Richard the Lionheart

Saint George’s Day

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Today, 23 November is Saint George’s day in Georgia. Here it is a national holiday, many people go to church, like my wife did, to celebrate.

In England, too, there is Saint George’s Day but in England it falls on 23rd April, which despite also being the birthday of William Shakespeare (arguably the most famous Englishman ever) is not a national holiday. Saint George was a Roman, living in Palestine, who as a Christian was tortured and killed for his beliefs, the emperor Diocletian having issued an edict that Christian soldiers should be arrested and offer sacrifices to the Roman gods of the time. Saint George was adopted by the English as their  patron saint by Richard Coeur de Lion, our French speaking king, who painted the cross of St George onto his shield to protect him in the Crusades.

The slaying of dragons is the stuff of myth, but may have been popular with the English as the dragon was a symbol of Wales, England’s first colony.

We will celebrate by having a meal in a restaurant with Khato’s colleagues.

Saint George is also patron saint of Egypt, Portugal and Iraq …and Preston …and skin diseases.