Happy St George’s Day

st_george_oneEngland First chairman Mark Cotterill wishes all members and supporters a happy St. George’s Day.

Mark said, “I hope all nationalist activists will take an hour or two off today from their hectic election campaigns, to raise a glass to our patron Saint – St. George. I wish all racial-nationalist candidates, from whatever political party all the very best for May 3rd. Lets make sure you give them your full support and get the best possible vote in these difficult times.”

‘Cry God for England, Harry and St George!’ Those immortal words are from Shakespeare’s Henry V, but who was St George and how did he become patron saint of England?

St George was a Roman soldier who lived in the 3rd century AD. At the end of the century the Emperor Diocletian persecuted Christians and St George was martyred in 303 AD.

burnley_st_georges_steven2The cult of St George was brought to England from the Middle East by the crusaders. (St George was popular with the crusaders because he was a soldier). He is supposed to have appeared to them at Antioch in 1098.

St Georges Day, 23 April was set by the synod of Oxford in 1222. Meanwhile he was growing in popularity in England. By the 14th century St George was seen as England’s saint, rather than St. Edmund.

(St. Edmund was the King of East Anglia from 855 until 869, when his English army was defeated by the invading Danish forces known as the Great Heathen Army.  Edmund refused to renounce his Christian faith and was beheaded on the orders of the Danish commander.  A decade later the Danes were defeated by Alfred the Great.  St. Edmund’s body was preserved and later transferred to a market town in Suffolk which became Bury St Edmunds, a shrine which became the centre of a popular Christian cult.)

In the Middle Ages some people formed religious guilds. They prayed for dead members’ souls and provided charity. Many were dedicated to St George. On St George’s day in many places effigies of St George were taken out of the local church and paraded around the parish.

Furthermore in the Middle Ages the legend of St George and the dragon grew up. Many places also paraded a model dragon.

However after the Reformation the cult of the saints was swept away in England and St George lost much of his importance. Unlike many national saints St George has been neglected, rather like the English in general. However in recent years St Georges Day has been revived – thanks to English nationalism, which has also been revived since the 1990’s – as a patriotic symbol of England, the English nation and the white English people.

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