Friday, April 23, 2010

The Feast of St George, Martyr

Today is the feast of St. George, the patron not only of England but of a very large number of countries, cities and provinces besides. It was made a feast day of the English church in the Synod of Oxford in 1222. But its importance in England increased when Edward III made him the patron of the Order of the Garter in 1348. The British war cry of "England and St George" began with the Hundred Years War as Edward III began his attempt to achieve the French crown, a claim based upon his descent from his mother, the French princess Isabella.

The prayer book collect: Almighty God, by whose grace and power thy holy Martyr George triumphed over suffering, and despised death : Grant, we beseech thee, that enduring hardness, and waxing valiant in fight, we may with the noble army of martyrs receive the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have always been ambivalent about St. George's supersession of St. Edmund as patron Saint of England. Not that I have anything against St. George himself, but the Norman/Crusader connections behind the switch, as well as the down-grading of an Anglo-Saxon bother the most English genes in my DNA!