William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright, was born this day in 1564. Regarded by many as the greatest writer of the English language he is often hailed as England’s poet or the “Bard of Avon”.
His works have been translated into almost every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
Much in the spirit of Shakespeare’s ideals of charity, chivalry and courage St. George has long been popularly identified with England and the English.
But his popularity is not confined to this simple island. The story of St. George and the Dragon dates back to the Middle Ages when the dragon was commonly used to represent evil. It’s moral message of good triumphing over evil is universal.
Which may go a long way to explaining St. George’s worldwide fame.
For he is not only patron saint of England but also of :
Senj in Croatia,
Haldern, Freiburg, Heide and Limburg in Germany,
Lod in Israel,
Ferrara, Genoa, Modica, Nerola and Riano in Italy,
Beirut in Lebanon,
Amersfoort in the Netherlands,
Moscow in Russia,
Ptuj in Slovenia,
Aragon and Catalonia in Spain,
and Istanbul in Turkey.
Not only is he the patron saint of soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers, field workers, riders and saddlers but he also helps those suffering from leprosy and plague.
And if that wasn’t enough, in recent years he has been adopted as patron saint of Scouts!
Some people are gluttons for punishment!