Feast Day: April 23
Patron Saint of: Boy Scouts, England, soldiers
We know with certainty very little about the life of
As the legend goes, there was a small town in
Libya called Sylene. It was in a swamp near that
city that a ferocious beast lived. The villagers
were at the mercy of this dragon and unless they
kept it constantly fed, it would ravage the town. So
insatiable was the appetite of this creature, that
the town's entire livestock had eventually been
depleted, leaving only the townsfolk as a food
source. The town, in fear of this creature, drew
lots for the sacrifice.
A young Cappadocian knight named George was riding
through Libya where he came upon the city just when
the king's daughter had drawn the unfortunate lot.
This young soldier made a deal with the king that he
would slay the dragon in exchange for the entire
town's conversion to Christianity. The king was
quick to agree, not thinking that this young soldier
had much of a chance; if nothing else, it would
delay the inevitable with his beloved daughter.
George was good to his word, slaying the dragon by
lance. So too was the town good to their promise, as
some fifteen-thousand were baptized.
Later in life, as the legend goes, Saint George
defied a Roman Emperor who demanded that all
Christian clergy make sacrifices to pagan gods. For
this public defiance, Saint George was thrown into a
dungeon, tortured and martyred around the year 304