Book of Saints – George the Martyr


(Saint) (April 23) (4th century) Saint George, whom the Greeks style “the great Martyr,” though honoured alike in the East and in the West, is one of those Saints of whom we know least. He was an officer in the army of Diocletian, the persecuting Emperor, and for refusing to sacrifice was tortured and beheaded at Nicomedia, a town of Asia Minor on an inlet of the Sea of Marmora (A.D. 303). Some say that Saint George was the young Christian who, as Eusebius relates, tore down the Imperial edict of persecution. But of this there is no proof. Saint George is usually represented on horseback vanquishing a dragon. This is merely symbolic of the Martyr’s victory over the devil; and in the East is not an unusual emblem of Christian sanctity. The popular legend of Saint George and the Dragon is of course fabulous. Equally baseless are the now discredited assertions once common among Non-Catholics, that Saint George is a myth; that he is the heretic George of Cappadocia, murdered at Alexandria, etc, etc. The Crusaders gave great impetus to Western devotion to Saint George, though venerated in the West long before. From about the thirteenth century, he came to be regarded as Patron of England, partially displacing Saint Edward the Confessor.

MLA Citation

  • Monks of Ramsgate. “George the Martyr”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 9 July 2013. Web. 25 April 2019. <>