St. George lived in the late 3rd and early 4th century. He was a Roman soldier. He is known for his bravery. He lived during the time of the Emperor Diocletian. Diocletian persecuted and executed many Christians. St. George openly declared his belief in Jesus Christ. The emperor tried to convince him to renounce his beliefs and offer a sacrifice to pagan gods, but George refused. He was executed in the year 303.
There are many legends about this saint, but the best known is of St. George slaying the dragon. This may have really been a large crocodile, but dragons are exciting! The beast lived near a spring and made it impossible for the locals to draw water each day. They would give it a sheep to distract it while they collected their water. One day the villagers decided to sacrifice a young girl instead, but St. George saved her by killing the beast. George made the sign of the cross before attacking, trusting in the Lord to protect him.
This well known saint is venerated by both Christians and Muslims. Muslims regard him as a prophet.
His feast day is April 23.
Patron Saint of …
He is the patron saint of many countries, including Georgia, England, and Ethiopia. He is also the patron saint of Scouting and the military.
Daily Mass Readings for the Optional Memorial of Saint George, Martyr
- First Reading – Revelation 21:5-7: “To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son.”
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 126: “Those who sow in tears, shall reap rejoicing.”
- Gospel – Luke 9:23-26: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Pray this intercessory prayer when you need the strength and courage to resist evil and stand up for what is right. This prayer is written with youth in mind and the types of experiences they have in their daily lives.
See a video about this saint.