23rd of April, the Holy Orthodox Church commemorates the holy and glorious Great-Martyr GEORGE the Trophy-bearer

My beloved brothers and sisters and in Our Risen Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ,

Χριστός Ανέστη! Αληθώς Ανέστη!

Glory to His Third Day Resurrection.
We bow down to His Third Day Resurrection.

Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling
upon Death, and has bestowed Life to those in
the tombs.

On the 23rd of April, the Holy Orthodox Church Commemorates
the holy and glorious Great-Martyr GEORGE the Trophy-bearer.

Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of the Great Martyr

As the one renowned for setting captives free and for
defending those in poverty, the physician of the sick
and the champion of emperors, great and victorious Martyr
George, intercede with Christ our God, beseeching Him
to save our souls.

Kontakion Hymn. Fourth Tone

Having been cultivated well by the Lord God, as the most honored cultivator
of piety thou hast 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.

Saint George, the glorious and wondrous Great-Martyr, flourished during the reign of the pagan Roman Emperor Diocletian (284-505 A.D.). He hailed from Cappadocia of Asia Minor. His parents were notable and distinguished aristocrats. The young man entered the army and shone forth brilliantly, first as a tribune and then as a commander, when he was about to enter the contest of martyrdom. During the terrible storm of the "Great Persecution," those Christians who denied Christ were promised imperial honors. All those who refused to be persuaded to renounce the Christian Faith were dragged away and put to death if they did not offer sacrifices to the devilish idols. One of these brave contestants was the Great George. He stood before Diocletian and proclaimed himself a Christian. He censured idol madness and infirmity. He turned up his nose at those who fell down in worship of the inanimate idols. Neither blandishments nor promises from the tyrant himself succeeded in persuading St. George. Flattery and rewards from such a mortal king were deemed contemptible by him. Furthermore, he thought slightly of his age and that he was in the bloom of youth. He launched himself forth into the struggle, disdaining his considerable wealth, his transitory handsome looks, and his prowess on the battlefield, for the sake of Life Eternal in the heavens. He was prepared to forsake his lofty rank as a military commander and the high esteem and regard of the emperor so that he might emulate the sufferings of Christ.

The threats of torments and the multifarious instruments and appliances, moreover, held no terror for Saint George. He rather despised them as naught. The tyrants placed the instruments of torture before the Christians. There was the brazen bed, the bone-smashing choppers, the iron rods, wheels with knives fixed to them, iron gloves and shoes with long nails, tongue-slitting knives, tools for extracting teeth, iron bone borers, sharp swords, and other implements of cruel and bizarre torture. Nevertheless, Saint George refused to consent to any sacrifice or show of homage to the senseless idols.

Saint George was first struck with many spears, of which one was permitted by God to strike His athlete’s abdomen. This caused a profuse flow of blood, while the other spear points back and did not injure him in the least. Next Saint George was bound to a wheel of torture. While being turned upon that hideous apparatus, he sustained severe cuts and mutilation from contorted blades and spikes below. With each revolution of the wheel, the martyr’s body was sliced. Despite the damage and deformity that resulted therefrom, he was restored to health by the care of an Angel. The sight of Saint George completely recovered and without a trace of injury, in spite of the dreadful torments, drew many of the Greek pagans to the Faith of Christ. Soldiers also came forward, seeing the miracle, and confessed Christ.

A great stone was chiseled out to fit the martyr’s head. They thrust his head in that stone casing, making it fast with lead. Then they rolled the martyr down from a high place, with the stone helmet attached. This resulted in broken bones for the martyr, but he bore these tortures with fortitude. Then it was commanded that the stone helmet be removed. The martyr, next, was suspended, head downwards, with a heavy stone hanging from him. A large fire was lit underneath him to heighten his suffering.

After these things, the executioners were bidden to throw him into a bronze-shaped bull and to drive sharp nails into it. Then the tyrant commanded the officers to bring a machine to revolve inside the bull so that the body of the Saint might be broken to pieces by the nails. Saint George bore all these atrocities with fortitude.

Christ strengthened Saint George’s soul. They, again, brought iron knives or claws, the edges of which were fork-like saws, and they sawed his flesh into threads with them. The tyrant commanded them to bring salt and strong vinegar and to pour them upon Saint George’s wounds. Then he made them lacerate his body until his bones protruded, and his flesh fell in pieces on the ground. But the blessed man did not die, for God strengthened his spirit within him.

The Saint was subjected to a caustic lime pit, from which he emerged whole and intact. Saint George’s feet were then subjected to, and made to run in iron shoes with nails jutting into the soles of his feet. Following this, a magician was summoned to put St. George to the test with mind-altering drugs and deadly potions. Though the Saint suffered the hardship of prison, yet he showed himself compassionate for the needs of others. When the farmer Glykerios came to the dungeon and asked the Saint to raise his dead bullock, George did so. Glykerios, who came to confess the Christian Faith, also received the martyric crown. Magnentios sought to see a sign from the Saint, that is, the raising of the dead, the Saint offered up prayer over the covering of a tomb. Behold the miracle! Saint George, by his prayer, raised the dead man, thereby glorifying the Divinity and power of Christ.

By the wondrous signs that took place in his contest, he guided many to the knowledge of the Truth, including Queen Alexandra, wife of Diocletian, and was finally beheaded in A.D. 296 in Nicomedia. His sacred 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.

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, to the uttermost ends of the earth, yet so many miracles have been worked at his tomb in Lydda (the present-day Lod), that when Palestine was in the hands of the Moslems, 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 intercession.

LIBERATOR of captives, defender of the poor, physician of the sick, and champion of kings,
O trophy-bearer Great Martyr George intercede with Christ that our souls be saved. Amen.


"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos
+ + +

With sincere agape in Our Risen Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

+ Father George

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