FEAST DAY: April 23
DAY OF THE WEEK: Tuesday
CANDLE COLOR: White
LEGEND: Soldier. Martyr. He was tortured and beheaded c.304 at Lydda, Palestine That’s all that is known for sure.
Several stories have been attached to Saint George, the best known of which is the Golden Legend. In it, a dragon lived in a lake near Silena, Libya. Whole armies had gone up against this fierce creature, and had gone down in painful defeat. The monster ate two sheep each day; when mutton was scarce, lots were drawn in local villages, and maidens were substituted for sheep. Into this country came Saint George. Hearing the story on a day when a princess was to be eaten, he crossed himself, rode to battle against the serpent, and killed it with a single blow with his lance. George then held forth with a magnificent sermon, and converted the locals. Given a large reward by the king, George distributed it to the poor, then rode away.
Due to his chivalrous behavior (protecting women, fighting evil, dependence on faith and might of arms, largesse to the poor), devotion to Saint George became popular in the Europe after the 10th century. In the 15th century his feast day was as popular and important as Christmas. Many of his areas of patronage have to do with life as a knight on horseback. The celebrated Knights of the Garter are actually Knights of the Order of Saint George. The shrine built for his relics at Lydda, Palestine was a popular point of pilgrimage for centuries.
This image is used in Haitian Vodou to represent the Loa Ougu Feray.
PEITION SAINT GEORGE: to conquer fear, for courage, to overcome jealousy, dry skin, eczema, mental retardation, sores.
PATRONAGE: Amersfoort, Netherlands; Aragon; agricultural workers; archers; armourers; Beirut, Lebanon; Boy Scouts; butchers; Canada; Cappadocia; Catalonia; cavalry; chivalry; Constantinople; Crusaders; England (by Pope Benedict XIV); equestrians; Ethiopia; farmers; Ferrara, Italy; field hands; field workers; Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Genoa, Italy; Georgia; Germany; Gozo; Greece; Haldern, Germany; Heide, Germany; herpes; horsemen; horses; husbandmen; Istanbul; knights; lepers; leprosy; diocese of Limburg, Germany; Lithuania; Malta; Modica, Sicily; Moscow, Russia; Order of the Garter; Palestine; Palestinian Christians; plague; Portugal; Ptuj, Slovenia; riders; saddle makers; saddlers; Senj, Croatia; sheep; shepherds; skin diseases; skin rashes; soldiers; syphilis; Teutonic Knights; Venice
REPRESENTATION: armor; banner; buckler; dragon; horse
NOVENA TO SAINT GEORGE
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 SAINT 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 SAINT 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.