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 soldiers. Now Diocletian was a pagan and a bitter enemy to 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.
Our catechism teaches us that Satan and his angels are the most powerful enemy of our salvation. As powerful as they are, without the presence of Christ in our lives and the lack of prayer and fasting we can do nothing against this infernal enemy. If Christ himself was tempted in the dessert three times and was victorious against the temptation how much more on us fragile creatures who on Satan’s first attempt succumbs to it because of our weakness?
God of power and mercy,
you gave St. George, your martyr, victory over pain and suffering.
Strengthen us who celebrate this day of his triumph
and help us to be victorious over the evils that threaten us.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.