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St. George

Saint George

Martyr

Many details of George’s life are somewhat obscure, but it has been handed down reliably that he was born to a noble Christian family in Cappadocia, in the third century. Though a staunch Christian himself, he served honorably as an officer of the Roman army under the Emperor Diocletian, rising high in the ranks until his Christian faith was revealed. George refused to apostatize, and was beheaded on April 23rd in the year of Our Lord 303, either in Nicomedia or in Lydda, a city in the Holy Land where the martyr’s remains were buried. He is usually portrayed as a knight slaying an enormous dragon, and the medieval Golden Legend relates how by God’s help and grace George rescued a village by killing such a beast, and thus inspired the people to convert to the true faith. In the East George bears the title “Great Martyr”, and in the West he is numbered among the Fourteen Holy Helpers. He is a patron of the nations of Georgia, England, Russia, and more, as well as of soldiers and horsemen, and against skin diseases. St. George’s Cross, red on a white field, is a symbol of crusaders, and adorns the flags of England, Georgia, Genoa, Aragon, and more.

 

Traditional Roman Martyrology for April 23rd

THE birthday of St. George, whose illustrious martyrdom is honored by the Church of God among the combats of other crowned martyrs.

At Valence, in France, the holy martyrs Felix, priest, Fortunatus and Achilleus, deacons, who were sent there to preach the word of God by blessed Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, and converted the greater portion of that city to the faith of Christ. These martyrs were cast into prison by the commander Cornelius, were a long time scourged, had their legs crushed, were bound to wheels in motion, and stifled with smoke whilst stretched on the rack, and finally died by the sword.

In Prussia, the birthday of St. Adalbert, bishop of Prague, and martyr, who preached the Gospel to the Poles and Hungarians.

At Milan, St. Marolus, bishop and confessor.

At Toul, in France, St. Gerard, bishop of that city.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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