This is a picture of Saint Brigid's Cross.
Saint Brigid (453-523 A.D) was the daughter of an Ulster Prince. Once when nursing a wounded pagan chief she made a cross like the one pictured above out of straw to explain the story of Jesus to him. Saint Brigid founded four monastries for women in Ireland, the most famous one being at Kildare. Her feast day is February 1st and she is the patron saint of Leinster.
Lord Albert of Coventrys beautiful wife was carrying her first child when she had a terrible dream concerning the birth. Lord Albert sought the meaning of this dream by visiting the yew grove of the witch Kalyb. Here he was told by Kalyb that his wife would die while giving birth to a son, who would later prove a brave warrior and champion.
The Lord returned to his castle to find all in mourning and his wife dead. As he grieved that night Kalyb entered the castle by magic and took the child from the castle. Lord Albert on discovering the fact searched desperately for his son for years before leaving England never to return. His name is commemorated in Coventry by the long dried up River Albert.
From a baby to the age of 21 the witch reared George into manhood. Kalyb however was basically evil and continued stealing babies and butchering them. George did not meet this end as he bore the birthmark of the dragon on his chest, marking him for great things.
Now accomplished in arms he yearned for adventure but Kalyb wished him to stay. he was determined to leave so she sought to tempt him to stay with gifts. She transported him to a golden castle in which she held imprisoned St. David of Wales; St. Patrick of Ireland; St. Andrew of Scotland; St. Denis of France; St James of France and St. Anthony of Italy. These, he was informed, were the six champions of Christendom and if he stayed he could become the seventh champion, Saint George of England. George refused.
She then showed him seven beautiful white horses, the swiftest was called Bayard and George was offered him. George refused. Then the witch strapped onto him armour impervious to sword and laid in his hands a magical sword called Ascalon. George still refused. Finally Kalyb offered him her own magic wand of yew; George took the wand and struck a nearby rock with it. The rock split asunder revealing a huge cavern full of the bodies of Kalybs young victims. George pushed her into the cavern and the rock closed entrapping her for ever.
He then released from their imprisonment the six champions and together they rode back to Coventry, the place of Georges birth. The seven champions stayed her for nine months honing their combat skills before setting off in search of adventure.
The champions rode South to a great plain; in the center of which stood a golden pillar marking the junction of seven roads. Her the knights said their farewells and each followed a road. George reached the coast and boarded a ship which took him to Egypt. Here he fought a dragon which had terrorized the land for 24 years; a deed which won him the hand of the King of Egypts daughter, Sabra.
All was well until King Almidor informed Sabras father that her rescuer intended to take his daughter back to England and make her a Christian. The would not hear of this and decided to rid himself of George by asking him to provide final proof of his love for his daughter by taking a message to the King of Persia.
This deed was dangerous and he was to fulfil it without his horse, Bayard, or magical sword. Against all odds George completed the task only to find that the message was a death sentence to the bearer.
George was seized and chained into a dungeon into which two lions were released. Enraged by his treatment he tore the chains apart, bound his hands with his own fair hair , rammed his hands down the lions throats and ripped out their hearts. George was left to rot in the dungeon but finally escaped after scraping loose stone from the wall. he stole a horse and rode off quickly and found another distressed maiden who fed him lavishly for killing her lord, a giant and sworn enemy of all Christians.
George rode on until he came upon the enchanted garden of the magician Ormadine. here within the living rock was embedded a fine sword chased in gold and silver and on its black these words were cut:
My Magic will remaine firmly bound
Til that knight from the far North be found
To pull this sworde from out of its bed of stone.
George grasped the hilt and out came the sword. Ormadine, the keeper of the sword, appeared before him, kissed his hand and informed him that St. David slept here wrapped in a gold sheet and watched by four maidens. The saint was under a spell after failing to release the sword. These words spoken, the magician and his fabulous garden faded away leaving the two saints alone and bewildered in the wilderness.
George then set off on further quests before returning to Egypt to claim the Princess Sabra. he soon found however that the King had given the princess to King Almidor of Morocco. George dressed as a hermit and went to the palace to try to catch a glimpse of the woman he loved. here he found the poor kneeling at the gates awaiting alms which the princess distributed to those who prayed for Georges safety.
The princess walked along the line of beggars and, despite his changed appearance, immediately recognized George who conformed his identity by presenting the princess with a ring she had given him before his trip to Persia. Reunited the princess took George into the palace and reunited him with his horse, Bayard and his sword, Ascalon. They then rode for Greece.
They arrived in Greece to find a grand tournament under way and all the champions of Christendom were present with their ladies. Each were victors in trials by both sword and lance and all was well until heralds appeared proclaiming war against Christianity.
On hearing the proclamation the champions mounted their horses and headed back to their homelands to raise armies to fight the infidels. The champions led their armies through the east destroying al before them in the name of God.
Finally the cause was won and the champions chose George to rule as King of Egypt, Emperor of Morocco and Sultan of Persia. George ruled wisely for a number of years before leaving trusted friends as regents and returned home to England, back to Coventry.
When George returned to England he heard that the people of Coventry were being terrorized by a great dragon which had suddenly appeared from a huge cavern underneath the town (underneath Hill Top in todays city center). George fought a tremendous and bloody battle with the beast before finally slaying it.
After killing the dragon George and the princess lived long, useful and peaceful lives and had many fine sons. Saint George died on April 21st (St. George's Day is April 23rd) and was buried in Coventry in great state.
|Here is an interesting picture of me on my Nimbus 2000. I am saving up for a Firebolt.