May 6 - The Great Martyr George

The time came to sacrifice the ruler's daughter to the dragon. They left her on the bank of the lake, and when the fierce beast opened its jaws to swallow the young maiden, a bright young man appeared on a white horse. He pierced the monster with his spear, thereby saving the young girl from a terrible fate . . .

The Great Martyr George, the Victory Bearer

The warrior George lived during the rule of Diocletian. He led a brilliant military career, and was a favorite of the emperor. George honored his talented leader.

But when Diocletian gave the inhuman order to exterminate the Christians, George could not agree with his decision. Suddenly filled with compassion for the Christians, he openly declared to Diocletian that he too was a Christian, and denounced the emperor for his cruelty and injustice.

Of course George knew that his punishment was inevitable, so he steadfastly prepared to endure all the tortures, bringing down Diocletian's wrath upon himself. 

There was no limit to the torturers' cruelty, but George steadfastly endured it all and loudly glorified Christ. Realizing that no torments could make George renounce God, the emperor ordered them to execute the saint, cutting off his head.

Somewhere near the city, in the place where George was born, there lived a large dragon that devoured people. The superstitious inhabitants of that city brought young men and women as a tribute to the terrible dragon, so he would leave the rest of them alone.

The time came to sacrifice the ruler's daughter. They left her on the bank of the lake, and when the fierce beast opened its jaws to swallow the young maiden, a bright young man appeared out of nowhere on a white horse. He pierced the monster with his spear, thereby saving the young girl and all her people from a terrible fate. It was Saint George. 

That is how he is depicted on icons, as one who provides miraculous help to those in mortal danger. Because of this, he is called, "The Victory Bearer". 

The sixth of May is the feast day of the Holy Great Martyr George the Victory Bearer.

 

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