Χριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе!
Kristus (ir) augšāmcēlies! Patiesi viņš ir augšāmcēlies!
St. George the Great-martyr,the Trophy-bearer and St. Martyr Polychronia mother of St. George the Trophy-bearer
Commemorated on 23 April
George, cutting down all his foes in battles,
Is gladly cut down of his foes by beheading.
On the twenty-third George’s neck was seized
by the brazen blade
O husbandman Glycerius, as is right fitting,
I see thy neck as soil, and the sword, as a plowshare.
By the intercessions of Thy saints, O God, have mercy on us.
Sermon for St. George’s day May 3, 1981
Anthony Bloom (Metropolitan of Sourozh)
We are keeping this week the feast of St. George, the patron saint of this country, and this is why I want to say a few words in English instead of preaching in Russian as I always do.
When you look at an icon of St. George you see a man who had the courage, the daring, to confront evil not for his own sake, but for the sake of something greater than he, to confront it face to face at the cost, the possible cost, of his own life. The icons of St. George show us the great knight fighting the dragon, while at the gate of her palace the maiden whom he wishes to save, stands waiting either for his victory or her shame and death. Each of us has got within himself something of which this pure maiden could be a symbol: our integrity, our purity, our uprightness, our wholeness and so many other things that make us akin to the living God. And against all these things the powers of evil are unleashed like the dragon of the icon, ready to devour all this beauty so that nothing is left but death, destruction and defeat — not for us alone, but for God. And within each of us there is the greatness and the generosity, the noble spirit of knighthood that can be aroused to fight for all that is pure, all that is noble, all that is great, both for the sake of its own beauty and for the sake of the Lord to whom it belongs as a bride belongs to the beloved and pure bridegroom.
This image of St. George is a call to all of us: evil is rife, evil is not only rampant around us, it is within us, trying to conquer all beauty and wholeness, and we are called to enter into this fight, to fight that evil be defeated, not only for our own sake, not only for God’s sake, but also for the sake of all those whom evil may poison and destroy. Let us look at this icon, mentally at least if we have not got one actually, in the course of this week and ask ourselves: what is there in us which is standing at the door of the king’s palace, at the gates of the Kingdom of God, ready to enter it if only it be freed from the fetters to which evil has subjected it, if only it would be safe from the destruction which evil is attempting to cast upon it. Let us also look at the evil in us and take a stand like the good knight St. George did, and whether it costs us our life, or whether it costs the defeat of evil, let us enter into the arena, let us fight, and may all that is holy, all that is beautiful, great and noble in us be protected, saved, freed, and enter into the palace, into the Kingdom of the living God who is waiting for us with so much love, so much faith, with a hope unshaken. Amen.
Newsletter ¹ 131 1981 May
HYMN OF ST. GEORGE
St. George Patriarchal Monastery, Al-Humayrah-Talkalakh, Syria.
Άγιε μου Γιώργη αφέντη μου κι αφέντη μ’ καβαλλάρη…
Apolytikion of St. George the Great Martyr 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.
Fourth Tone. The Original Melody
WITH unflinching and steadfast mind, * thou didst go of thine own accord, *
fearless as a lion, to strive in martyrdom. *While disregarding the body as
a thing soon corruptible, * thou didst wisely turn thy care * to thy precious
immortal soul; * and by many kinds * of sore torments wast thou assayed like
pure gold sevenfold as in a furnace, * O great and glorious Martyr George.
Glory. Plagal of Second Tone
THOU hast lived worthily of thy name, O soldier George; for taking the Cross of Christ upon thy shoulders, thou hast cultivated the earth that had become barren because of diabolic deception; and uprooting the thorny religion of the idols, thou hast planted the vine of the Orthodox Faith. Wherefore thou gushest forth healings for the faithful throughout the world, and hast proved to be the Trinity’s righteous husbandman. Intercede, we pray, for the peace of the world and the salvation of our souls.
This chosen and holy day
COME, O Melodist, chief of the Prophets, speak: That righteous man, which flourisheth like a palm tree, who and what manner of man is he? He is the great conqueror George, a tree verily laden with sweet fruit that nourisheth the heart.