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George, Martyr. Patron Saint of England. Feast Day 23rd April.
Few historical facts about St. George can be established. He was most likely born in Syria Palaestina (a Roman province) and martyred in Lydda (near modern day Tel Aviv) around 303AD before the time of Constantine. He has been honoured for this from the earliest centuries. The Church of St. George in Lod (Israel) which houses a tomb said to be that of the saint has been the site of a shrine and devotion dating back to the 4th Century.
The stories of dragon slaying to embellish his actions arose almost a thousand years after his death. They symbolise his life and martyrdom for his faith vanquishing evil.
He is patron of several countries and states including: England, Portugal, Germany, Catalonia, Venice. He is also patron of Soldiers and Boy Scouts.
"When we look at the lives of those who have faithfully followed Christ, we are inspired with a new reason for seeking the city which is to come" (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 50)
Original artwork by the Benedictine Sisters of Turvey Abbey.
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