Today is the Feast of St. George the Hieromartyr, or Dragonslayer. Although our details of his life are known from only a century after his probable martyrdom (for which, see my post on him as saint of the week), I think they are at least highly likely (apart from a close friendship with the Emperor). He’s an interesting figure who comes with some compelling iconography.
And if you’re not really interested because you’re not English or have an irrational distaste for things English, have no fear! St. George is also patron saint of: agricultural workers; Amersfoort, Netherlands; Aragon; archers; armourers; Bavaria, Germany; Beirut, Lebanon; Bulgaria; butchers; Cappadocia; Catalonia; cavalry; chivalry; Constantinople; Corinthians (Brazilian football team); Crusaders; equestrians; Ethiopia; farmers; Ferrara; field workers; Genoa; Georgia; Gozo; Greece; Haldern, Germany; Heide; herpes; horsemen; horses; husbandmen; knights; lepers and leprosy; Lod; Malta; Modica, Sicily; Moscow; Order of the Garter; Palestine; Palestinian Christians; Piran; plague; Portugal; Portuguese Army; Portuguese Navy; Ptuj; Slovenia; Reggio Calabria; riders; Romani people; saddle makers; Scouts; sheep; shepherds; skin diseases; soldiers; syphilis; Teutonic Knights.
He has churches dedicated to him all over the world and is venerated in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran Churches. Apparently, even Muslims have a fondness for St. George which is why church foundations to this saint tend not have been desecrated. At least, that’s what I was told in Cyprus.
So, whether you want to avoid herpes and syphilis or you sympathise with Palestinian Christians and the Romani (Gypsies), St. George is the saint for you!