April 23, St. George

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

--Henry V, Act III, Scene 1

Today is the feast of St. George, patron of England. He was martyred at Lydda (today's Lod, near Tel Aviv) about the year 303.

"My dear people, today's feast increases our joy in the glory of Eastertide like a precious jewel whose shining beauty adds to the splendor of the gold in which it is set.

"Saint George, whom we commemorate today, moved from one kind of military service to another, exchanging the earthly office of tribune for the ranks of the army of Christ. Like a well disciplined soldier he first jettisoned the burden of his earthly possessions by giving all he had to the poor."

--St. Peter Damian, quoted in Celebrating the Saints: Devotional Readings for Saints' Days, by Robert Atwell and Christopher L. Webber, Morehouse Publishing, 2001.

Happy St. George's Day to one and all!

(Today is also the anniversary of the deaths of Shakespeare, 1616, Wordsworth, 1850, and Rupert Brooke, 1915.)

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