Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Saint George the internationalist

Happy Saint George's Day that day when English patriotism swells in English breasts and St George's cross (the English flag) can be seen flying from windows and fences around the nation. This the day when our Prime Minister is prompted by that Saint Georgish feeling to declare how very 'proud' he is 'to be English and British'.

Saint GeorgeSaint George, as it happens, was not English. He was Greek. He served in the Roman army. He travelled the Near East before he was martyred under Emperor Diocletian. He was nothing if not cosmopolitan.

I love this beautiful island nation, too. Yet, with cosmo George the martyr in mind, I pray that Britain's greatness will not be walled in and hoarded by the Saxo-Normans who happen to form the racial and cultural majority in our era. I pray that we can be a nation with an open welcome and a generous outlook to those of other nationalities and races and in particular those who have suffered hardship or persecution or threat of death elsewhere.

It's what George would have wanted.

3 comments:

Nathan Britten said...

Brilliant!! Good to know these things!!

n0rma1 said...

Thanks Nathan. If you like surprising (and ironic) info about famous patron saints, check out my post about St Valentine! http://man-with-the-mop.blogspot.co.uk/2008/02/happy-celibate-martyrs-day.html

John Campbell said...

St George is also the patron saint, unsurprisingly, of Georgia (in the former USSR not USA), and more surprisingly of the city of Moscow.

And also of Egypt, Bulgaria, Aragon, Catalonia, Romania, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Iraq, Israel, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine and Russia, as well as the cities of Genoa, Amersfoort, Beirut, Botoşani, Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Timişoara, Fakiha, Bteghrine, Cáceres, Ferrara, Freiburg im Breisgau, Kragujevac, Kumanovo, Lebanon, Ljubljana, Pérouges, Pomorie, Preston, Qormi, Rio de Janeiro, Lod, Lviv, Barcelona and Victoria, as well as of the Scout Movement.

Pretty hard work, if you ask me.