Wednesday 14 June 2023

Saint George Patron Saint of England - Lois Rock and Finola Stack

Saint George Patron Saint of England
Lois Rock
Finola Stack (Illustrator)
A Lion’s Children Book
ISBN 0745948103
ISBN 9780745948102

This is the third book I have read by Lois Rock, The first I stumbled across while trying to find books on Saint Dewi, Rock has a volume called Saint David Patron Saint of Wales. I enjoyed it so much I tried to track down the other 3 in the series. The other two in the series are on Patrick and Andrew. I have been able to track down three of the four. I have greatly enjoyed the two I have read so far.

This is a short picture book on Saint George the Dragon Slayer, it was originally published in 2005. A few years ago I read George: Patron of England, by J.B. Midgley. Everything else I have read about George is novelizations based on the legends around his life.

Description of the series:

“One of a set of 4 books on the national saints of the British Isles, published simultaneously with Saint Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland; Saint Andrew: Patron Saint of Scotland; and Saint George: Patron Saint of England. Just who was St. David? When and where did he live? And how did he come to be Wales' patron saint? This useful little book covers all these topics, providing background information that all patriotic youngsters will be interested to know.”

And the description on the back of the book states:

“Read the story of the fearless fighter who became the patron saint of England. Find out about the customs and traditions that are linked to his special day, 23 April.”

The sections in the book are:

The Life of George
Who Was George?
George: A Soldier for England
Saint George’s Day
A Prayer Inspired by Saint George
Saint George’s Day

I highlighted a number of sections when reading this book, some of them are:

“The true story of George has been lost among the many legends told about him. However, it is probable that he lived and died sometime before 312, the year in which the emperor Constantine claimed to have seen a vision in the sky that led him to make Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire.”

“George has been respected as a saint for nearly 1, 700 years. From long ago, Christians believed that George was buried at a place called Lydda, in Roman Palestine. Pilgrims went there to honour George and to pray to God.”

“It is little wonder that, around the year 495, the leader of the church, the pope, gave a warning: he said that George was one of the saints who deserved respect, but his true deeds were known only to God!.”

“He was probably well known in England by the eighth century; indeed, one book of Saint George stories was translated into Anglo-Saxon!”

“By the fourteenth century, Saint George's arms of a red cross on a white background were used as a kind of uniform for English soldiers and sailors. Around 134 7 the English king, Edward III, founded an order of knights - the Knights of the Order of Saint George.”

“Saint George's Day began officially in England in 1222. A church council meeting in Oxford agreed that 23 April should be kept as a lesser holy day.”

“Nowadays, it is again less important. It only gets mentioned in church services, and sometimes the flag is flown.”

It also has a wonderful prayer to Saint George:

“Dear God
We think about the story of Saint George,
a soldier who fought in the name of Christ.
We think about the story of Saint George,
who was concerned to help the poor and needy.
Help us to be brave, to fight
for what is right and to battle
for justice.”

The final section of the book is about Saint George’s Day:

“Saint George's Day
23 April
Patron saint of England, Canada,
Germany, Lithuania,
archers, cavalry, farmers,
horses, horse riders,
knights, lepers, soldiers
and many others.”

I really enjoyed this volume. It is a great look at the saint and some of the legends and stories around his life. I was unaware he was a patron saint of Canada, I was only aware of Saint Joseph having that role. This was a really fun read.

This is a wonderful volume about this saint. It would be great for the home, the school or the church library. It was a blessing to track it down and give it a read and I encourage you to give it a try, I am certain it will inspire and challenge readers of all ages. Having read three of the four books in this series I can easily recommend them, and wish I could find a copy of the volume on Saint Andrew to complete the set. A great read.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Lois Rock:

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