On this St George’s Day, the NHPUK honours the legacy of St George, the patron saint of England, whose courage and steadfastness continues to inspire us. Celebrated on the 23rd of April, this day commemorates the valour of St George and his enduring symbol of bravery and righteousness.

St George’s Day takes us back to the 3rd century AD, to the life of a man born in Cappadocia, now occupied, along with other previously Christian lands, by the Turkish Republic, and who later became a revered figure in England and beyond. Although he did not visit England, St George’s reputation for virtue and holiness spread far and wide, eventually leading to his adoption as England’s patron saint.

The legend of St George slaying a dragon is a powerful allegory of good triumphing over evil, a narrative that has captivated our imagination for centuries. While the tale of the dragon came centuries after his death, it serves as a metaphor for St George’s battle against injustice, embodying the values we hold dear.

St George was a martyr, executed for his unwavering Christian faith during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian. St George was sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. He was executed by decapitation on April 23, 303 AD. A witness of his suffering was Empress Alexandra of Rome. So moved was she, that she too became a Christian believer, and joined George in sacred martyrdom. His feast day, which we observe today, is believed to be the date of this martyrdom. This date is also believed to be the birth date of William Shakespeare adding a further cultural dimension to this day.

The legend of St George and the Dragon is a timeless allegory of good triumphing over evil. The story goes that a dragon was extorting tributes from a village, and when the villagers ran out of livestock to feed it, they started offering human sacrifices instead. The situation became dire when a princess was chosen as the next offering. St George happening upon the scene, valiantly battled the dragon and saved the princess. In some versions of the tale, this leads the villagers into accepting Christianity!

St George is not only the patron saint of England, but of other lands too. He is celebrated in Ethiopia, Greece, Palestine and Germany as well as the cities of Moscow and Constantinople (sometimes known as Istanbul). St George is perhaps most famous in the Republic of Georgia where he is celebrated twice a year on the 6th of May and 23rd of November.

As we celebrate St George’s Day, let us reflect on the principles he stood for: Courage in the face of adversity, the pursuit of justice, and the upholding of the English way of life. These are the ideals that the NHPUK strives to uphold in our commitment to the people.

We encourage all to join in the festivities, to fly the St George’s Cross with pride, and to remember the spirit of unity and strength that this day represents.

So let us join in this sacred cry, England lives!
A blessed St George’s Day to all!