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A Google Doodle to celebrate St. George's Day 2013

Google has marked today's celebrations in honour of St. George, England's patron saint, with a Doodle. The emblem represents the christian martyr of greek origins fighting a dragon, to protect the princess - who, according to Jacobus de Voragine's 1260 BC 'Golden Legend', was called Sadra and was the daughter of the king of Silene, in Libya.

The ancient story describes how the town's inhabitants, in order to keep a bloodthirsty dragon living in a nearby lake from killing everyone, began to feed him two sheep a day. Once they run out of animals, they decided to feed him their children instead, after randomly selecting them through a inexorable and macabre lottery.

One day, the king's daughter name came up and in order to spare her from certain death, he offered to swap all his wealth for her life, at no avail. Sadra was then taken to the lake dressed as a bride, and when she was just about to be slayed by the dragon, St George came to the rescue.

He tamed the beast and brought it back to the village, promising everyone that he would have killed it if they had converted to Christianity. They all agreed and after the dragon's death, the king decided to build a church in honour of Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George on the spot (called Ascalon) where the beast was killed. According to the legend, shortly after, a fountain of healing water began to spring from the church altar, freeing the whole region from all diseases.

After the encounter with the dragon, St George moved to the imperial city of Nicomedia to work in Emperor Diocletian's army. Unfortunately, shifts in political powers caused few years later a drastic change, with the Emperor issuing a edict that ordered every Christian soldier in the army to be sacrificed. George refused to betray his religion to save himself, and ended up being decapitated on April 23, 303 BC.

St George Day has been celebrated in England since the XV century - despite George's greek origins and his lack of direct connections with England or the United Kingdom - as a result of the dissemination of Christianity.

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