Order of Sant Jordi d'Alfama

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Knights of St. George (in Catalan, Sant Jordi d'Alfama) appear at different historical periods and in different countries as mutually independent bodies having nothing in common but the veneration of Saint George, the patron saint of knighthood.

St. George of Lydda, a martyr of the persecution of Diocletian in the fourth century, is one of those military saints whom Byzantine iconography represented as a horseman armed cap-à-pie, like the flower of the Roman armies after the military reform of Justinian I in the sixth century. The pilgrim knights of Europe, encountering in the East these representations of St. George, recognized their own accoutrements and at once adopted him as the patron of their noble calling.

This popularity of St. George in the West gave rise to numerous associations both secular and religious. Among secular orders of this name which still exist must be mentioned the English Order of the Garter, which has always had St. George for its patron. The Kingdom of Aragon was placed under his patronage, and in gratitude for his assistance to its armies King Peter II of Aragon founded (1201) the Order of St. George of Alfama in the district of that name. Nevertheless this order received the approbation of the Holy See only in 1363 and had but a brief existence. With the approval of antipope Benedict XIII it was amalgamated with the Aragonese Order of Montesa, and thereafter known as the Order of Montesa and St. George of Alfama.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.