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Saint George, the Great Martyr
القديس العظيم في الشـهداء جاورجيــوس

In 275, Saint George was born of Christian parents in Lydda of Cappadocia in Palestine. He rose to the highest ranks of the Roman Legion. But then Emperor Diocletian, the great persecutor of Christians, demanded his soldiers offer pagan sacrifices as proof of their loyalty. As a Christian, George refused to obey this order, relinquished his commission, and openly confessed his faith. His steadfastness in enduring terrible tortures inspired courage in other Christians to stand by their faith and made many converts. He was beheaded on April 23, 303 A.D. in Nicomedia in Asia Minor. 

As the fame of Saint George spread throughout the eastern world, he came to be invoked in time of trouble by Christians and later by Muslims too. Christians Returning from the east brought their devotion to Saint George back to Europe and installed him as patron saint of England. Saint George is patron saint of all who fight for righteousness. 

In the icon, the saint rides a white horse that symbolizes purity, and the dragon is Satan or Emperor Diocletian. In Russian icons, Saint George carries the shield of faith and a cross. 

Troparion of St. George: "As the liberator of prisoners, and the protector of those in poverty, physician of the sick, and defender of ruling kings, Oh George Triumphant Great Martyr, intercede with Christ our God, that our souls may be saved."

بما أنّك للمأسورين محرر ومعتق، وللفقراء والمساكين عاضد وناصر، وللمرضى طبيب وشاف، وعن الملوك مكافح ومحارب، أيّها العظيم في الشهداء جاورجيوس اللابس الظفر، تشفّع إلى المسيح الإله في خلاص نفوسنا.


Feast day: April 23.