Hey, kids! Today, we’re going to introduce you to four amazing saints who defeated monstrous creatures—a.k.a. dragons! While some historians believe that these “dragons” were really dinosaur fossils or most likely crocodiles, the stories still remain fascinating and show how good will always triumph over evil no matter what! So get ready to meet the dragon-slaying saints:
St. Philip the Apostle
In the apocryphal Acts of Philip, St. Philip went to the temple of Apollo at Hierapolis to cast out a dragon. The passage said, “And do you know, Lord, that because of you I came into this city, and in your name I have persecuted all the error of the idols, and all the demons? The dragons and the serpents have withered away.”
According to Blessed Jacobus de Varagine’s The Golden Legend, a collection of stories from medieval Europe, St. George was a Roman military officer of the 3rd century and slayed a dragon fearlessly. According to the legend, when George traveled to the city of SIlena, he learned that a “plague-bearing dragon” lurked in “a pond as large as a lake.” Experts say that this was most likely a crocodile. The creature scared the townsfolk whenever it stalked the city walls because it would poison everyone who came within reach of his breath. To appease the monster, the people would feed it two sheep every day…that is, until George came. Mounting his horse and arming himself with the sign of the cross, George approached the dragon and wounded the beast with his lance, which eventually killed the creature.
St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael, the one who led an army of angels to cast Satan and the rebellious angels into hell, is the first dragon-slayer. The Book of Revelation described Satan as a dragon: “…and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Revelation 12: 7-9)
St. Martha, the saint who attended to Jesus when he visited their home, was said to come to France with Mary Magdalene after Jesus Christ’s ascension to heaven. Tradition says that Martha performed many miraculous feats, including slaying a dragon along the Rhone river. According to the Golden Legend, there was “a dragon that was half animal and half fish, larger than an ox, longer than a horse, with teeth as sharp as horns and a pair of bucklers on either side of his body.” The beast lurked in the river and killed those who tried to sail. The people asked Martha for help, and she went after the dragon whom she found in the forest in the act of devouring a man. Martha sprinkled it with holy water and had a cross held up in front of it. The monster was subdued and the saint tied it up with her girdle. Now bound, the people killed the creature with stones and lances.
Are you inspired by these dragon-slayers saints? What would you do to make sure that good triumphs over evil? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Text by Yen Cantiga.
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