Saint George is the patron saint of England. He’s popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry – but actually he wasn’t English at all.
Why is it that we don’t celebrate our patron saint’s day in the same way as the Irish? Why aren’t we in the streets dressed in red and white, wearing a rose and waving the St George Cross? Oh, I forget, we reserve that for the football World Cup. And we all know how successful that is.
Perhaps it is time we had a new saint for England, after all this chap came from Cappadocia, now Turkey, and has no direct connection with England. Very little, if anything, is known about the real Saint George and he obviously hasn’t caught the imagination of the English. George’s reputation grew with the returning crusaders. A miracle appearance, when it was claimed that he appeared to lead crusaders into battle, is recorded in stone over the south door of a church at Fordington in Dorset. This still exists and is the earliest known church in England to be dedicated to Saint George.
April 23 was named as Saint George’s day in 1222 replacing St Edmund who gave his name to the Suffolk town of Bury St Edmunds. Perhaps it is time to reinstate him?
What are your thoughts? Do you celebrate St George’s Day? Should it be a national holiday? Should we have a new patron saint of England? If so who would you choose?