● Orthodox Remembrance Day: April 23, May 6
● Name means: the country man (from Greek)
● Martyr, Holy Helper
● Attributes: Knight with lance, piercing the dragon
● Patron: soldiers, farmers, horsemen, miners, saddlers, blacksmiths, armorers and
gunsmiths, coopers, scouts, artists, hikers, prisoners, hospitals and sick houses, horses
and cattle, against the dangers of war, snakebite poisoning, temptations, fever, plague,
leprosy, syphilis, for good weather
● Born around 280 in Cappadocia, Turkey
● Died around 305 in Lydda, today Lod, Israel
The legendary figure of Saint George has been long revered throughout Christian history as a
model of bravery, strength, and piety. Sources recount varying traditions of his birth and
upbringing, but it is widely believed that he was born into a wealthy and esteemed family in
Cappadocia. Some accounts suggest that he was baptized in a nearby monastery, while others
place his birth in Sebaste, located in modern-day Turkey. His mother, Polychronia, was said to be
a devout Christian hailing from Lydda before moving her family there after the death of George’s
father in his youth.
Despite his privileged upbringing, George became a soldier in the Roman army, where he
quickly earned a reputation as a fearless and skilled commander. Numerous legends have been
passed down regarding his heroic feats, including his martyrdom at the hands of persecutors
under Diocletian and his multiple resurrections by the Archangel Michael. It is said that in a
prophetic vision, Jesus himself foretold of George’s imminent seven-year martyrdom, during
which he would die and be resurrected three times.
One particularly famous legend concerning Saint George involves his battle with a dragon. The
vicious creature is said to have resided in a lake outside the city of Silena in Libya or in Cyrene.
The dragon’s poisonous breath allegedly caused the city’s residents to sacrifice lambs in order to
appease the beast’s rage. However, when no more animals could be found, the sons and
daughters of the townspeople were offered up in their stead. Tragically, the king’s own daughter
was chosen by lot – a symbolic representation of the Church.
However, Saint George miraculously appeared on the scene, having survived countless tortures
and been brought back to life by cherubs with Michael. Armed with a lance marked by the sign
of the cross, he skillfully pierced the dragon, causing it to plummet to the ground. He then
enlisted the aid of the king’s daughter, who used her belt to drag the fallen dragon into the city.
Once the enormous weight of the beast had been lifted, George offered to slay the dragon once
and for all if the people would convert to Christianity. They readily agreed, and George fulfilled
his promise, thereby securing his place as a heroic, Christ-inspired figure.
In addition to his well-known legends, Saint George is also associated with several other revered
saints, such as his brothers Demetrius and Theodore. Some accounts even suggest that a Bishop
George of Alexandria existed, who underwent numerous martyrdoms before being repeatedly
brought back to life. In reiterating the story of Saint George, it is worth noting the ancient idea of
the hero who conquers the forces of evil and liberates his people. Saint George’s valiant efforts
speak to the timeless desire for triumph over darkness and destruction, a central theme that
continues to inspire generation after generation.