Ever wondered about St.George and the dragon? He is the patron saint of Britain? There are football clubs named after him, a local district or two, and churches beyond number. So Saint George must have been a very important person. Who was St.George and did he ever exist?
Well it seems that George was a soldier who served in the Roman army when Diocletian was emperor. He was a handsome and courteous man known for his personal courage and kindness. During the reign of Diocletian an edict was published ordering the persecution of Christians. George determined to help his mates who were being arrested and tried, and so he set off for the city of Rome to plead their cause. On the way he passed through Beirut and saw that the locals were in a real bind with a massive rogue crocodile. The crocodile had them all bluffed and they had even started throwing young girls to it to try to stop it attacking them indiscriminately. What's a girl or two among friends? So George turned the crocodile into a handbag or two and went on his way to Rome. As it turned out, his appeal was in vain, and he himself was charged with being a Christian. He was ordered to worship the emperor as God, but he refused. Instead he told them that in his opinion Jesus was God. For this he was tortured and beheaded. The date was 303.AD. or so the story goes!
I have to say that George sounds a little like Crocodile Dundee. So maybe the Australian equivalent for St.George is St.Mike after Mike Dundee the Australian mythological bushman. Sadly, Mike in real life was anything but a saint, but the mythological Australian bushman is always a saint.
Crocodile Dundee certainly does portray the Australian myth. He is Australia. The self-reliant, kind, brave man who will never let his mates down. And he is the man who believes in Jesus. This is rather an interesting feature of the Australian myth when you think about it. Here we are in a rampant secular Australia and yet the myth of our nationhood demands a belief in God.
"Are you afraid to die?" Asked the Journo.
"No" Replied Hoges.
"Are you religious?" continued the journalist.
"I am, if that means believing in Jesus and them Apostles. They were ordinary blokes, they were fisherman like me." Dundee then looked across the vast expanse of bushland before him. The awe and the mystery of it flickered across his face. "Yeah, me and God - we'd be mates."