A hero for you and for England
There are excellent reasons to like George.
Liking to travel and protecting the helpless
You like to travel, and so did George. You're adventurous, and George was fond of adventures, too. You rally to seemingly hopeless causes, and so did he. You try to protect those who are vulnerable - children, animals, your elderly parents, your friends, a beautiful stream. . .George tried to help a girl trapped by a dragon.
Like George you practice chivalry - kindness in deeds as well as words - holding the door open for a person with a package; helping your neighbours hang a door if they need help with a repair.
Despite the hardships and difficulties of life, you have an easy confidence that resembles George's. Did George think the dragon's flames and claws wouldn't touch him? No.
Like you he knew all he had to do was the right thing.
Like many English who fought for justice, George knew that death might be right around the corner, and like them he believed in eternal life. That makes all the difference in the world to how a person thinks and feels and acts, as you know, even if you don't believe.
Finally, and not to be sneezed at, George was successful. He slew the dragon and saved the girl and her city. That's the kind of hero we like.
George's early appearances in England - stained glass and revolution
St George was known in England as early as the 7th century - he appeared in a stained glass window at the monastery of Jarrow and in the works of Bede - but the English took several centuries to credential him.
First George became the patron saint of English farmers (his Greek name combines the words for land and tilling). He also became the patron saint of English knights. (Chivalry gleamed, and gave some knights a purpose in life. ) Not long after Magna Carta, at the synod of Oxford in AD 1222, George was given a feast day. In 1381 the farmers and artisans who marched on London seeking justice in the Great Revolt marched under his banner.
Accepted at last
George was finally recognized as patron saint of England in the 15th century, during Henry V's reign, and given Shakespeare's stamp of approval 180 years later - 'God for Harry, England and St George!' Let it never be thought that the English did not thoroughly vet him.
What do you need?
If you adopted a patron saint, what would you ask him or her to do for you? The English asked George to help them be helpful.
As the patron saint of England, George was 'linked by name to beneficent institutions of all kinds, to hospitals and charities as well as churches. . .' (Oxford DNB). Guilds and associations called him their champion. The English being a nation of playgoers who liked action theatre, he became the hero of plays. And before those of a cynical mind laugh at this, gently remind them that the heroes we choose - including our fictional heroes - reveal a great deal about us. Plus, it's hard to dislike a hero who invites us to have a beer.
George's personal attractions are evident in cheerful English pub signs. Some show him reviving with a beer after his encounter with the fiery reptile, just as you might do, reptiles coming in many shapes these days.
Weathering the 20th century
By the late 20th century his name and England's had become forbidden names - names that could not be named. England's name was wiped off the map of the European Union. Silly politicians.
Revival in the 21st
In the early 21st century, the Mayor of London 'slew the dragon of political correctness by announcing London would mark St George's Day with a week of celebrations'.
George is making a comeback.
George's colours and England's are the red Cross on a white ground. George's watch words are be not afraid! Good words today and every day.
Happy St George's Day!