Today's Saint (April 23): George, Patron of England
Saint George is the patron saint of England. Not much is known about him, other than he suffered and was martyred during the persecutions of Diocletian and Maximian.
He was most likely a soldier. Numerous legends were told regarding him, the most enduring possibly being the slaying of a dragon which required human sacrifices to appease it.
Found first in the 12th century in the manual called the "Golden Legend" (also known as the Lombardica Historia) the legend no doubt was meant to signify that devout men such as George stand firm in their Faith and sacrifice all that they possess, even their lives, in the face of an fearful and anti-Christian state.
"I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." (The day's epistle, page E 50, The People's Anglican Missal).
The accompanying picture (above) is an oil on wood painting by Raphael, entitled "St George Fighting the Dragon, on display at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.
Book Worth Considering
The Golden Legend: Selections (Penguin Classics)
History of the Church in England
Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church