Feast Day: 23 April
Patron Saint of England, Ethiopia, Malta and Gozo

It is generally accepted that George was a martyr killed during an early 4th-century period of persecution under the Roman Emperor Diocletian (284-305).

George’s cult underwent notable transformations. In the east, he was considered a patron of armies, which drew him to the attention of westerners during the crusades. In the 13th century, his legend was re-written to incorporate popular contemporary chivalric themes, notably dragon slaying. In England, he was adopted as first the patron of soldiers, and later of the whole nation. While the popularity of George’s cult waned with the Reformation—it was singled out for criticism by Erasmus and Calvin—it has enjoyed periods of revival linked to English nationalism, most recently from the 1990s.

From the 6th century, George’s tomb was thought to be at Lydda, in modern Israel. His feast day (23 April) remains in the Church of England and Roman calendars, although the Roman Church reduced his status to a local cult in 1969. In the Coptic Church, his feast is 18 April.

Certificate of Authentication

Relics from the Cathedral Collection...