The legend of St. George slaying the dragon is a rather popular story, one which I’m sure Catholics young and old have heard. There was a town haunted by a dragon which ate two sheep out of their fields daily. But when the sheep ran out, the dragon still demanded more. The people began to offer maidens to it and, eventually, as those too began to run out, the townspeople prepared to feed their princess to the monster. St. George heard about this and sped to the maiden’s rescue. He killed the dragon with a single blow from a lance, thus saving the princess and her city.

So the legend goes. Some say it was real occurrence, others say that it is an allegory: St. George represents the Christian who fights the dragon, who represents Satan or temptation, to rescue the maiden, who represents Holy Mother Church or virtue; it represents our struggle with evil all through our life here on earth.

Whether the legend is true or not, St. George was a real person. Though not much is known about his life, we do know that he was a Roman soldier and a man of esteem. It was recorded that, when Diocletian (emperor of Rome at the time) issued an edict that persecuted the Christians, a man stepped forward, snatched the paper that the edict had been printed on, tore it in half, and burned it on the spot. St. George was later executed by Diocletian on April 23, 303, thus gaining the crown of martyrdom. St. George is the patron of soldiers and of England.

O God, the merits and prayers of your blessed martyr George are a source of happiness for us. Grant us as a gift of grace the blessings we seek through him. Almighty God, we humbly ask through the intersession of St. George that we may live a life pleasing to you, and receive the favors we ask, if they are for our good. Amen.

St. George, pray for us!