Saint George Cathedral

917 North Wood Street • Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 666-5179
Archimandrite Vladimir (Wendling), Rector
Diocese of the MidwestOrthodox Church in America

Holy Great Martyr George

Born into a wealthy, high-ranking family in Cappadocia, George was brought up in the evangelical virtues by his Christian mother. Becoming a soldier at the age of 18, he was quickly promoted to the rank of tribune.

At the beginning of the Great Persecution (c. 303), the Emperor Diocletian summoned his Eastern governors to Nicomedia. The soldier George gave his wealth to the poor, cast off his rank and honors, and stood in the midst of the emperor’s council. He reproached them for unjustly shedding the blood of innocent Christians, and fearlessly proclaimed that Jesus Christ is indeed the true God.

The astonished emperor subjected George to many tortures to compel him to renounce Christ and sacrifice to the idols. He was beaten, bound in stocks with a great stone placed on his chest, tied to a wheel and spun against a board of nails, buried in quicklime for three days, made to run in shoes studded with red-hot nails, and was even poisoned. Yet repeatedly he was visited and completely healed by Christ. All the while he converted many who witnessed these miracles, instructed and healed those who came to him, and raised to life a man 300 years dead.

He then went to the temple pretending that he would sacrifice to the idols. When he made the sign of the cross, the demons themselves confessed that Christ alone is the true God and fled the temple, and the statues fell to the ground. Before he was beheaded, George thanked God for His benefits, and asked God to help those who invoke his intercession.

Popular in both the East and West (e.g., chosen as patron saint of both Georgia and England), St. George is seen as the incarnation of the virtues of valor, patience in affliction, and trust in the help of the grace of Christ. His miracles, help, and intercession continue to this day.

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