Saint George (d. c.303), patron of England. Churches were dedicated to him in Jerusalem and Antioch in the 6th century and from early times he was invoked as patron of the Byzantine armies. Numerous icons of him portrayed him as a powerful helper against evil powers affecting individual lives.
The name George in Spanish is ‘Jorge’ and ‘Jordi’ (Catalonia, Spain). His Feast Day is April 23rd.
The famous story of George and the Dragon became immensely popular in the West through the Golden Legend, translated and printed by Caxton. The dragon, a local pest which terrorized the whole country, poisoned with its breath all who approached it. One day, the princess is offered as a victim, the monarch pleads for her life to be spared, but to no avail.
She is offered to the dragon, but there appears Saint George on his travels. He faces the dragon, protects himself with the sign of the cross, and slays the dragon in the heart. From the dragon’s blood, out comes a rose, and he rescues the princess. The grateful citizens abandon their ancestral paganism and convert to Christianity. George killed the dragon and 15,000 men were baptized. George would take no reward, but asked the king to maintain churches, honour individuals, and show compassion to the poor.
In Catalonia, it’s a custom on Saint Jordi’s day for men to gift women roses, and women gift men with a book.
Saint George is the patron saint of various countries, among them Aragon, Catalonia, England, Ehtiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia, as well as the cities of Beirut, Caceres, Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro. As well as a wide range of professions and organizations.
In my family, my brother’s name is Jorge, my son is Jordi (Catalan) my nephew is Jorge Julian, and my dad is Jorge (now in heaven)!
Linda F. Torres