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St. George

Patron of Soldiers, Equestrians, England, and Catalunya

We all have some "dragon" we need to conquer.  It might be pride, or anger, or greed ... or perhaps an addiction.   With God's help we can fight these "dragons" ... and then we can truly call ourselves Soldiers of Christ.

St. George chaplet with Swarovski crystal and Ventian lampwork

This powerful decima chaplet features a magnificent 1.5" openwork medal, cast from an antique, of legendary image of St. George astride his horse, slaying the dragon.  Above the medal is a handmade Venetian lampwork bead, ruby glass armored with metal leaf.  The Ave beads are magnificent 10mm Swarovski crystals, ablaze with Siam Red.

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St. George chaplet with vintage glass and handmade lampwork

This powerful decima features a magnificent 1.5" openwork medal, cast in sterling from an antique, of the legendary image of St. George astride his horse, slaying the dragon.

Above the medal is a vermeil-capped handmade lampwork bead, swirling with ribbons of vermillion, sapphire, granite, and jet. The Ave beads are vintage glass, in 9mm red opaque octagonals with granite picasso caps. Swarovski spacers echo the sapphire of the Pater bead.


Novena in Honor of St George

Preparatory Prayer

Almighty and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy divine Son.

Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saving, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen.


Prayer in Honor of St. George
O God, who didst grant to Saint George strength and constancy in the various torments which he sustained for our holy faith; we beseech Thee to preserve, through his intercession, our faith from wavering and doubt, so that we may serve Thee with a sincere heart faithfully unto death. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Invocation of St. George
Faithful servant of God and invincible martyr, Saint George; favored by God with the gift of faith, and inflamed with an ardent love of Christ, thou didst fight valiantly against the dragon of pride, falsehood, and deceit. Neither pain nor torture, sword nor death could part thee from the love of Christ. I fervently implore thee for the sake of this love to help me by thy intercession to overcome the temptations that surround me, and to bear bravely the trials that oppress me, so that I may patiently carry the cross which is placed upon me; and let neither distress nor difficulties separate me from the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Valiant champion of the Faith, assist me in the combat against evil, that I may win the crown promised to them that persevere unto the end.
My Lord and my God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.

Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.


"The virtues associated with St George, such as
courage, honour and fortitude in defence of the Christian faith,
indeed remain as important as ever."

by Michael Collins
for Britannia Internet Magazine

Who was Saint George?

The life of Saint George is shrouded in legend, so much so that it is quite difficult to untangle fact from fiction. Much of the problem lies in the Acta Sancti Georgii (Acts of Saint George) written at a very early date and outlawed by Pope Gelasius in AD 496. Meanwhile the Greeks also had a set of Acts which were more accurate and quoted by Saint Andrew of Crete.

From them and the writings of Metaphrastes, we can piece together that he was born in Cappadocia of noble, Christian parents and on the death of his father, accompanied his mother to Palestine, her country of origin, where she had land and George was to run the estate. He was martyred at Lydda in Palestine (Nicomedia). He held an important post in the Roman army - the rank of tribune, or perhaps colonel in modern terms - during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian (245-313). Dioclesian was a great persecutor of Christians (from about 302) and when the persecutions began George put aside his office and complained personally to the Emperor of the harshness of his decrees and the dreadful purges of Christians. For his trouble, though, he was thrown into prison and tortured. He would not recant his faith however and the following day he was dragged through the streets and beheaded. It is uncertain whether he also tore down the Emperor's decrees as they were posted in Nicomedia. So he was one of the first to perish. The Emperor's wife, Alexandria was so impressed at the Saint's courage that she became a Christian and so too was put to death for her trouble.

The Legends

The legends surrounding Saint George are varied. One of them concerns the famous dragon, with which he is invariably portrayed. According to legend, a pagan town in Libya was being terrorized by a dragon. The locals kept throwing sheep to it to placate it, and when it still remained unsatisfied, they started sacrificing some of the citizenry. Finally the local princess was to be thrown also to the beast, but Good Saint George came along, slaughtered the dragon and rescued the fair princess.  At this the townsfolk converted to Christianity.  At the point where the dying beast's blood soaked into the soil, a bush of red roses miraculously sprang up, and St. George has ever since been closely associated with red roses and fire-breathing dragons.

The origin of the legend, which is very well known, came originally from the way in which the Greek Church honored George.

They venerated him as a soldier saint and told many stories of his bravery and protection in battle. The western Christians, joining with the Byzantine Christians in the Crusades, elaborated and misinterpreted the Greek traditions and devised their own version. The story we know today of Saint George and the dragon dates from the troubadours of the 14th century.

The reason for his being adopted as the Saint of Battles was partly because he was a soldier, but also because he is said to have appeared to the Christian army before the Battle of Antioch. It is also said that he appeared to our English King Richard I (the Lionheart) during his Crusade against the Saracens, which served as a great encouragement to the troops.

The Meaning of the Symbols

The symbols explained are that the Dragon represented satan and the Princess represented the Christian Church. Saint George rescued the pagans from evil by vanquishing it and saved the Church from being devoured by the insatiable forces of darkness.

The Cult of Saint George

The cult of Saint George goes back a long way - certainly to the 4th century. The Syrian Church held him in great esteem. The church of Saint George In Velabro - (The Veil of Gold) - Rome, dating from about that time was built. Saint Clothilde, in Gaul dedicated a church to him; in Venice, he is the second patron after Saint Mark; the Greeks hold him in honour. And in 1222 the Council of Oxford appointed 23rd April as his Feast Day. He became the English Patron Saint in 14th Century and he became associated with the Order of the Garter.

The picture (above) shows
Louis IX departing on his Crusade.

He is also the patron saint of Moscow in Russia , and of Georgia which bears his name, and of Aragon . He was, until 18th century, patron of Portugal (when they broke from Spain in 12th century, they had to choose a new patron: their acquaintance with the English in the Crusades confirmed George as the natural successor. He remains to this day still "in charge" of the army), although Our Lady is the Protectress of the Country now.  St George is patron saint of Aragon.

St George is also the patron saint of Catalonia, and his festivity is much celebrated here. In fact, the Catalonian people add their own tradition to this popular celebration. The legend here is that when St George killed the dragon, he gave the maiden a red rose ... As a result, on the 23rd of April, especially in Barcelona City, it is traditional for men to give their girlfriend/fiancée/wife a red rose, and the lady in question corresponds by returning a book. You could say that here St. George is more popular than St. Valentine!

Others mention the cult of St George in other places and traditions: The Coptic Church for example; the Island of Gozo , part of the Malta archipelago, where high festivities take place yearly each 3rd week in July.


The Seige of Harfleur 1415

"I see you Stand like greyhounds
in the slips,
Straining upon the Start.
The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge
Cry "God for Harry! England!
and Saint George!"

Shakespeare, Henry V (1599) act 3, sc. 1, l. 31

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