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Thread: Patron Saint of England.....St.Edmund?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Renwein's Avatar
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    St. Edmund isn't the only 'alternate Patron Saint' that has been suggested. Others include St. Alban:

    THE Church of England will debate making St Alban (who the city of St Albans in Hertfordshire is named after) an alternative patron saint because critics claim St George is too militaristic, potentially offensive to Muslims — and foreign.

    Supporters of the change, to be unveiled in a General Synod motion this week, claim Alban may be more appropriate not only because he was real while George may be mythical, but because of his self-sacrifice.

    Alban was a 4th century martyr who was put to death after hiding a Christian priest from the Romans in what is now the Hertfordshire city named after him.

    The proposal may dismay many England fans, who have been flying George’s banner in support of their football team. The flag of St Alban would be a diagonal yellow cross on a blue background.

    Philip Chester, vicar of St Matthew’s, Westminster, who is gathering support for his private member’s motion, called the choice of George, who according to legend was a Roman cavalryman from what is now Turkey, “dotty”.

    He added: “We are not at all sure George even existed . . . but we are sure St Alban is a real figure. What’s more, he lived in this country.”

    Chester’s motion, which needs the signatures of 100 synod members before it is debated formally, calls on Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, “to acknowledge St Alban as the patron saint of England.”

    Williams appeared cautious last week. “I think St Alban is irreplaceable in the history of English Christianity. Perhaps we ought to raise his profile because it’s the beginning of the church in this country with martyrdom, wisdom and courage,” he said.

    George has been England’s leading saint since knights brought his legend back from the holy land in the Middle Ages and he was adopted by Edward III as patron of the Order of the Garter in 1348.

    Some modern vicars, however, shy away from marking his feast day because they dislike his association with the violence of the crusades against the Islamic world.

    David Stancliffe, Bishop of Salisbury, said: “There was a time when the image of St George associated with belligerence was helpful, particularly in our imperial past. But I think there’s been a change and now we want to honour holiness.”
    (this article has an obvious PC bias, plus, St. Alban is the patron st. of refugees. hmmm...)

    Some people also suggest St. Cuthbert, etc. I think Edmond has the best claim of any, but but least these & others have the advantage of actually being English, which St. George wasn't, and also St. George is the patron st. of several other countries. Some multiculti's delight in this, making articles with lines like 'the patron saint of england is multicultural... george was a turk with a palestinian parent who served Rome' etc.

    At the moment St. George is enjoying a comeback but this is in a more 'reactionary' spirit, since England is being swamped and the inhabitants are on the back foot, looking for symbols that belong to them, so it's a rather 'reactionary' comeback IMO.
    Given time and more 'ethnic awareness', it seems right that if there is to be a patron saint, he should at least be English, and there is historical precedent for Edmund, so...
    (on the other hand what about the Penda idea for the heathens?) maybe best to sidestep the issue, since Christianity is barely followed by the locals anymore, and instead have a 'national day' based on some appropriate date (the landings of Hengist & Horsa f.e.?) which is applicable to all English, rather than some abstract religion?

    The only issue then would be the flag of england (but again, the george's cross is shared by several regions), since changing the flag might be difficult, plus the current flag is quite appealing if you ask me - however if christianity could 'steal' the native folkelore (dragonslayer etc) and iconography (crosses), there's no reason why we shouldn't steal it back .
    Although, there might be something to say for using a White Dragon or something similar... perhaps even some variety of Lightning flash...

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    How's the case for "St. Penda"?
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Senior Member RedJack's Avatar
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    ..."an alternative patron saint because critics claim St George is too militaristic, potentially offensive to Muslims — and foreign."

    All good reasons to keep him, imo, even the foreign part. Notice how it's OK to object to the patron Saint being foreign but not the hordes of dusky invaders?
    Don't let Europe Rule Britannia!

    "If we reunited, then we would be an economic and military powerhouse without peer for centuries to come."-Leofric

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    St Penda?????

    I cannot for one moment feel that Penda would be happy having the christians turn him into a saint.
    Why should we want saint anything. The CofE are clearly trying to pander to the mulculs. The christians don't really care about wheher their saint is English or because they worship a god from muspelheim anyway.
    I don't even like having a cross as our supposed national symbol.

    Our forefathers didn't just think to themselves "oh yes!!! I think I will have some of this christian mularkey". The priests did the old Grymer Wormtongue on the kings. The kings recognised the potential of this new thing to help gain or hold power so they basically told everyone to be christian. Not all did but they either kept it to themselves or were put to the sword. The rest was done with trickery (hijacking festivals etc) and there you go. christianity has arrived.

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    The dragonslayer myth is a PIE core myth (see Calvert Watkins, How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics). If 'Saint George and the Dragon' can be assumed to have originated in Cappadocia (the Land of Hatti), then it may derive in some way from the Tarhun/Illuyanka battle of Hittite fame. However, there are also non-IE dragonslayer myths in the wider region and Saint George's adventure is usually seen by Christians as mirroring Archangel Michael's slaying of another serpent.

    Despite the formal similarity, there is a wide variety of these myths and along with the content, their meaning also changes. Even the attempt to identify a common theme would be tantamount to telling a version of the myth. For this reason, they cannot be seen as interchangeable.

    Nevertheless, it seems that Saint George was indeed used in this way to change earlier Germanic values, much like Saint Michael the Archangel was used in the German realm as a replacement for Woden and Donar (who battles with the Midgard Serpent) and the way of life they stood for.

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    I'm not a Christian so i'm on shaky ground here but...shouldnt a saint have been an actual person and not just a legend based on some obscure historical figure, or worse, taken from a heathen legend like Sigurd?

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    Senior Member RedJack's Avatar
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    No, and there's no need for the patron saint of a country to be a native of that country. St. Michael the archangel, another military saint, is the patron saint of the German Nation. You could argue he's even more of a myth than St. George. However the point of such things is to represent and embody the qualities of the nation. St. George represents good heroically fighting evil and is a good match for England.
    Don't let Europe Rule Britannia!

    "If we reunited, then we would be an economic and military powerhouse without peer for centuries to come."-Leofric

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    Orthodox Christianity posits the theology of "types" which means that God has placed in man the unconscious yearning for God so Saints, flood, dragon stories are precursors of the events to come; "through a glass darkly".

    Interestingly Anglo-Saxon missionaries were instrumental in converting the Frankish Empire to Christianity.

    I believe Orthodox Christianity is the natural religion of Anglo-Saxon Folk. Your view of course, may differ...

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