he was tortured in many terrible ways and finally beheaded.

So boldly daring and so cheerful was St. George in declaring his Faith and in dying for it that Christians felt courage when they heard about it.  Many songs and poems were written about this martyr.  Soldiers, especially, have always been devoted to him. 

We all have some "dragon" we have to conquer.  It might be pride, or anger, or laziness, or greediness, or something else.  Let us make sure we fight against these "dragons", with God's help.



THE LEGEND OF SAINT GEORGE AND THE DRAGON

The best known form of the legend of St. George and the Dragon is that made popular by the "Legenda Aurea", and translated into English by Caxton.  According to this, a terrible dragon had ravaged all the country round a city of Libya, called Selena, making its lair in a marshy swamp.  Its breath caused pestilence whenever it approached the town, so the people gave the monster two sheep every day to satisfy its hunger, but, when the sheep failed, a human victim was necessary and lots were drawn to determine the victim.  On one occasion the lot fell to the king's little daughter.  The king offered all his wealth to purchase a substitute, but the people had pledged themselves that no substitutes should be allowed, and so the maiden, dressed as a bride, was led to the marsh.  There St. George chanced to ride by, and asked the maiden what she did, but she bade him leave her lest he also might perish.  The good knight stayed, however, and, when the dragon appeared, St. George, making the sign of the cross, bravely attacked it and transfixed it with his lance.  Then asking the maiden for her girdle (an incident in the story which may possibly have something to do with St. George's selection as patron of the Order of the Garter), he bound it round the neck of the monster, and thereupon the princess was able to lead it like a lamb.  They then returned to the city, where St. George bade the people have no fear but only be baptized, after which he cut off the dragon's head and the townsfolk were all converted.  The king would have given George half his kingdom, but the saint replied that he must ride on, bidding the king meanwhile take good care of God's churches, honor the clergy, and have pity on the poor.  The earliest reference to any such episode in art is probably to be found in an old Roman tombstone at Conisborough in Yorkshire, considered to belong to the first half of the twelfth century.   There the princess is depicted as already in the dragon's clutches, while an abbot stands by and blesses the rescuer.
Click here to see Saint of the Day's presentation on St. George.