Thursday, April 23, 2015

Saint George and the Dragon

Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. 
~ G. K. Chesterton

Happy Feast of St. George! In the past our children loved slaying Dragon Cakes or decorating 3D Cookie Sugar Story Quilts (here and here) to celebrate St. George's Day, but last year, since we have a birthday to celebrate each year on the 20th, I decided to try and find a healthy (yet still fun!) alternative and ended up creating a Saint George and the Dragon Veggie Platter. They loved it! It is so quick and easy to put together that I had no trouble making another one this year, despite our incredibly full week of required state testing Monday-Thursday, a birthday to celebrate, braces removed and retainer fitting, and all of our usual commitments and appointments ending with three well-child checkups this evening… Whew!! I'm so glad it's finally Thursday night and our schedule is completely open tomorrow (and the next day!) for the first time in over a week!

Saint George and the Dragon by Jim Forest

While devouring this year's Saint George and the Dragon Veggie Platter, my husband read the following short and inspiring story from Saints for Young People for Every Day of the Year (1963 Edition):

April 23

St. George

Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to rescue a beautiful lady. The dragon stands for wickedness. The lady stands for God's holy truth. St. George was a brave martyr who was victorious over the devil.

He was a soldier in the army of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, and he was one of the Emperor's favorite solders. Now Diocletian was a pagan and a bitter enemy of the Christians. He put to death every Christian he could find. George was a brave Christian, a real soldier of Christ. Without fear, he went to the Emperor and sternly scolded him for being so cruel. Then he gave up his position in the Roman army. For this he was tortured in many terrible ways and finally beheaded.

So boldly daring and so cheerful was St. George in declaring his Faith and in dying for it that Christians felt courage when they heard about it. Many songs and poems were written about this martyr. Soldiers, especially, have always been devoted to him.

We all have some "dragon" we have to conquer. It might be pride or anger or laziness or greediness or something else. Let us make sure we fight against these "dragons," with God's help. Then we can call ourselves real soldiers of Christ. 

Comparing the images of St. George found in some of our books. You can find a list with links here.

So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending!
 ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit