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How did St George become the patron saint of England?

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You can thank Shakespeare for this.

St Edmund was the first patron saint of England.


William Shakespeare firmly placed St George within the national conscience in his play Henry V in which the English troops are rallied with the cry “God for Harry, England and St George,” and Edmund Spenser included St. George (Redcross Knight) as a central figure in his epic poem The Faerie Queen.


Saint George (ca. 275/281 – 23 April 303) was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, and the Eastern Catholic Churches. He is immortalized in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. His memorial is celebrated on 23 April, and he is regarded as one of the most prominent military saints.


the Golden Legend, a dragon makes its nest at the spring that provides water for the city of "Silene" (perhaps modern Cyrene) in Libya or the city of Lydda, depending on the source. Consequently, the citizens have to dislodge the dragon from its nest for a time, in order to collect water. To do so, each day they offer the dragon at first a sheep, and if no sheep can be found, then a maiden must go instead of the sheep. The victim is chosen by drawing lots. One day, this happens to be the princess. The monarch begs 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,[25] slays the dragon, and rescues the princess. The grateful citizens abandon their ancestral paganism and convert to Christianity.


More on St George in the Wikipedia

Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Saint_George article (authors)
Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Patronages_of_Saint_George article (authors)

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