Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Happy Al-Khidr Day!

Yes, we all know that St George was a Palestinian by birth who never came near England. England is not, of course, the only or indeed the first nation to have him as a patron saint. He put himself about a bit. According to Wikipedia:
Many Patronages of Saint George exist around the world, including: Georgia, England, Egypt, Bulgaria, Aragon, Catalonia, Romania, Ethiopia,Greece, India, Iraq, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine and Russia, as well as the cities of Genoa, Amersfoort, Beirut, Botoşani, Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Timişoara, Fakiha, Bteghrine, Cáceres, Ferrara, Freiburg im Breisgau, Kragujevac, Kumanovo, Lebanon, Ljubljana, Pérouges, Pomorie, Preston, Qormi, Rio de Janeiro, Lod, Lviv, Barcelona, Moscow and Victoria, as well as of the Scout Movement and a wide range of professions, organizations and disease sufferers.
So, George is pretty much the patron saint of globalisation. And Preston. But did you know that he is also venerated by Muslims? He is identified with 'The Green One', a shadowy, mystical figure possessed of great wisdom and knowledge.

I wonder if a Palestinian going by the name of Al-Khidr is quite what the flag-waggling brigade have in mind for England's saint.

Al-Khidr (aka George) is one of the two blokes praying. The other is Elijah, apparently

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