For England and St George

Together with our fellow countrymen we celebrate today the feast of St. George, principal patron of England. Whilst St. Edmund of Abingdon also has a claim to the title of England’s patron saint, it is St. George who is principally invoked for the protection of this country.

Today is a perfect opportunity to rededicate ourselves to praying for the conversion of ‘Mary’s Dowry’ to true faith.

“We humbly call on St. Gregory, whom the English have ever rejoiced to greet as the Apostle of their race, on Augustine his disciple and his messenger, and on those other Saints of God, through whose wonderful virtues and no less wonderful deeds England has merited the title of “Island of the Saints;” on St. Peter and St. George, those special patrons, and above all on Mary, the Holy Mother of God, whom Christ Himself from the Cross left to be the mother of man­kind, to whom your kingdom was dedicated by your forefathers under that glorious title ., The Dowry of Mary.” All these with full confidence we call upon these our pleaders before the Throne of God that, renewing the glory of ancient days, He May “fill you with all joy and peace in believing: that you may abound in hope and in the power of the Holy Ghost” (Rom. xv. 13). Care should be taken that the prayers for unity already establish amongst you Catholics on certain fixed days should be made more popular and recited with greater devotion. Especially that the pious practice of the Holy Rosary, which we ourselves have so strong­ly recommended, should flourish, for it contains as it were a summary of the Gospel teaching, and has always been a most salutary institution for the people at large.”

– Pope Leo XIII ‘Letter to the English people who seek the kingdom of God in the Unity of Faith’

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