A Garner of Saints – Saint George of Cappadocia

Saint GeorgeArticle

Born in a city of Cappadocia, he was a Christian from his birth, and served as a military tribune in the armies of Diocletian and Maximian. At that time there was a marsh by the city of Lysia in the province of Lybia, like the sea in magnitude, in which dwelt a terrible dragon, which put to flight all who attacked it, and killed many with its breath when it approached the city. The citizens were forced to appease it with two sheep daily, and when sheep began to fail, they gave it a sheep and a man, and after that their sons and daughters, casting lots who should be sacrificed and sparing no one. When nearly all the children had been devoured, the lot fell upon the king’s only daughter. Now King Levius offered the people abundance of silver and gold if they would spare his child, but they were incensed against him and declared that he had made the law himself, they had lost their children, and if he refused his daughter they would burn his palace and all his family. After much entreaty the king obtained eight days’ grace, and when the time had expired he delivered his daughter to the people clad in the royal robes, and they exposed her to the dragon and looked on from the walls. Now Saint George happened to pass that way, and beholding the princess weeping, he asked the cause. She told him all, adjuring him to fly lest he also should perish. But George exhorted her to take courage, and ofl’ered to fight the dragon in the name of Christ, she entreating him to go and not to share her peril. At this moment the dragon rose from the marsh, and George, mounting his steed, made the sign of the cross and rode against the monster, wounding him and casting him to the earth. Dismounting he cut off his head at a blow. The people who witnessed this wonder believed, and after George had preached to them, ten thousand were baptized. The king built a church in honour of the Virgin, from the altar of which flows a spring of great virtue in healing the sick. He offered George much money but he gave it all to the poor, and after admonishing the king and people he departed.

While Saint George was serving as tribune in the city, Militeria, the governor Dacian, greatly persecuted the Christians. Then George distributed his goods among the poor, and assuming the dress of the Christians, he went to the governor and proclaimed that all the gods of the heathen were devils. Dacian, greatly incensed, caused him to be beaten and stretched on a wooden horse, his body to be torn with nails and salt to be rubbed into the wounds, and so cast him into prison. Here the Saviour appeared to him and healed his wounds. On the morrow Dacian observed this and called a magician to surpass George in his sorcery. The wizard mixed a deadly poison in wine, but George, after making the sign of the cross, drank the cup and suffered no harm. Seeing this the magician believed, and asked the saint’s forgiveness, but was immediately put to death by the governor. Dacian then commanded that George should be bound to a wheel set with sharp blades, but as he prayed the wheel was broken and he remained unhurt. A master of the horse, named Maguntius, who saw this, believed, and was beheaded for his faith. The governor sent George back to prison, when a widow brought her son to him who was blind, deaf, dumb, and lame; and the saint healed the child and converted the mother, and many others. Hearing this, Dacian again sent for him, and exhorted him to sacrifice. To this George replied that if the people would assemble he would go to the temple of Apollo and put the power of that deity to the proof. Entering the temple he commanded Apollo to proclaim himself. The statue declared that he and all the gods of the Gentiles were devils; moreover fire descended from heaven and consumed both the idols and the priests. Then the governor caused George to be cast into a cauldron full of molten pitch and sulphur, but an angel came and extinguished the fire, leaving the saint unharmed. Upon seeing this the governor’s wife, Alexandria, believed, and reproved her husband, but he ordered her to be hung up by the hair and scourged until she died. On the following day George was dragged through the city by a bridle, and then taken outside and beheaded; but as Dacian and his ministers were retuming from the execution they were consumed by fire from heaven. Saint George is one of the seven champions of Christendom, and the patron saint of England. 23rd April.

Attributes

  • A figure in armour wearing the red cross, carrying a lance, with the dragon at his feet.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint George of Cappadocia”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 April 2017. Web. 21 August 2017. <>