Who was St. George? Expert uncovers the life of England's patron saint

23 April 2020, 21:16

By Seán Hickey

The 23rd of April marks St. George's Day where we celebrate the patron saint of England, but who was St. George?

Anna Eavis is a curatorial director at English heritage and she joined Iain Dale to tell the public who St. George was, and why he is the patron saint of England.

Ms Eavis said that George was "probably born in the 3rd century AD" in modern day Turkey and "died for his beliefs" as a Catholic who was being forced to adopt pagan religions.

He was ultimately "tortured and then beheaded" for being a Christian and probably most commonly known, fought and killed a dragon.

The curator told Iain that "had a particular appeal to English kings who enjoyed fighting battles" for what he stood for as a Christian and as a symbol of good triumphing evil. English kings eventually "invoked his protection for the English army" and thus St. George became the patron saint of England.

"That is the best explanation I've ever heard" Iain told Anna Eavis.

Who was Saint George? An expert explains
Who was Saint George? An expert explains. Picture: PA

Iain wanted to know if it was true that St. George "never actually came to England", to which Ms Eavis confirmed. It's commonly believed that St. George had slain the dragon in modern day Libya.

She went on to elaborate and point out that it is "very easy for people to comprehend the idea of good triumphing evil" and this is the main reason why English kings decided George to be their patron saint.

Interestingly, Ms Eavis told Iain that St. George was "also thought to be a very powerful ally against disease", as a man who survived four assassination attempts and as a man who lived a healthy life for the times.

Iain was captivated by this fact, suggesting that "we ought to be making a lot more of today's St George's Day" after finding out that he was an ally against disease.