St. George and The English - The Soldier Saint

Time required – 1 hour 30 minutes

The acclaimed tomb of Saint George
The tomb acclaimed as the final resting place of Saint George, at Lydda in Palestine.

This is the most frequently requested presentation, because it gives light, informative and fascinating facts about how and why Saint George was associated with England and the English. The material is inspiring and reassuring in equal measure.

The talk begins with a description of the issues which drew England's medieval citizens to the cults of Saint George and the Virgin Mary. Considerable time is devoted to the growth of the legend after the 4th century execution of a Roman soldier at Nicomedia; aspects of the definitive 'Golden Legend' are discussed at length.

The material examines key dates in the relationship between Saint George and the English and looks at the abiding influences of Kings Richard I, Henry III, Edward III, Henry V and of course Henry VIII. It details why 23rd April is set aside for the Saint's Feast Day and offers a brief description of medieval and Tudor celebrations. The talk discusses why the Feast Day became less important during intervening centuries as a result of social and religious changes on these shores.

The presentation ends with a comment on the Saint's relevance to 20th and 21st centuries citizens; comparison is made with other famous characters and looks optimistically to the future.

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