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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

George and the Dragon.. do you know the story?

Saint George is the patron saint of England – and we celebrate Saint George’s Day every year on 23 April. Although Saint George is associated with England, bravery and honour, the real Saint George wasn’t English at all! He was, in fact, born in Turkey in the 3rd Century, but not very much is known about him. The most famous legend of Saint George is of him slaying a dragon. However, this story only became popular in the 12th Century – long after Saint George had died. In the Middle Ages, it was common to use dragons in stories to represent the Devil. 


Saint George travelled to Libya. When he arrived there he found it had a large pond, almost as big as a lake, where a ferocious dragon lived. The dragon was terrorising the country and, every day, the people had been feeding the dragon a sheep to appease it. When the sheep had all gone, the dragon had demanded that the people sacrifice a young maiden to him each day. Saint George found that all the young girls had now been killed and only the King of Egypt’s daughter was left. Unless a knight could be found to slay the dragon, the princess would be sacrificed the next day. The King of Egypt had promised his daughter’s hand in marriage to the knight who could overcome the terrible dragon. Saint George was determined to save the princess, and the next day he rode out to the lake. When he arrived, he found the princess there, waiting to be fed to the dragon. Saint George sent her home to the palace and approached the dragon’s cave. When the dragon heard Saint George’s horse approaching, he came out of his cave and roared at him. The  dragon was huge and its roar sounded like thunder, but Saint George was not afraid. He struck the monster with his spear, but the dragon’s scales were so hard that the spear simply broke into pieces. Saint George fell from his horse but did not give up. Instead, he rushed at the dragon and used his sword to slay it under its wing where there were no scales. The dragon fell dead at Saint George’s feet.

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