Feast of Saint George

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 01:30

On 23 April, several Italian towns celebrate the Festa di San Giorgio. Born in Lydda, Roman Palestine, he was a soldier in the Roman army and is regarded as one of the most prominent military saints by almost all Christian churches that recognize the cult of saints. He is said to have killed a dragon near the sea in Beirut.

St. George is also honored by  Muslims as his figure has become a composite character mixing elements from Biblical, Quranic and folkloric sources, at times being identified with prophet Al-Khidr. 

He died before Constantine I, probably under the walls of Nicomedia, according to some sources, in 303. His cult is widespread and is very ancient dating back to at least the fourth century. Even in Italy, he is venerated in many cities and he has become over time the patron saint of several cities.

Below are some examples of San Giorgio's celebrations. The first video is set in Portofino, where every year, on April 23, a special bonfire is prepared; the second is a procession in Modica, in South East Sicily, in the beautiful Baroque church dedicated to Saint George.

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