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SALUE MARTIR SPES ANGLORUM: ENGLISH DEVOTION TO SAINT GEORGE IN THE MIDDLE AGES

by MacGregor, James Bruce

Abstract (Summary)
Since the seventeenth century, English antiquarians, scholars and popular authors have sought to explain why Saint George became the patron saint of England. Unfortunately, the majority of these works have concerned themselves so thoroughly with documenting the development of the saint as the symbol of the nation that they have forgotten or ignored the fact that medieval people venerated Saint George as a martyr. In short, these works have ignored Saint George's place within the context of medieval piety – the very context out of which the political and patriotic symbol of the nation emerged. This study examines the history of the cult of Saint George in England with special emphasis on the manner in which English men and women venerated and prayed to Saint George. The result of this new analysis is a picture of medieval piety that clearly identifies Saint George as a personal intercessor. While medieval men and women recognized Saint George's special connection to England – via his patronage of the Order of the Garter and his intercession in times of war – they prayed to the saint for their own needs and not for the well-being of the kingdom. Such acts of personal piety, widespread throughout England, underpin broader royal, martial and political events, all of which explain why a fourth-century martyr became and remains the patron saint of England.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:cult of saints saint george medieval england liturgy books hours

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2002

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