Saint Alban is venerated as the Patron and Proto-Martyr ofEngland. As recorded by the Venerable Bede, St. Alban was a Roman pagan who lived in the Province of Britannia in the 3rd or 4th century A.D. During his life, a cruel persecution of Christians began in that region. He sheltered and hid a Christian priest in his home. Alban was so impressed with the priest's faith and piety that he found himself emulating him and soon converted to Christianity. However, word of the priest reached the ears of the local ruler, who sent soldiers to arrest him.
As they came to seize the priest, Alban put on the priest's cloak and clothing and presented himself to the soldiers in place of his guest. When his ruse was discovered, Alban was sentenced to receive all of the punishments meant for the priest. As he was led to martyrdom he came to an impassable river which dried up through his prayers so he would not be delayed in receiving his martyr’s crown. His would-be executioner was astonished and confessed faith in Christ, afterwards joining Alban in execution.Saint Alban’s Flag is a gold saltire on an azure field. The Orthodox Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Mercia adopted the flag as its standard and theSaint as its patron. The flag still flies over the Abbey of St. Albans, where the Proto-martyr’s relics still lie. Saint Alban is commemorated on June 22/July 5.