|Classic image of Saint George on his white charger|
slaying the dragon
Anyhow, it came as a surprise to learn it was St George's Day and it seems I'm not alone. Apparently, we English are reknown for our lethargy when it comes to celebrating the national saint's day. So to redress the balance, here are some facts about St George.
|St George by Raphael|
- George is attributed with killing the dragon on the appropriately named, Dragon Hill in Uffinton, Berkshire. Legend has it that no grass will grow where the dragon's blood was spilt (hmm, perhaps a dragon was slain in my back garden.)
- It is unlikely George actually slayed a dragon, (indeed it is unlikely George even set foot in England) but he was first credited with doing this in the 12th century. In the Middle Ages the Devil was commonly represented as a dragon, so one explanation could be that the legend was a figurtive story of good vs evil.
- Another explanation for the story of George, on a white horse, killing the dragon, is that it was a christianisation of the Greek legend of Perseus rescuing Andromeda from a sea monster near Lydda.
|Saint George by Peter Paul Rubens|
- could almost be a zombie in there somewhere...
- Apart from withstanding torture for his faith, the religious acts attributed to George are scarce. In fact, Pope Gelasius described him thus:
"... whose name is rightly reverenced amongst us, but whose actions are known only to God."
|Tintoretto's versiou of Saint George|
So - did you remember St George's day, or like me, did you forget...or were you too busy racing wheelbarrows (really must ask my Mum about that one!)
|And this is our very own dragon (of the Bearded variety)-|
strictly no dragon slaying in our house ...only feeding, bathing