St George the Great Martyr

Commemorated April 23 

Very little is known about St. George the Megalomartyros, but he was one of the saints revered very early by the Church. He was born and lived in Cappadocia and was persecuted under the Emperor Diocletion. It is likely but not certain that he was a soldier and was renowned for his courage in the area, where he suffered various tortures, and was finally beheaded at Diospolis (Lydda) in Palestine Many soldiers were converted to Christianity by witnessing the martyrdom of St. George. It is not quite clear how St. George came to be specially chosen as the patron saint of England, but it seems likely this occurred during the English crusades late in the 11th century or the early part of the 12th century.

In the Greek the name George is derived from a word meaning husbandman so in the texts for the day there are constant references to St George as a spiritual husbandman, scattering the seed of the Word and cultivating the barren ground. His feast day is 23 April.

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