George had a tumultuous childhood. His father died when he was young, and his mother moved him far from his hometown. When he grew up, he became a soldier in the military, achieving a very high rank. He treasured his faith much more than the treasures of the world, and when the emperor began to abuse and kill Christians, George bravely proclaimed that he loved Christ and wasn’t afraid of suffering. Enraged, the emperor tortured him in evil and imaginative ways. George’s feet were bound and a huge stone was laid on his chest. Then he was buried up to his neck and left in the ground for days. The emperor hoped that these and even more depraved tortures would break George’s spirit, but instead his witness of zeal and peace in Christ inspired many to accept God’s gift of Faith. One of those who converted to Christianity was the emperor’s wife Alexandra. This was the last straw and the emperor killed both George and his own wife.
One of the best known miracles stories about George tells of his saving a young maiden and an entire town from the wrath of an evil dragon. The dragon in the story is likely some manifestation of the devil. A town had one source of water, and a dragon prevented the people from accessing it. The dragon demanded that, in order to get water for the day, the people had to sacrifice one member of the village, and because of their need for water, they obeyed. When the princess of the village was chosen by lot one day, the townspeople pleaded with the dragon to change his mind, but he refused. Just before the dragon devoured the young girl, George arrived, and using both his strength of body and soul, slew the dragon.
Our friendship and communion with the saints makes us more open to both Our Lord’s protection and his Fatherly gifts.
Saturday, April 17 –