Life of the Holy and Great Martyr George
Camp St. George was established in 2001 with the blessing of Metropolitan PHILIP, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America. As an outgrowth of the highly successful Antiochian Village Summer Camp, Camp St. George was established to give Midwest Orthodox youth of all jurisdictions the opportunity to experience the many blessings of summer camp.
This renowned and glorious martyr was born in Cappadocia, the son of rich and God-fearing parents. His father suffered for Christ, after which his mother moved to Palestine. When George grew up, he went into the army, in which he rose, by the age of twenty, to the rank of tribune, and as such was in service under the Emperor Diocletian. When this Emperor began a terrible persecution of Christians, George came before him and boldly confessed that he was a Christian. The Emperor threw him into prison, and commanded that his feet be put in the stocks and a heavy weight placed on his chest. After that, he commanded that he be bound on a wheel, under which was a board with great nails protruding, and thus be turned. He then had him buried in a pit with only his head above the ground, and left there for three days and nights. Then, through some magician, he gave him deadly poison, but in the face of all these tortures, George prayed unceasingly to God, and God healed him instantly and saved him from death, to the great amazement of the people. When he also raised a dead man to life by his prayers, many embraced the Christian faith. Among these was the Emperor’s wife, Alexandra, and the chief pagan priest, Athanasius, the governor Glycerius and Valerius, Donatus and Therinus. Finally, the Emperor commanded the George and the Empress Alexandra be beheaded. Blessed Alexandra dies on the scaffold before being killed, and St. George was beheaded. This happened in the year 303. The miracles that have been performed at his grave are without number. Also are his appearances in dreams to those who, thinking on him, have sought his help, from that time up to the present day. Consumed by love for Christ, it was not difficult for holy George to leave all for this love – his status, wealth and imperial favor, his friends and the whole world. For this love, the Lord rewarded him with a wreath of unfading glory in heaven and on earth, and with eternal life in His kingdom. The Lord further endowed him with the power to help in need and distress all who honor him and call on his name.
1Thanks to Fr. Yazge of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Terre Haute, Indiana, for allowing us to use his story of St. George.