Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη! Christ is risen! Truly He is risen! ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა! Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе! Cristo ha resucitado! En verdad, esta resucitado! Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden! Cristo è risorto! È veramente risorto! Hristos a înviat! Adevărat a înviat! Isa dirildi! Hakikaten dirildi! Meshiha qam! Bashrira qam! Le Christ est ressuscité! Il est vraiment ressuscité!
St. George the Great Martyr, the Trophy-bearer and
Saint Polychronia, mother of Saint George
Feast Day 23 April
Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee…let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely…I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth:..that ye tell him, that I am sick of love…Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death;Song of Songs Solomon
St. Luke of Simferopol on St. George the Trophy-bearer
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you… If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also (John 15:19-20).
These words of the Lord Jesus Christ were spoken not only to His Holy Apostles, but to all those whom He so often called His little flock.
The little flock is made up of all those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and taken His law into their hearts – the law of love, His beatitudes, which are all commandments of love – and who fulfill His commandments.
In this small flock of His, the holy martyrs shine as stars of the first magnitude, serving as great examples for us of the most profound faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, of boundless love for Him, and of self-denial in sufferings and unimaginable torments and tortures…
And even among the great martyrs, the great George the Trophy-Bearer, whom we are now honoring, stands out as one of the very greatest…
The holy martyrs played a most profound and effective role in this great work, for you all know what a tremendous impression their sufferings had on pagan witnesses and even on the executioners themselves, when they underwent horrific torture fearlessly and silently, sometimes even with thanksgiving on their lips…
The exploits of the holy martyrs have a most profound significance in other regards as well. They serve as the most vivid examples for us of absolutely unwavering faith in Christ and of love for Him. We should be ashamed if we show cowardice, fearing with fear where there is no fear[Psalm 13:15].
The martyrs themselves did not fear anyone or anything; they were not seduced by anyone or anything.
The Emperor Diocletian, who martyred St. George, loved him very much, considering him his bravest and most essential soldier. When he saw that the severest torments could not break his faith in Christ, he even reached the point of offering George the second place in his great Roman Empire if he offered sacrifice to the gods.
In reply, St. George only laughed at this pledge; he, of course, rejected even the first place in glory and honor after the Roman Emperor, for his fidelity to Christ was firmer than adamant and His love for Him was boundless…
George the Trophy-Bearer feared nothing…
Do we not really prefer the worthless and quickly fleeting goods of this world to those of eternity? Do we really place traversing the path He pointed out to us as the goal of our lives? Do we really always remember Christ’s words: I am the way, the truth, and the life[John 14:6]?
For the holy martyr and Trophy-Bearer George, He was truly the Path and the Life; he neither followed any other path, nor did he wish to know of any other. He was not frightened by threats or fears, boldly following the way of Christ.
Therefore, we bow down before all the martyrs, and especially such great ones as George the Trophy-Bearer, commending them by our ardent love.
They strengthen our faith and love by their miracles, for the majority of them work miracles. You will know from your pastors about the miracle performed three times by the Great-Martyr George, freeing from bondage the youth who were languishing and suffering in captivity. You will remember how, as they were thinking about their native home and the Great-Martyr’s feast day while they were supposed to be serving food or wine to their masters, George the Trophy-Bearer suddenly carried them away on a white horse, transporting them in an instant to the home of their parents, who were then celebrating the memory of the Great-Martyr.
Do not such miracles serve as a great and powerful fortification of your faith in that which the Lord Jesus Christ said? After all, He said that those who believed in Him could perform not only such miracles as did He, but even greater ones. The martyrs accomplished great deeds, confirming the truth of these words of Christ.
Let us then be ashamed of our cowardice in the face of the slightest fear presented to us by our imaginations.
Let us love the Lord Jesus Christ and His martyrs with all our hearts, and especially the Holy Great-Martyr George the Trophy-Bearer, whose memory we celebrate today.
Originally delivered on April 23 / May 6, 1954.
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
Apolytikion in the 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.
St. George the Great-martyr, the Trophy-bearer, the Victorious, the Wonderworkerand his mother Saint Martyr Polychronia intercede for all of us and help us!