St. George's Evensong
Sunday, April 25
Cathedral Nave and YouTube
About St. George
St. George was born sometime around the year 280 in what is now Turkey. He was a soldier and rose up through the ranks of the Roman army, eventually becoming a personal guard to Emperor Diocletian. He was executed for being a Christian on April 23, 303, and is buried in the town of Lod in Israel.
St. George is most widely known for slaying a dragon. According to legend, the only well in the town of Silene was guarded by a dragon. In order to get water, the inhabitants of the town had to offer a human sacrifice every day to the dragon. The person to be sacrificed was chosen by lots. On the day that St. George was visiting, a princess had been selected to be sacrificed. However, he killed the dragon, saved the princess, and gave the people of Silene access to water. In gratitude, they converted to Christianity. It is thought that the dragon represents a certain type of pagan belief that included the sacrifice of human beings.
St. George's Day was once celebrated as widely as Christmas. But the celebrations waned by the end of the 18th century after England had united with Scotland on May 1, 1707. In recent times, there has been a push, involving campaigns and petitions, to make the day a public holiday in England.