It is celebrated on April 23 of each year. However, if the holiday falls before Easter, then it is celebrated the day after Easter (Monday of Dikanisimo).
The people-loving Saint George the Great Martyr and Trophy Bearer was born around 275 AD. in Cappadocia, from Christian parents. His father, in fact, died as a martyr for Christ when George was ten years old. His mother then took him with her to her homeland of Palestine, where she also had her estates. When he turned 18, he enlisted in the Roman army. Although young in age, he performed his military duties perfectly. Everyone admired him for his performance. Because of this, he was quickly promoted to higher positions and given the title of count, and Diocletian held him in high esteem. Confessor From the time of the emperor Decius until the time when Diocletian ascended the throne, in AD 283, the Christian Church grew enormously, because peace prevailed.
Christians took many public positions, built many large churches, various schools and organized the administration and management of churches and charity. Diocletian first worked on the organization of his state. He hired generals as his assistants whom he named emperors and Caesars, and after succeeding in subduing the enemies of the state and stabilizing its borders, he turned to internal affairs. Unfortunately, he turned against Christianity to correct paganism. For this reason, he called the assistants of Caesares in 303 AD. and the generals in the capital of the eastern Roman state in three general assemblies. Among them was the 28-year-old George, who distinguished himself many times in the wars. So they all gathered, to make decisions for the extermination and annihilation of the Christian faith. Diocletian was the first to speak and ordered everyone to undertake the exterminating struggle against Christianity.
They all promised to make every effort to eradicate Christianity from the Roman state. Then the brave George stood up and said: “Why, king and princes, do you want righteous and holy blood to be shed and force the Christians to worship and worship idols”? And he proclaimed the truth of the Christian Religion and the Divinity of Christ. As soon as he finished, everyone was confused by this confession of his and tried to convince him to repent of what he said, thus appeasing Diocletian. But George was steadfast and courageously proclaimed his Christian faith.
In prison Diocletian, enraged, ordered that he be locked in prison and that his legs be tied to wood and, after he was laid on his back, a large and heavy stone should be placed on his chest. The next morning, Diocletian ordered that George be presented to him for questioning. Again he remained steadfast in his confession, and in spite of all the flatteries and promises of the emperor he proclaimed his faith and spoke of heavenly treasures. Diocletian was enraged by his words and ordered the executioners to tie the Saint to a large wheel so that his body would be dismembered. In fact, he ridiculed the prowess of the Saint and invited him to worship the idols. George thanked God that he deserved to be tested, and he accepted and thanked me for suffering this terrible torture, which was cutting his whole body into small thin pieces, because all around the wheel there were sharp irons, which looked like knives. Indeed as soon as the wheel moved the sharp irons began to cut into his body. Then a voice was heard from heaven saying:
“Do not be afraid, George, for I am with you” and immediately an angel freed the Saint, untying him from the wheel and his whole afflicted body was healed. George, after acquiring his marvelous appearance, with an angelic appearance, presented himself to Diocletian who had gone with others to make a sacrifice. As soon as they saw him they were all dazzled and amazed. Some claimed that it is someone who looks like him and others that it is a ghost. But as they were commenting on the event, two of his officers, Protoleon and Anatolius (see April 23) appeared before the king with a thousand soldiers and confessed their faith in Christ. Diocletian was so enraged that he flew into a rage and ordered them to be killed, which was done immediately. Then he ordered that a pit be immediately filled with lime and water and after throwing George into it, they should leave him there for three days and three nights so that his bones would also dissolve. The executioners actually threw the Saint into the scalding lime and closed the mouth of the pit.
After three days Diocletian sent soldiers to open the pit. To their great surprise, however, they found George standing in the lime and praying. The event impressed and caused admiration and excitement in the people, who shouted: “The God of George is great”. Diocletian asked for explanations from George, who learned the divination arts and how to use them. George then replied that the events were the result of divine grace and power and not magic and enchantment. Diocletian, enraged, ordered red-hot iron-studded shoes to be put on him and forced to walk. The Saint prayed and walked without suffering anything. Again he ordered to imprison him and thought of calling the lords so that they could discuss what they should do to George. And after they had beaten him so much with whips and afflicted the whole body of the Saint, they presented him to Diocletian, who was astonished to see George shining like an Angel. So he thought that this phenomenon was due to his magical abilities. That is why he called the magician Athanasios (see April 23), to solve the magic of Georgios.
Harmless from the poison
So came the magician Athanasios, holding in his hands two clay vessels, where there was poison. In the first vessel the poison caused madness, while in the second it caused death. They immediately led the Saint to Diocletian and the magician Athanasios. The king ordered that he be given the first poison to drink. Without hesitation, the Saint drank the poison of the first container, after having prayed beforehand, saying: “Lord Jesus Christ, our God, let him drink even to death, do not harm them, now admire your mercies.” And absolutely nothing happened! As soon as they saw that he was completely unharmed, the king ordered that the wizard give him the second vessel as well. He drank that too without getting sick in the slightest. Then everyone was amazed by this miracle. Diocletian still insisted that George had his own magic to keep him from dying. The magician Athanasius, who knew how effective the poisons were, after kneeling before the martyr, confessed his faith in the true God. Then Diocletian ordered and they killed Athanasius immediately. At that moment Diocletian’s wife Alexandra arrived (see April 21), who confessed her faith in the true God. And the cruel and heartless Diocletian ordered to imprison her and the next day to cut off her head. Alexandra, while praying in prison, gave her soul into God’s hands.
The Martyrdom of the Saint Saint George was locked up in prison and at night he saw Christ in his dream, who announced to him that he would receive the crown of martyrdom and deserve eternal life.
At daybreak the soldiers were ordered by Diocletian to present the Saint before him. Indeed the Saint marched joyfully towards the king, because he foresaw that his end had come. As soon as Diocletian saw him, he suggested that they go to the temple of Apollo to sacrifice to his idol. When the Saint entered the temple, he raised his hand and after making the sign of the cross ordered the idol to fall. Immediately this fell and broke into pieces. The priest of the idols and the people were so angry that they shouted to the king to kill George. Diocletian issued an order and cut off his head.
The faithful servant of the Saint, Pasikrates, fulfilling the wish of the Saint, received the Holy relic of the Martyr together with that of his mother Saint Polychronia (see April 23) and carried it to Lydda in Palestine. From there, as the sources confirm, the Crusaders took the holy relics of Agia Polychronia and transported them to the West. According to our Church, this glorious great martyr is the precious daisy, the excellent the divine, the glorious lion, the multi-bright star, the host of Christ, the companion of the heavenly army.