Week­end The cross of St Ge­orge re­minds us of our duty to Je­sus

Halifax Courier - - Tour De Yorkshire -

St Ge­orge is the pa­tron saint of Eng­land. The an­niver­sary of his death on 23rdApril is seen as Eng­land’s na­tional day. Ac­cord­ing to leg­end, he was a mem­ber of the Ro­man army who killed a dragon and saved a princess. From the 15th cen­tury St Ge­orge’s Day was a na­tional hol­i­day in Eng­land and was cel­e­brated as widely as Christ­mas. This waned by the end of the 18th cen­tury but seems to be grad­u­ally re­gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity in Eng­land although it is not a bank hol­i­day to­day as many would like.

Lit­tle is re­ally known about the life of St Ge­orge. He was born around the year 280 in what is now Turkey. He was a sol­dier and was ex­e­cuted for be­ing a Chris­tian in 303. The cru­sades spread the fame of St Ge­orge and his flag with the red cross. In 1349 a law was passed to es­tab­lish him as Eng­land’s pa­tron saint. The na­tion put the red cross at the cen­tre of the Union Flag when it was cre­ated in 1801.

That cross, the supreme Chris­tian sym­bol, re­minds English peo­ple of the cost of un­shake­able faith and of coura­geous sac­ri­fice. Je­sus paid that price in his cru­ci­fix­ion. He con­quered sin and death and rose again so that we might have life.

The tra­di­tion of self-sac­ri­fice as­so­ci­ated with St Ge­orge has left its mark on the na­tion’s his­tory. It is about the tri­umph of good­ness, truth, love and peace.

Our na­tion ur­gently needs to go back to th­ese Chris­tian val­ues and ideals and re­mem­ber what made this na­tion great. With less than two weeks to the elec­tion, th­ese are some of the prin­ci­ples we need to em­brace.

The cross of St Ge­orge re­minds English peo­ple of its duty to the one who first bore that cross – Je­sus Christ.

Canon Stephen Brad­berry

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