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Happy St George's Day! It's a battle to be chivalrous

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Some people wonder why St George is the patron saint of England. They don't like him much. Do they really understand him?

There are excellent reasons to like and admire George. He's a hero for all of us. Why?

We like to travel

We like to travel, and so did George. We're adventurous. George was quite fond of adventures, too.

We want to protect the helpless

We protect our children, our animals, our elderly parents and friends, a beautiful meadow, a stream. . .

We rally to seemingly hopeless causes, and so did George, who found himself fighting a dragon to rescue a girl. Would he - would we - have it any other way?

Chivalry is not old hat to us

Like George, and whether we are man or woman, we practice chivalry. In following the Code of Chivalry, we try to be courageous (brave and strong), truthful (in all things and true to our ideals), just (fair and honest) and merciful (tender and kind).

Sometimes we don't quite make it. We're not as good as we we'd like to be. It's a battle to be chivalrous.

Sometimes, the biggest challenge is to be chivalrous at home.

We're confident

The word confident comes from the word which means with - con - and the word which means to trust, to have faith - fidere. To be confident is to have faith and trust, not only in ourselves but in something bigger than ourselves.

Like many English who fought for justice, George knew that death might be right round the corner. Like them, he trusted in the Lord and believed in eternal life.

Did George think the dragon's hot breath and poisoned claws wouldn't reach him? No.

Like all of us, he knew that what he had to do - the one and only thing he could do - was to do the right thing and let God take care of the rest.

We want to be successful

Finally, and this is not to be sneezed at, George was successful.

He slew the dragon and rescued the girl and saved her city, to boot.

Not a bad hero for England. Not a bad hero for all of us.

Thanks to Judith Hitchin for the illustration.

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