Obaby's Top Facts: St. George

With St George’s day upon us, at Obaby HQ we had a bit of a realisation that we weren’t as clued up on England’s dragon-destroying patron saint as we probably should be, so we did a bit of research and found some interesting (and suprising!) facts and information:

Despite being the patron saint of England, St George never actually set foot in England at all, he was born in Turkey in the 3rd century, where he became a Roman soldier who bravely protested against Rome’s persecution of the Christians

Although many of us see St George as part of our English heritage, he is also the patron saint of a variety of other countries and places including Catalonia, Aragon, Russia, Bavaria, Beirut, Czechoslovakia, Portugal, Lithuania, Hungary and Ethiopia

The country of Georgia is named after St George and has 365 Orthodox churches named after him too, one for each day of the year

St George’s emblem is a red cross on a white background, which has also become the English flag. The first King to adopt the design was Richard the Lion Heart in the 12th century, who had his army wear it in on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle

Before St George was given the title in the 1400’s, St Edmund the Martyr was regarded as England’s patron saint as well as the patron saint of kings!

Probably the most widely known story about St George is perhaps the most unlikely – that he bravely slayed a dragon in order to save a princess. It is believed that the English took to this story so strongly because it was extremely similar to an old Anglo-Saxon tale of the day, helping give the Saint the iconic and legendary status he has today

Whether or not George slayed a dragon, his bravery can’t be questioned. It is widely believed that after protesting to the Romans about their unfair treatment of the Christians he was imprisoned and tortured, with some saying he was even crushed between two spiked wheels and boiled in molten lead. He was eventually beheaded in Palestine, but is believed to have stuck to his beliefs throughout

St George is also the patron saint of scouting, soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and fieldworkers, riders and saddlers and even drinking (a perfect excuse for a St George’s day knees up).


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