New Catholic Dictionary – Saint George

statue of Saint George and the Dragon; date and artist unknown; Church of Saint Francis Xavier, Convent of the Precious Blood, Caceres, Spain; photographed on 30 December 2012 by Pedro M Martínez Corada; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsDerivation

  • Greek: farmer


Martyr, patron of England, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, died Lydda, Palestine, c.303. He was known to the Greeks as the “Great Martyr.” His existence is established by inscriptions of ruined churches in Syria, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, by his church at Thessalonica, dating from the 4th century, and by the monastery at Baralle built by Clovis in honor of Saint George, c.512. During the Crusades his cult became widespread. He became the patron of the Order of the Garter which Edward III established c.1341, and the cross of Saint George came to be considered the symbol of knighthood. The most popular legend concerning Saint George is that of his encounter with the dragon. The pagan town of Selena in Libya had been harassed by a dragon exhaling a pestilential breath; in order to placate him sheep were offered as victims, but when the supply of these was exhausted, the inhabitants of the town were substituted. The king’s young daughter, having been chosen by lot, was taken to the dragon‘s lair and left to the mercy of the beast. Saint George, riding by, slew the dragon, and the town became converted. Patron of soldiers; invoked against fever. Emblems: horse, dragon, lance, banner, armor, shield. Feast, Roman Calendar, 23 April.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint George”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 August 2018. Web. 16 May 2021. <>