São Jorge worshiped in the Catholic Church, Umbanda and in football, is celebrated at Presidente Prudente | Head of Prudente and District

São Jorge and Ogun are known as warriors, those who help believers win the battles of life. The day chosen for devotees to profess their faith in the saint and the orexa is Saturday (23), the date of much feasting and celebration at Presidente Prudente (SP). In addition to his importance in religion, the Catholic saint also has many devotees of football, who turn to him in moments of anguish and heroism.

According to Father Dirso Montovani, in charge of the Cappella São Jorge, the saint was a soldier of the Roman Empire and a martyr of the Catholic Church born in Cappadocia, Turkey, who refused to leave Christianity and follow the Roman gods. Jorge was tortured and even after each torture he remained “faithful and calm”.

The cruelty with which they wounded George at the moment of torture, with iron forks and put him in an instrument of torture since the time when the bones were torn. On top of that, Jorge was ordered to burn him with torches and salt his wounds,” says Montovani.

Interior of the Church of São Jorge in Presidente Prudente (SP) – Photo: Leonardo Bosio/G1

He ended up beheading the saint and making his testimony to the faith many people at that time adhered to the Christian faith. The image of Saint George, always presented with a horse, sword, shield, flag, cross, and dragon, “denotes responding with faith, enthusiasm, and courage to the witness of a life based on Jesus Christ,” says the parish priest.

Montovani concludes, “St. George is an unknown saint in the Church, but his testimony to the living faith in Jesus Christ is the model to be followed in the spirit of striving to triumph over the power of the evil one.”

The church in honor of the Catholic saint is located in Villa Comercial and opened in 2015. Father Dircio Montovani has been a parish priest for 32 years and has been in charge of the church since January of this year.

At the time when the religious temple was being built, the parish priest in charge was Father Jerónimo Gasques and the name São Jorge was chosen for the church because, according to him, “the life of a saint is inserted into the sufferings and challenges of life.” Daily life, then, a church dedicated to this saint can lead many Christians to reaffirm their faith and to strive, from the life of this saint, to fight all kinds of evil and to give a courageous witness to Jesus Christ.

In honor of Saint George’s Day, an outdoor mass will be held at 7 p.m. on April 23 in the Chapel in honor of the Catholic saint located on Rua José Toledo, No. 102.

Celebrating Saint George and Ogon Day on April 23 – Photo: Leonardo Bossio / G1

Orixá Ogum is merged with São Jorge, and its day is also celebrated on April 23. The syncretism between the Catholic saint and the orexa began when Africans arrived in Brazil, according to Grazieli Angeli and the administrator of the Umbanda Tent Sete Linhas in Aruanda (Tusla), Grazieli Angeli.

“[Os africanos] Forced to be baptized into the Catholic Church, and gradually becoming acquainted with Catholic saints, noticing a certain similarity between their attributes, thus associating the saint’s personality with Oryxa so that they continued to worship their religious base even when facing another person. Holy figure,” says Grazieli.

The Ogun is worshiped in Umbanda as a great warrior who helps his followers overcome difficulties and be brave. Both orixá and São Jorge are fearless, warrior and full of initiative, hence their reconciling.

According to Grazieli, the Ogun commands the lives of his sons (believers), through the greater law of Olorum (God), so that they can open paths, overcome demands and break all kinds of negativity. The orixá is the person to turn to when you need to “take the right course”, directing your children’s thoughts, actions and decisions.

Body closing ritual performed by Umbanda Tent Sete Linhas de Aruanda – Photo: Taíne Correa

“Ogun is one of my Orixás (which rules my life). Even before getting to know Umbanda I was very attached to São Jorge and when I got to know the religion, Ogum was one of the first Orixás I came into contact with. Because of her compatibility with São Jorge, I became more interested and felt very identified, so I went to study more about this sacred sofa,” says Grazieli.

On the 16th, the ‘Body Closing’ rite was held in Twasla, which was attended by 23 people and consisted of a celebration of the Ogun asking the orixá to protect the devotees (close their bodies) and not allow negative energies and all that are bad approaches.

Body closing ritual performed by Umbanda Tent Sete Linhas de Aruanda – Photo: Taíne Correa

As Grazieli explains, rituals are performed in Umbanda terreiros and also by religious healers, and are very common in small towns. It consists in taking a potion of cachaça with “herbs of strength”, such as rue, guinea, arnica, and asking for protection of the orexa. In the Grazieli terreiro, in addition to the traditional dose of cachaça, there are also other rituals that are performed to ask the Ogun to protect their children.

