Eight things you might not know about St George

If you're raising a glass in our patron saint's honour today, why not take a little lesson and learn more about St George.

Saturday, 23rd April 2016, 9:00 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd April 2016, 12:03 pm
Are you celebrating St George's Day today?

Every year, St George's Day is celebrated on April 23. But how much do you really know about him, and what he stood for?

Take a look at our facts, and impress your friends with your knowledge.

A king decided to make him the Patron Saint of England: Edward III, who reigned from 1327 to 1377 was influenced by the stories of returning crusaders telling of Saint George's bravery.

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So, when Edward founded the Order of the Garter, England’s order of knights, he made Saint George its patron. By the 14th century Saint George was viewed as a special protector of the English.

St George is the patron saint of many places: These include Ethiopia, Georgia and Portugal, and cities such as Freiburg, Moscow and Beirut. George was seen as an especially powerful intercessor, and the dragon story has a universal appeal.

In 1415, St George’s Day was declared a national feast day and holiday in England: It grew to become a really big national holiday until the 18th century when celebrations faded after England united with Scotland in 1707.

England's "Flag of St George" - a red cross on a white background - was introduced by King Richard I in 1194.

In Georgia, which is named after him, there are 365 Orthodox churches named after George - one for every day of the year except leap years.

St George is also the patron saint of drinking, according to the International Business Times.

St George was reportedly born in 270AD.

William Shakespeare is thought to have been born, and later died, on the same date as St George.