In Barcelona, we are accustomed to seeing book stalls along the streets, surrounded by loving couples exchanging books and roses. Sant Jordi is an important emblem for Catalans: he embodies multi-culturalism, strength and is a protector of lovers. He also slew dragons on his day off in Montblanc.
Funnily enough, he did the same thing at more or less the same time in other countries. Sant Jordi is also the patron saint of Romania, Portugal, Georgia and England!
Though we don’t truly celebrate his life in England on the 23rd of April, he still is an important part of English history due to him being the patron saint. It’s amazing to think that someone associated with English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry wasn’t actually English!
Very little is truly known about the real man but he was remembered for his devotion to the Christian faith, even under torture. Stories about what he was made to endure because of his beliefs became legends. Eight centuries after his death, his legend had become so great that he may as well have been called Superman or James Bond. He overcame all his enemies, stayed true to his faith and, according to the English, killed a dragon on Dragon Hill, in Berkshire.
Yes, this is where most historians agree that something wasn’t true. Most historians actually believe that he was from Turkey and, although he travelled to many countries, he might have visited neither England nor Catalonia. In the fourteenth century, he was named patron saint of England by King Edward III because he represented bravery and he has remained patron saint ever since.
That’s all for the history lesson on legends and dragons and love! Check out our blog test to see if you can match the patron saints with the countries.
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