A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

On Eve of Saint George's Day, BBC Reminds Us of His Links to Palestine

Tomorrow, April 23, is Saint George's Day; St. George is of course a patron saint of England (and many other places including Georgia), and the BBC notes "Why St. George is a Palestinian hero." I suspect my readers may already know what the BBC may assume its listeners do not: because he was a local boy, of course.

The early martyr and reputed dragon-slayer was traditionally born to a father from Cappadocia and a mother from Roman Palestine, and closely associated with the town of Lydda (today known as Lod).

He is said to have been martyred under Diocletian in 303 AD, but remains a popular saint in Palestinian Christian tradition, and also venerated by Muslims due to a popular identification with al-Khidr.

Sorry, the dragon story seems to have come along later.

And I guess I should quote Henry V:
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

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