For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
A Patron Saint
According to tradition, George, a secret believer in Jesus Christ, began his adult life as a Roman soldier, and it is thought that he achieved a high rank in the army. In 303 the Emperor Diocletian began a systematic persecution of Christians, and, as a soldier, George would have had to participate in this. But he refused, and, declaring his faith openly, George was tortured and executed in Palestine on or around 23 April 303.
Later he became patron saint of England and many other European countries. George is also a very important figure for Christians in Egypt and the Middle East. He is often associated with the legend of slaying a dragon, which has been regarded as a symbol of the Christian’s daily spiritual battle.
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!
At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;
On then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Brothers lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
What the saints established that I hold for true.
What the saints believèd, that I believe too.
Long as earth endureth, men the faith will hold,
Kingdoms, nations, empires, in destruction rolled.
Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
But the church of Jesus constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail;
We have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.
Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924)