ST GEORGE , A HERO OF THE TRUE FAITHSaint George is popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry, but actually he wasn’t English at all. Very little is known about the man who became St George.Quick Facts about St George: Born in Turkey 3rd century (in Cappadocia) His parents were Christian, Became a Roman soldier. Protested against Rome's persecution of Christians. Imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith. Beheaded at Lydda in Palestine. At the age of seventeen he joined the Roman army and soon became renowned for his bravery. He served under a pagan Emperor but never forgot his Christian faith.When the pagan Emperor Diocletian started persecuting Christians, St. George pleaded with the Emperor to spare their lives. However, St. George's pleas fell on deaf ears and it is thought that the Emperor Diocletian tried to make St. George deny his faith in Christ, by torturing him. St George showed incredible courage and faith and was finally beheaded near Lydda in Palestine on 23 April, 303. A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra and Athanasius, a pagan priest, to become Christians as well, and so they joined George in martyrdom. His body was returned to Lydda in Palestine for burial, where Christians soon came to honour him as a martyr.In 1222, the Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be St George’s Day and he replaced St Edmund the Martyr as England’s patron saint in the 14th century. In 1415, April 23 was made a national feast day.In his play Henry V, William Shakespeare famously invokes the Saint at Harfleur prior to the battle of Agincourt (1415): "Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'" At Agincourt many believed they saw him fighting on the English side!
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