| July/August 1998 | SOSSI Journal, VOL 47, NO. 4,
Posted on 04/23/2007 5:15:56 PM PDT by Salvation
The Legend that is Saint George
In different places and times, much of the world has chosen Saint George as a Patron Saint. His slaying of the dragon as a symbol of the victory of goodness over evil endeared him to many.
Scout in the role of Saint George.
Lord Robert Baden-Powell had made Saint George the patron Saint of the Scouting Movement. Baden-Powell had a favorite rhyme about our patron Saint:
My warmest good wishes I am sending to you
There is almost nothing known of the early years of Saint George's life. He was born sometime in the year 263AD, in the city of Lydia near Jerusalem. His parents were from Cappadonia, a city in present day Turkey. Is is said that his father was an Arab Sheit.
Sometime in his seventeenth year, he enlisted as a calvary soldier in the army of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. He became a high ranking officer, rising through the ranks because he was a proficient soldier, an able horseman and had a commanding and cheerful attitude.
When the Emperor Diocletian began his campaign of persecuting Christians, George, who was a devout Christian, requested an audience with the Emperor and was granted one. George at this conference pleaded with the Emperor to refrain from this distasteful practice.
Diocletian was so annoyed and incensed, that he commanded George to recant his religion. When he refused, George was arrested, tortured, and finally put to death on April 23, 303AD. This day is now known as Saint George's Day.
Ancient storytellers told legends of an Eastern city called Salem where a terrifying dragon lived in a swamp nearby. The dragon demanded a daily tribute of sheep and cattle. Soon, after exhausting these food supplies, the dragon demanded the sacrifice of two children a day. A lottery system was devised to pick the victims. Cleodolinda, the daughter of the King, was chosen for that day's sacrifice.
As Cleodolinda was sadly proceeding to her doom, along came the knight George. Seeing the dragon about to gulp down the lovely princess, George promised the citizens deliverance from their troubles. After making the sign of the cross, he transfixed the dragon with his lance and wounded it with his magic sword Ascalon. George then had the princess bind the beast with her girdle. The dragon then became docile and tame, and followed the princess and George back to the city. There in the market square, George killed the dragon with his lance.
As George was killing the dragon, he told the city citizens that this act was to show the power of God. Not only was the princess saved and the city relieved, but the people gave up their idols and accepted Christianity. George was said to have married the princess and lived happily ever after.
George was canonized by Pope Gelasius in 494AD. The Pope said St. George was one of those "...whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God." St. George exemplified courage, devotion, piety, leadership, truthfulness and dedication. Crusaders venerated him and wore his cross (red on a white background). King Edward III of England chose George to be the patron Saint for the Knight of the Garter. During this time he also became the patron Saint of Portugal and Italy. Czarina Catherine II founded the Russian Order of Saint George.
If you think of this tale as an allegory rather than a legend; with Saint George representing Christianity and the dragon as paganism, this shows us how good triumphs over evil. Baden-Powell often used this as a symbol in the character building program of Scouting. The Rover program started in 1917 is based on a Knighthood theme, with the symbol of St. George, patron saint of Scouts, being important. St. George is typical of what a Scout should be. He epitomized the qualities of selflessness and both moral and physical courage which Baden-Powell saw as being among the aims of Scouting.
TOPICS: Catholic; History
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; scouts
And from Russia
St. George, Patron Saint of Scouting
"Prepared and alert a Scout follows the lead
SAINT GEORGE AND SCOUTING FOR BOYS
In Scouting for Boys, Baden-Powell wrote of chivalry and the knights of old. He tried to show Scouts a new path to chivalry and honor. Saint George was the Patron Saint of England, and of the Knights of the Garter, the oldest order of chivalry in Europe. They were familiar subjects to most English boys when B-P was writing. Here is what he wrote:
SAINT GEORGE AND UKRAINIAN SCOUTING
To this day, Saint George continues as the Patron Saint of Scouting in many lands. His place in English Scouting is part of a national tradition. But here is an example from a distant land, Ukraine in Eastern Europe.
The illustration and the story are from "Ukrainian Scouting," the newsletter of Plast-Scouting in Ukraine.
ST.GEORGE AND HUNGARIAN SCOUTING
Magyar Cserkészszövetség, the Hungarian Scout Association (HSA), observes Saint George's Day as do Scouts of many lands. The drawing below is from their home page.
Saint George in Russia
To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ...
Saint of the Day Ping!
Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Saint of the Day Ping List.
The Legend that is Saint George [St. George, Patron of Scouting [Repost]
American Catholics Saint of the Day
Thank you! today is also my Boy Scout son’s 12th birthday :) I’m sending the info here to my Catholic Scouting friends.
