St. George the Warrior (Sourp Kevork Zoravar in Armenian) is revered all over the world. He is one of the beloved saints of the Orthodox Church, whose life serves as an example of remaining faithful to God even under the harshest circumstances.
Early Christian tradition tells us that St. George was born to Christian parents in the late third century. After his father was martyred for his faith, his mother took the little boy back to her hometown Diospolis, now in the modern city of Ramle/Lod.
St. George became a soldier in the Roman army, and his bravery and discipline made him climb the ranks. St. George was steadfast in his faith, and, as a Christian, refused to bring the pagan sacrifice to the Roman emperor Diocletianus, venerating him as a god. He was tortured and martyred around 303 AD.
St. George is often pictured killing a dragon. In the Bible the dragon, or serpent, represents evil.
Later Christian tradition also recounts that in a certain city, a dragon pestered the inhabitants, demanding two sheep a day. When there were no more sheep in the village, the vicious dragon demanded a human sacrifice.
The inhabitants cast the lot, and the daughter of the city’s governor was chosen. St. George passed by when they were taking the crying girl to the dragon’s den. When he heard what happened, and what was about to happen, he decided to interfere. He followed the girl into the den, crossed himself and slew the fire-spitting dragon before it could attack. The citizens were in awe and recognized God’s powerful works. That day many were baptized and became Christians.
St. George sets us an example of bravery, steadfastness and strong faith.