St. George was a favorite soldier in the army of Diocletian, a pagan emperor who did not believe in God. Diocletian was a bitter enemy of the Christians and put to death every Christian he could find.
When George became a Christian, he went to the emperor and scolded him for being so cruel and gave up his position in the Roman army. He first sold everything he had and gave the money to the poor. Then, free to follow Jesus and bearing the shield of faith, he became a loyal soldier for Christ.
St. George paid a very high price for his bravery. He was cruelly tortured and beheaded at Lydda in Palestine. So boldly daring and cheerful was St. George in declaring his faith that people were filled with courage when they heard about it.
Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to save a beautiful lady. The dragon stands for wickedness. The lady stands for God's holy truth. St. George kills the dragon because he won the battle against the devil.
The story goes like this … A dragon lived in a lake near Silena, Libya. Whole armies had gone up against this fierce creature, but had died. The monster ate two sheep a day and when he had eaten all the sheep, lots were drawn in local villages, and young women were given as food for the dragon instead of sheep.
Into this country came Saint George. Hearing the story on a day when a princess was to be eaten, he made the sign of the cross, rode to battle and killed the dragon with a single blow of his lance.
George then preached a wonderful sermon, and many of the people in that kingdom became Christians. The grateful king gave George a large reward but George distributed it to the poor and rode away.
Because of his gracious behavior (protecting women, fighting evil, strong faith, strength, bravery, and generosity to the poor), devotion to Saint George became popular in the Europe and he was named the patron of England. His feast day was as popular and important as Christmas.
Many songs and poems were written about this martyr who gave his life for Jesus. Soldiers, especially, have always been devoted to him.
Am I willing to give up something when I know it blocks my loving relationship with God?