For its hundreds of thousands of devout believers worldwide, the Catholic Church has embraced many traditions that have endured for centuries. To those who have lived within the confines of this faith, they know that the Catholic Church isn't just a man-made building, but, rather, a global congregation of like believers who share much of the same customs and traditions. It is these very traditions that give meaning and vindicate a faith that has embodied many generational elements.
One such highly revered tradition, within the longstanding Catholic faith, is that of the invaluable universal presence of the patron saints. Essentially, within this respect, intercession or prayer is made to men and women who have been granted the high honor of canonization by the Catholic Church. Through this very important aspect of the Catholic faith, this intercession can be done on behalf of specific individuals, organizations, and occupations, with hopes of gaining favor through help, assistance, protection, and abundant blessings in times of need.
For those who are new to the Catholic faith, the choosing of their patron saint has incredible significance. This tradition is also held firmly, and resolute, by lifelong Catholics, as well as, those teens who may be preparing for their confirmation within the church. These individuals can, in many ways, find security and identify with their own patron saint.
Intercession to your own patron saint can embody anything from your state in life or occupation to those who grant protection in trying, or difficult, times. For the battle-ready soldier, they can find protection through their patron saints, St. George and St. Martin of Tours. With weapon in hand, many soldiers have found comfort in wearing devices, or medallions, to remind them of their faith and where their dedication and loyalty reside in the hardest of times.
Within the century-old study of Saints, St. George, in particular, was a soldier in Emperor Diocletian's Guard within his Roman Empire. As one of the most venerated Saints, and martyrs, of the Orthodox and Catholic churches, soldiers preparing for war can find great comfort in intercession to Jesus, through St. George. Within his life and existence, legends have surfaced that reflect his courage and bravery in the face of formidable opponents. One such legend was that of his confrontation with an overpowering dragon, in which he triumphantly subdued with the lance he wielded. In medieval romances, it was the name of his very lance, which he used to slew this dragon that was named after the city 'Ashkelon' in Israel.
Whether in real accounts of documented history, or in legend, St. George has lived on to be an incredible figure, and venerated martyr within the Catholic Church. Beyond individual soldiers, entire countries have embraced the colors of St. George, and have integrated them into their own national symbols and flags. For instance, his white flag, and red cross, are frequently born by entities and countries by which he is patron. These countries include England, Georgia, Catalonia and Liguia, to only name a few. His honor and tradition is also clearly preserved with annual celebrations throughout various countries of the world.
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