To: Salvation; RonF; AppauledAtAppeasementConservat; Looking for Diogenes; Congressman Billybob; ...
There’s some interesting Scout History in the basic thread story and in the replies.
Let me add one more:
U.S. Army Recognition Award this recognition is given to those outstanding young men when they achieve their goal of becoming an Eagle Scout.
7 posted on 04/23/2007 9:12:29 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
Here is another really nice link concerning St. George (aka Mar Gewargis) :
To: Salvation; All
St. George, Martyr
Enter Saint George. He was a soldier in the early years of the 4th century, serving in the Roman Army. His ruler was the Emperor Diocletian. George was a Tribune -- a rank about equivalent to today's Colonel. He was also a Christian, and, for several years, this apparently posed no problem. At this point there were several Christian communities within the Roman world. Christians were beginning to make their influence felt and as they were good citizens, honest, trustworthy, and loyal, they were more than tolerated by the Empires rulers.
But Diocletian grew envious. Where once he had been content with the loyalty of his subjects in temporal matters, now he wanted more. He sought the loyalty of their minds and souls. When this was not forthcoming, he grew savage. An edict against Christians was drawn up and copies posted in public places. George, as a leading citizen, took responsibility for tearing down the one in his locality -- an open act of defiance against an unjust law. He was arrested, tortured, and eventually martyred. He died on April 23rd, 404, which that year happened to be Good Friday. It is said that red roses bloomed on his grave.
All these events took place in the territory we today call the Middle East, then part of the Roman Empire. The story of George's valor spread across the Christian world. We know that there were churches in Europe dedicated to him at an early date, including a couple in Britain, the land where he was later to become a popular saint. But what really made him famous were the events of several centuries later -- the Crusades. English soldiers fighting in the Middle East learned about this soldier-saint and were impressed. His courage spoke to them. He was one of their own. This was a saint they could value and understand.
They took back his story to England -- as other soldiers were taking it back to their lands across what was then Christendom. His story became identified with their own -- the red cross on a white background that marked the crusader.
In England, Saint George became patron saint of an order of chivalry -- the Order of the Garter. To this day, this is still conferred by the Sovereign in honor of God, Our Lady, and Saint George on those deemed to have served their country in some outstanding way.
Catholics in England have long honored Saint George. As with other saints, he was somewhat downplayed at the Reformation. But English Catholics continued to honor him. They were persecuted for their faith for years after the Reformation and unable to attend Mass openly or teach their Faith publicly to their children. No wonder a hero martyr saint appealed to them.
When, finally, some freedom was granted, one of the first Catholic churches to be built in London was dedicated to Saint George. Today, its successor still stands in Southwark, on the south bank of the Thames -- Saint George's Cathedral. It has seen many major events -- from a tragic bombing in 1941, which destroyed the original Pugin building (the cathedral was rebuilt in the 1950s) to a Papal visit in 1982 when Pope John Paul II met and blessed thousands of sick people who had been gathered there to greet him in a massive national pilgrimage.
Saint George's continues to thrive: it now serves a very multi-racial area, and its liturgy includes a robed choir who sing a beautiful Latin Mass each Sunday, which is well attended by a mixed congregation proud of their church and of their Faith.
This year, a team of Catholic publishers and representatives from major Catholic organizations from across Britain will be holding a national Catholic Book Fair on the Saturday nearest to Saint George's Day as part of the Saint George's Day celebrations.
We need Saint George today. We need his example of courage. Legend says he slew a dragon -- or, in some versions of the story, that he tamed it and brought it to the service of the Christian community. In this latter version, the dragon is seen as the pagan Roman Empire, which eventually came to be subdued by the Church.
Saint George was a manly saint -- a hero, a soldier, someone who knew he must use his strength and courage in the service of what is right. A martyr's life is a paradox: through death he brings life to the Church. What seems to be a failure ends in glory. Because of Saint George's sacrifice, the Faith survived to be passed on to countless people in lands he never even knew existed. If we met him today -- if our young Christian men, who so badly need heroes, met him -- we would know that we shared the same Catholic Faith and in the Sign of the Cross we would be in unity. May we beg through his intercession in Heaven that we may have something of his courage.
Saint George, pray for us!
Thank you, Salvation! Today is my son, Patrick's, 14th birthday. He's to be Confirmed in a month, and decided to take St. George as his patron. There's so much folklore surrounding this wonderful saint, it's good to have this.
St. George is also the Patron Saint of Boy Scouts, and Patrick is nearing the completion for his Eagle Rank requirements. :)
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