23 April 2009
Saint George - A modest proposal
St George is a very busy saint. Not only is he the patron saint of England he has this lot on his plate:
Portugal, Georgia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Agricutural workers, Moscow, Catalonia, Aragon,Majorca, Palestinian christians, Beirut, Butchers, Freemasons, Armourers, Field workers, Horsemen, Knights, Sheperds, Saddlers, Sheep, Horses, Syphilitics, Herpes sufferers, Soldiers and Skin diseases
The list is far from comprehensive Personally I think he is chronically overworked. In comparison St Patrick has a relatively easy time. Okay he has a lot of dioceses to look after but he is the national saint only of Ireland and Nigeria and his other duties focus on snakes. David only has Wales and doves!
There is no way that St George can look after all of these roles and give England the attention it deserves (let alone Georgia which possibly deserves a little more of his time given that the country is named after him and the flag contains lots of St George crosses...) I would not ask Bulgaria or Lithuania to find a new patron saint but some of his other functions could be given to less burdened saints. Perhaps St David could take on sheperds and field workers.
In addition St George could do with some assistants. England's first martyr, St Alban, would be the ideal deputy patron. Other saints could take a more active regional role. St Edmund could take on East Anglia, while St Cedd could have a higher profile in Essex. St Mary Magdalene in North Ockendon would surely experience an economic boom with thousands of pilgrims wishing to take the waters at the nearby St Cedd's well.
And so on and so forth. I don't expect things to change overnight but perhaps it would be far better to celebrate England's patron saint by reducing his workload than waving flags.
Postscript: I wish I had thought of this earlier. I could have taken action as per Liz's comment and sent this as a letter to the Mail (in purple ink of course!). Otherwise it would be the sort of thing my poltroon of an MP, Andrew Rosindell, would go crazy for, I'm sure