Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Happy St George's Day


A very Happy Saint George's Day to all our English readers and to everyone of English descent.

"George was adopted as the patron saint of soldiers after he was said to have appeared to the Crusader army at the Battle of Antioch in 1098. Many similar stories were transmitted to the West by Crusaders who had heard them from Byzantine troops, and were circulated further by the troubadours. When Richard 1 was campaigning in Palestine in 1191-92 he put the army under the protection of St George."

Was Saint George stationed in Celtic Britain at Caerleon (Gwent) and Glastonbury? Certainly his adoption by the Crusaders as a Warrior who gave up his life for his Christian Faith led the returning Crusaders to promote him and eventually adopt him as the Patron Saint of Norman England.

Perhaps the fact that George the soldier saint replaced the Saxon martyr king, St Edmund, led to the flourish of military endeavours by the English, though perhaps he just added a patriotic seal to the wars with France and later to other wars too?

'I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:

Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge

Cry God for Harry, England and St George!'


Shakespeare's Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1, l. 31



Links:
St George's Patronage and More Links

St George by Michael Collins MA
Various Anglo-Saxon Texts Read Aloud

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