On Saturday (23), Tusla sells lunch boxes with feijoada, a traditional Ogun dish. The dish can be obtained from the terreiro headquarters, at Rua Nações Unidas, No. 405, in Vila Aristarcho.

A space dedicated to São Jorge at the Torcida Organizada Gaviões da Fiel headquarters in Presidente Prudente – Photo: Leonardo Bosisio / g1

Saint George and Corinth

St. George’s Day is also special to the Corinthians Paulista Sports Club. There are several ways to connect São Jorge to Alvenegro.

According to the team, the first is the warrior stigma suffered by the two, who are always on the hunt for their goals. There is also historical coincidence. In 1926, the president of Corinthians, Ernesto Cassano, acquired Parque São Jorge and established the headquarters in 1928. It is located at Rua São Jorge, 777, in the Tatuapé neighborhood, in São Paulo (SP). Thus, in the 1920s, the club’s board of directors took the opportunity to choose the saint to be the patron. In 1941, President Manuel Koresher built a sanctuary atop the São Jorge Fountain, and whoever drinks of that water will forever be a Corinthian admirer.

Still according to Timão, there are those who are against this version. São Jorge was the patron saint of the Corinthians Football Club, the English team that inspired the name Corinthians Paulista prior to merging with Casuals. The founders of the Brazilian club, following the English, also decided to adopt the same sponsor.

Beatrice Zuckerol at Corinthians Stadium in Sao Paulo (SP) – Photo: personal archive

For supporter Beatriz Zoccoler, of Pirapozinho (SP), the identification of Corinthians fans with São Jorge is due to the fact that he is known as a warrior saint, who according to her “has something to do with Corinthians”.

“I see a very beautiful relationship between São Jorge and Corinthians, especially among the fans, but also with those within the club. There is a very strong representation. And I attribute that identification to being a saint known as a warrior saint, it has something to do with the crowd. It is a tradition too, Corinthians are traditional. Very in that sense, they like to keep the icons alive,” says Zuckerol.

On game days, the Corinthians player says she uses São Jorge to help the team, especially in the decisive matches and penalty shootouts. Additionally, Zuckerol says she is very attached to St. George for being the patroness of her favorite team, and because she was raised in a Catholic family, she always turns to the saints for help.

“Always in a decisive match, I turn to São Jorge. Whenever there are penalties, I kneel and pray for him and ask him to bless him.” [os jogadores]. Having this relationship with São Jorge is a feeling of comfort, knowing that when things go wrong we can try to turn to the divine, that’s also a very important thing as a fan,” says the fan.

Washington de Paulo with a picture of São Jorge at the headquarters of the organized crowd, in Presidente Prudente (SP) – Photo: Leonardo Bosio/G1

Another Corinthian supporter dedicated to São Jorge is Washington de Paulo, better known as Mittal, who is the director of the Torcida Organizada Gaviões da Fiel de Presidente Prudente.

At the fans’ headquarters, located in Jardim Santa Monica, there is a space with a fresco of the Holy Warrior and a candle that is lit before each game.

“We have a dedicated space for Sao Jorge. On game days, you should not miss a candle lit at your feet. The lit flame salutes our sacred warrior and helps us so that we can always play a great game,” says the director of the organization.

Graffiti on the walls of São Jorge at the headquarters of the Torcida Organizada Gaviões da Fiel in Presidente Prudente (SP) – Photo: Leonardo Bosisio / g1

Gaviões da Fiel fans’ devotion to São Jorge isn’t limited to the space with the picture and sail. The inscriptions of the saint covering the wall can be seen by everyone who enters the headquarters.

Washington’s relationship with São Jorge goes back to a very early time, when he heard about “Team São Jorge Park”. For him, the saint “brings the strength to overcome everyday life and the determination to overcome life’s obstacles.”

“Since I was young, when I got to know football, I already heard about Parque São Jorge. This mystery comes with time. The relationship between Corinthians and São Jorge is very strong. Corinthians has always been a team of warriors, humble fans, suffering, but they did not give up. Never. This is our relationship with the warrior saint,” concludes Director Gaviões da Fiel de Presidente Prudente.

A space dedicated to São Jorge at the headquarters of the Torcida Organizada Gaviões da Fiel in Presidente Prudente (SP) – Photo: Leonardo Bosisio / g1

Feijoada held by Umbanda Tent Sete Linhas de Aruanda – Photo: Grazieli Angeli / Personal Archive

Body closing ritual performed by Umbanda Tent Sete Linhas de Aruanda – Photo: Taíne Correa

Body closing ritual performed by Umbanda Tent Sete Linhas de Aruanda – Photo: Taíne Correa

Saint George at the Presidente Prudente Chapel in his honor – Photo: Leonardo Bosisio / g1

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