My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
HOLY MARTYRDOM ACCORDING TO THE
HOLY ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH
"By contemplating eternity, the holy Martyrs
willed to endure the most grievous torments
rather than submit to the will of the ungodly
kings and deny Christ." (Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk)
"The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church,"
and the Body of Christ continually witnesses to
this reality when the persecution of the Orthodox
faith becomes great enough that Christians are
willed for their faith, history typically records a
resurgence of faith and piety among the people
of that region." (Tertullian)
MARTYRAS OR MARTYR comes from the the Greek, ‘Μάρτυς,’ which means "witness." A Martyr is a Christian believer who gives their life for Christ, physically dying as a witness to the faith. MARTYRDOM, especially Christ’s Passion, and the Martyrdom of Christians who willingly suffered torture and death for the faith.
MARTYRS are known under a number of descriptions. These are:
MARTYRS as a whole are those who suffer torture and death in Christ’s name, for remaining loyal
to the True faith, or for refusing to worship pagans idols.
GREAT MARTYRS are those Saints who suffered horific and extreme torture
HIEROMARTYRS are those Martyrs who suffered torture and death as priests.
VENERABLE MARTYRS are those Saints who suffered death as members of the Monastic Orders.
NEOMARTYRS are the more recent Martyrs and Confessors who had been tortured and executed by the
Ottoman Turks who had enslaved Greece and refused to convert to Islam.
ON APRIL 23rd
OUR HOLY ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH
COMMEMORATES THE FEAST OF THE HOLY
GLORIOUS GREAT MARTYR GEORGE THE
The renowned and glorious Martyr George was born in Cappadocia, the son or rich and God-bearing parents. His father suffered for Christ, after which his mother moved to Palestine. When Saint George grew up he went into the army, in which he rose, by the age of 20, to the rank of Tribune, and as such was in service under the pagan Roman Emperor Diocletian. When this Emperor began a terrible persecution of Christians, St. George came before him and boldly confessed that he was a Christian and denounced him. The Emperor threw him into prison, and commanded that his feet be put in the stocks and a heavy weight placed on his chest. After that, he commanded that he be bound on a wheel, under which was a board with great nails protruding, and then be turned. He then had him burried in a pit with only his head above the ground, and left there for three days and nights. Then, through some magician, he was given deadly poison. In the face of all these tortures, Saint George prayed unceasingly to God, and God healed him instantly and saved him from death, to the great amazement of the people. When he also raised a dead man to life by the prayers, many embraced the Christian faith. Among these was the Emperor’s wife, Alexandra, and the chief pagan priest, Athanasios, the governor Glycerius, and Valerius, Donatus, and Therinus. Finally, the Emperor commanded that St. George and the Empresss Alexandra be beheaded. Blessed Alexandra died on the scaffold before being killed and Saint George was beheaded. This happened in the year 303 A.D. The miracles (wonders or thavmata) that have been performed at his grave are without number. Also his appearance in the dreams to those who, thinking of him, have sought his help, from that time unto the present day. Consumed by love for Christ, it ws not difficult for holy George to leave all for this love — his status, wealth and imperial favor, his friends and the whole world. For this love, the Lord rewarded him with a wreath of unfading glory in heaven and on earth, and with Eternal Life in His Kingdom. The Lord further endowed him with the power to help those in need and distress, all who honored him and call on his name.
His holy relics were taken by his servant from Nicomedia to Palestine, to a town called Lydda, the homeland of his mother, and then were finally transferred to the church which was raised up in his name. The Anakomide (Translation) of the Saint’s holy relics to the church in Lydda is commemorated on November 3rd; Saint Alexandra the Queen, on April 21st.
Through the centuries, Saint George has shown himself to be a swift and present helper to all who call on him with faith, whether on land or sea, and to the ends of the earth. So many miracles have been worked at his tomb in Lydda (the present-day Lod), that when Palestine was in the hands of the Muslims, they took half of his church and turned it into a mosque, which may still be seen to this day, dedicated in his honor and testifying to the abundant power of his holy intercession.
Apolytikion (Dismissal) hymn. Fourth Tone.
LIBERATOR of captives, defender of the poor, physician of the sick,
and champion of kings. O trophy-bearer Great Martyr George
intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion. Fourth Tone
HAVING been cultivated well by the Lord God, as the most
honored cultivator of piety thou has now gathered sheaves of
virtues for thyself; for, as thou didst sow with tears, thou dost
reap with rejoicing; with thy blood didst thou contest and thou
now hast received Christ. And by thine intercessions, O Saint
George, thou grantest all the forgiveness of trespasses.
A BLESSED NAME-DAY TO ALL THE GEORGES AND GEORGIES!
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
+ + +
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy serant of God
+ Father George