Saint George’s Day – Some Icons

April 23rd is St George’s day. He is the patron saint of England as well as Aragon, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia.

A typical British tabloid newspaper campaign from The Sun

In a recent poll, 6% of English people feared flying the flag of St George and one in six thought that if they did they would be asked to remove it. Unfortunately in England there is a misconceived view that St George’s image is associated with an imperial past, the slaughter of the First World War and even racism. George was adopted as England’s saint during the Crusades, and has represented the warrior spirit since then.

According to tradition, George was a Roman soldier and priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. He refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods and Diocletian, much against his will, was forced to order George’s execution. He is immortalized in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

Here are some icons that show how his representation has changed throughout the centuries. Happy St George’s Day!

13th-century, wood-relief icon from the Byzantine Museum of Athens

Icon of St George

St. George slaying the dragon, 16th century. Greece

Icon of St. George by Emmanuel Tzanes (1660-80), now housed in the Church of San Salvatore, Chania, Crete.

Icon of Saint George provided by Athanasios Clark

Early 14th cent. from Novgorod, Russia.

Modern icon by Olga Christine

About proverbs6to10

Interested in Byzantium and Patrick Leigh Fermor
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4 Responses to Saint George’s Day – Some Icons

  1. LauraDAL says:

    Beautiful pictures. There is also a wonderful sculpture of Sankt Goran (Saint George) & the Dragon at the Big Church (Storkyrkan) in Stockholm’s Old City (Gamla Stan), made by a famous german artist from the XV century. Here is a link to the photo from un article in Wikipedia:

  2. Pingback: MyByzantine 2010 in review « Byzantine Blog

  3. Pingback: Holy Great Martyr St. George † 303 « Arms Open Wide

  4. Pingback: April 23: The Feast Day for the Holy Great Martyr St. George † 303 | Arms Open Wide

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