By Catholic Digest Staff
Feast Day: April 23
Wielding a honed sword or battle spear, the numerous images of armor clad Saint George fearlessly standing over a writhing dragon has echoed through Church tradition for ages. The image of him slaying the serpent may have come from Crusaders mistaking images of Emperor Constantine crushing evil embodied in a snake. Saint George is believed to have been an officer in the Roman army during the outbreak of the Diocletain persecution. After donating all of his possessions to the poor, he boldly declared his faith before the court. Suffering horrendous tortures during his trial, the Lord frequently restored his health. When he was finally beheaded, fire from heaven killed his persecutors and destroyed their temple. At different times in history George has been the patron saint of knights, soldiers, armorers, archers, and was even bestowed with the honorable title of prophet in Islamic hagiography.