Saint George


Saint George

Icon nb 41

Size : 25 x 32 cm.

Pine board

Gilded halo. Egg tempera.

George is one of the most highly and universally revered Saints in the Christian Church. Tradition says he was born in Cappadocia which today is Turkey in a noble Christian family between 275 and 285. His father, Gerontius, was a distinguished soldier. He died while George was 14. His mother, Polychronia, had land in Palestine and so they moved there.

George, too, became a soldier and rose in the ranks to become a favorite of the Emperor, Diocletian, who had known his father. He was named a tribune of the imperial guard in Nicomedia.

At this time the emperor became concerned that the quickly spreading faith in the crucified God would obliterate pagan culture and civilization. He intensified persecution of Christians especially in the military.

The courageous George protested and boldly declared that he, too, was a follower of Christ. Neither Diocletian's persuasion nor the torments to which he was subjected by the Emperor's orders could make George give way.

So steadfast was he that even the emperor's mother, Alexandra, converted - and was sentenced to die along with him. So was a sorcerer, Athanasius, who was unable to kill George with a potion ordered by the Emperor, and soon saw George raise a dead man to life through the name of Christ. The angry Emperor had both the resuscitated man and Athanasius beheaded.

The emperor made a last attempt to persuade George by offering to make him his co-administrator if he would only sacrifice to the pagan gods. George agreed to go to the temple. But he demanded of the evil spirits inhabiting the idols: "How dare you remain here, when I, the servant of the true God, have entered?" - and they all fell down. Finally George was beheaded.

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