2017 has been declared by the Maronite Church as the Jubilee Year of Martyrs and Martyrdom. St George is martyr which is widely venerated in the both Eastern and Western Church. Many Parishes around the world have adopted him as their Patron Saint.
Saint George was born in Palestine around 275 AD. He was born to a nobel Christian family. His father was a Roman army official from Cappadocia. At a young age he was orphaned with his mother and father dying only a few years apart. He left home and applied to be a soldier under the Emperor Diocletian. The Emperor soon begun persecuting Christians and had many Christian soldiers arrested. The Christian soldiers were ordered to offer sacrifices to the pagan god’s. George was one of many that refused and proudly proclaimed his Christian faith. The emperor tried to persuade George by offering him land, money, slaves and much more if he renounced his Christianity and offered sacrifices to the pagan god’s. Once again George refused and the emperor ordered for him to be tortured and put to death.
Saint George is depicted in paintings and icons as riding a horse and slaying a dragon. The dragon represents temptation. By killing the dragon, Saint George overcame the temptation to renounce his faith. Saint George knew his refusal to deny his faith would lead to his torture and inevitable death. He chose the road to martyrdom and proclaimed his faith in Jesus Christ.
In this Year of martyrdom in the Maronite Church let us remember all the martyrs who had the courage to stand up for their faith in the face of opposition, let us also ask for the intercession of St George that we may always choose Christ in our lives, no matter how hard things might get.