Recognition of St George seems to have started in the 9th century before getting a boost when the Crusaders returned from the Holy Land in the 12th century.
George had died centuries before the Crusades but soldiers reported visions of him riding alongside them at the Battle of Antioch in 1098.
This is the time when the famous tales of George slaying the dragon became popular in stories and illustrations.
The revival of patriotism and nationalism has seen new interest in celebrating St George’s Day in recent years.
St George is also patron saint of Amersfoort (in the Netherlands), Aragon and Catalonia (both in Spain), Bavaria, Beirut, Bulgaria, Constantinople (modern Istanbul in Turkey) and Ethiopia as well as Ferrara, Genoa and Reggio Calabria (all in Italy).
His patronages also include Freiburg (in Germany), Georgia, Gozo (in Malta - as well as Malta itself), Greece, Lithuania, Lod (in Israel), London, Modica (in Sicily), Montenegro, Moscow, Palestine, Piran and Ptuj (both in Slovenia), along with Portugal, Serbia and Slovenia.
And, as if that’s not enough for George to be responsible for, he’s also the saint who looks after agricultural workers, archers, armourers, butchers, cavalry, chivalry, farmers, horses and horsemen, knights, Scouts, saddle-makers, shepherds and sheep.
St George’s emblem was adopted by Richard The Lion Heart and brought to England in the 12th century. The king’s soldiers wore it on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle.
About St George
St George is best known in the UK as the patron saint of England. He is honoured on St George’s Day, which is on April 23 - the date of his death in 303 AD.
In 1222, the Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be St George’s Day and he replaced St Edmund the Martyr as England’s patron saint in the 14th century.