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Saint of the Day
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

April 23
St. George
d. c. 303

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If Mary Magdalene was the victim of misunderstanding, George is the object of a vast amount of imagination. There is every reason to believe that he was a real martyr who suffered at Lydda in Palestine, probably before the time of Constantine. The Church adheres to his memory, but not to the legends surrounding his life.

That he was willing to pay the supreme price to follow Christ is what the Church believes. And it is enough.

The story of George's slaying the dragon, rescuing the king's daughter and converting Libya is a 12th-century Italian fable. George was a favorite patron saint of crusaders, as well as of Eastern soldiers in earlier times. He is a patron saint of England, Portugal, Germany, Aragon, Catalonia, Genoa and Venice.


Human nature seems to crave more than cold historical data. Americans have Washington and Lincoln, but we somehow need Paul Bunyan, too. The life of St. Francis of Assisi is inspiring enough, but for centuries the Italians have found his spirit in the legends of the Fioretti, too. Santa Claus is the popular extension of the spirit of St. Nicholas. The legends about St. George are part of this yearning. Both fact and legend are human ways of illumining the mysterious truth about the One who alone is holy.


"When we look at the lives of those who have faithfully followed Christ, we are inspired with a new reason for seeking the city which is to come" (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 50).

Patron Saint of:

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Thursday, April 23, 2015
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Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.

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