Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Happy Saint George's Day

Today is Saint George's Day.  

George is the patron saint of both England and Modica Alta.  

Today the Flyers and the Movers will be learning all about Saint George and studying English vocabulary connected to this festival.  

Here is some information about the saint:

Saint George

Saint George was the son of a Christian nobleman, born around 275-285 AD in the Roman province of Syria Palaestina. He was raised as a Christian and became a Roman soldier, working for the Emperor Diocletian in Nicomedia and rising to the rank of Tribunus.

Diocletian worshipped the Roman Gods and in AD 302 he issued an edict that every soldier must make an offering to the Roman Gods. Christian soldiers who refused to do so must be arrested. George insisted that he would remain Christian, even though Diocletian tried to bribe him with promises of land, money and slaves.

Eventually Diocletian decided reluctantly to execute George. Before he was arrested George gave all his money away to the poor, and he went to his death bravely, even though he was tortured horribly.

Saint George is the patron saint of England and many other countries. He is most well known for his part in the story of "Saint George and the dragon".

Saint George and the Dragon

There was once a city called Silene. The people of Silene were not Christians but they were happy enough, going every day to draw water from a nearby spring and living a simple life. One day, however, a dragon decided to make its nest by the spring and life became very difficult for them! Many men tried to fight the dragon or chase it away, but they all failed.

As they had to have water, the people of Silene came up with a plan. They would distract the dragon by taking him a sheep every day, for a meal. While he was busy eating, they quickly took the water they needed.

Everything worked fine for a while, but one day they didn't have any more sheep to offer the dragon! They became more and more thirsty and eventually, in desperation, they decided to take the dragon a young girl instead. Lots were drawn to see which young girl would be chosen each day.

One day, Silene's princess was the chosen maiden! The king begged for his daughter to be spared, but nobody listened, and the princess was dragged off to meet the dragon like the other young girls before her.

While the princess stood before the dragon, trying to be brave, Saint George rode by on his horse. Seeing the pretty princess and realising the situation, he made the sign of the cross (to show he was a Christian), bravely fought the dragon and rescued the princess! The citizens were so impressed with his bravery that they converted to Christianity.

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