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Martyr. Patron Saint of England (also Catalonia and Serbia). Dates back to 4th Century.

Originally a Roman solder, Georgius, put to death for refusing to kill Christians. He later became a saint, who absorbed pagan warror archetypes within the early Church. As such he was taken as a patron by Crusaders, who wore his colours of a white robe and red cross.

At some stage, possibly in 10th century Xtian Palestine he had been equated with Perseus and his Quest. Particularly the battle with the Triton sea-monster. In Europe, after his adoption by Crusaders, this associated him with pagan Dragon slayers, and the story of George and the Dragon was born.

St George also became a figure of folklore where his battle with the dragon appears in Mumming Plays as the battle between Spring and the Winter.

The dragon myth was used by some Xtian propagandists to symbolise victory over 'darkness', be this intepreted as 'evil', 'suffering', 'winter' or 'pagans' and 'heretics'

Worse still the archetype became a national totem in various places and became a icon of right wing nationalism. The inversion of the original image.

St George was a really hard guy to kill. According to Catholic tradition (although not according to official church doctrine) George was chopped into small pieces, buried alive, and consumed by fire, only to be brought back to life by God each time. When he was finally killed by decapitation, milk flowed from his neck instead of blood.

He had some cool tricks, too, including raising the dead so they could be baptised, converting hundreds of people at a time, destroying armies and idols instantaneously through the power of his faith, and making dead beams of timber suddenly burst into leaf.

Despite an understandably incredulous stance on all this from the Holy Mother Church, he was canonized anyway by Pope Gelasius in 495, who included him among those saints "whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose actions are only known to God".

The dragon story didn't come into play until the twelfth or thirteenth century, many hundreds of years after George's canonization, and the church does not recognize the killing of a dragon among his saintly deeds.

St George's Day is celebrated on 23 April.

OK, most of the information is already there so I'll just do a little about his death.

St. George was a Roman soldier, who was also martyred by the Romans in about AD 350. During the Middle Ages stories appeared telling how he rescued a king's daughter from a dragon (Which is where the stereotypical damsel in distress comes from). He became the patron saint of England and of Spain as well.

The thing that most people don't know is how he died, its pretty disgusting though. First he was hanged, not until death though. Then he was nailed to an oaken table and crucified. Following this he was boiled in lead and then decapitated. The Romans did this because he was a Christian.

England has since adopted his flag, a red cross against a white field as their countries flag.

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