April the 23rd of every year is England’s national holiday. Much the same as the Irish have St. Patrick’s, we English have the patron saint of St. George, but how many people know the story behind this gracious event? As each year goes by, we’ll hear about the annual calendar date in the news and that’ll be the end of it. St. George’s finished for another year. So in this feature we’ll be opening the story book to a time before, when George was just your average man.
And so the story goes, back in the middle ages, a knight named George scaled the earth for many miles until he found himself in Libya. Here he a met a wilted old fellow, a gentleman who was somewhat wise and with that, told George of the troubles in the country caused by a destructive dragon. The elder then went on to whisper ‘everyday, the beast demands the sacrifice of a beautiful, young damsel and many mistresses have fallen. The only woman that remains is the king if Egypt’s daughter and the man who can slay the ferocious burden will be wed to the sole princess.’ So, hoping on horseback, George shot off in a flash and all he had in mind was to conquer.
Galloping into the Kings land, the knight rode up to where the princess was about to be laid to her death and he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Laced head to toe in the most elegant of Arabian silk, the princess Sabra stood; a true image of beauty which would only spur George to defeat the bullying beast.
Suddenly the earth shook, a scream of a roar slapped across the sky and the dragon aggressively swooped from his cave. It struck eyes on George and hurled itself like an arrow dart towards the brave town. There, the knight pulled his long spear from his arsenal and launched it as hard as he could at the devil, but with no damage. Batting the stick off his strengthened scales like a minor fly, the spear smashed into a million pieces and left George in astoundment.
Building up his strength once more, George awaited as the dragon was flying over for another pass. Quickly he drew his blade from the holster and as the giant reptile came back down, the knight swung at its chest. He missed and with that, was engulfed in a sea of poison which was dropped from the dragon. This tore George’s armour into two and now he was exposed down to his red-crossed cloak.
He had one last chance, with this last swoop, the dragon could have two meals for the price of one or on the other hand, George could be next in line for the throne. So it was, the standoff began, Man v Beast. Flapping his wings furiously as though he was building a momentum, the scaled monster flew at George, the crowd held their breath and BOOM! A cloud of dust engulfed the town.
Out of discoloured smog, a mere shadow emerged. Championing his bloodied sword and crossed cloak, St. George arose. On the dirt laid the motionless beast, oozing with a wound from under his wing. The knight had pierced its weak spot and now, he was the hero of the Middle East. To wed the princess, he and the town folk danced around the dead dragon and from this day forward, he was known as St. George.
Many people now say that George, being an immigrant to England, is the pinnacle of our multi culturist community in our country, as well as being a key symbol of our bravery. Not only that, the fearless knight represents so many of our European cousin’s being the patron saint of Greece, Bulgaria and many more.
So next time a person asks whether you know the story of our saint, you can slay them down with your words of wisdom. Happy St. George’s day.