Jorge de Cappadocia aka Saint George, identified with English ideals of honor, bravery and gallantry. The man who is venerated across the Christian world is the ‘patron saint’ of some countries, regions and cities. He is the patron saint of soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and field workers, riders and saddlers, and he helps those suffering from leprosy, plague and syphilis. Just that!
On top of it he is a rare case among saints and legends in that he is known and respected by Muslims too throughout the Middle East and Asia Minor. Being a bit of a composite character mixing elements from Biblical, Koranic and folkloric sources, he was also identified as Al-Khidr.
Brief: Born in Turkey (in Cappadocia) – Lived in 3rd century – His parents were Christian – Became a Roman soldier – Protested against Rome’s persecution of Christians – Imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith – Beheaded at Lydda in Palestine.
Now the legend stipulates that he also slays a dragon! The depictions often include the image of the young maiden looking on from the distance. The interpretation is that the dragon represents both Satan and the Roman Empire. The young maiden is none other that the wife of Diocletian, Alexandra. The legend comes back to the Crusaders bringing romantic stories from their travels. In this case the dragon’s nest was located at the spring providing water for the city of “Silene” so its inhabitants had to dislodge the dragon everyday by offering a sheep to collect water. At some point a sheep wasn’t enough and a draw was organized in the village to offer a young maiden to the dragon, till the day the princess was chosen and the monarch couldn’t avoid her destiny. Coincidently George appeared, slays the dragon, and converts everyone to Christianity!