On 23 April, the Orthodox Church celebrates Saint Great Martyr George, the Victory Bearer who is the protector of the historical chapel of the Patriarchal Residence.
In the sermon delivered within the Divine Liturgy celebrated in the historical chapel, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel emphasised the model to be followed that Saint Great Martyr George gives to the Christians: “Saint Great Martyr George is one of the most popular saint martyrs. He became known in the Eastern Church, as well as in the Western Church. Saint Great Martyr George helped many emperors and leaders, kings, princes, Christians. This is why, especially in Moldova, in the time of Steven the Great the icon of Saint George was sewn on the flags in the battlefields. He is a saint of justice too, defending those tempted by devil or tortured by bad spirits. Saint Great Martyr George is very popular in all the Romanian provinces. He is so popular that almost one million of Romanians are named George or of derived names.
His Beatitude has also shown that the confession of faith by the martyrs during the tortures and when faced with death is done through a special power of the presence of Christ in them.
“Saint Great Martyr George has shown how the power of God works in martyrs. He showed that when man has a living relationship with Christ through faith, and prayer, he receives special power in this world. This fact shows that the faith of the martyrs was not a simple intellectual conviction that God exists, that the Christ Crucified and Risen is alive, always in heaven, but a relationship of holy love sustained and intensified by prayer, a holy love for Christ. This relationship appears as presence of the grace of Christ in the martyrs. This accounts for the fact why they are no longer afraid of death, why they do not deny Christ when they suffer; thus, the grace of Christ, the sacrificial power shown when He asked God-the-Father to forgive those who crucified Him is shared to the martyrs who keep their faith, peace and integrity of their souls”, His Beatitude said.
While speaking about the martyrdom of Saint Great Martyr George His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel explained that the sacrificial death of an innocent man shows the power of faith, as well as the power of his relationship of love with Christ the Saviour, through prayer.
“Before being beheaded, he prayed, thanked God for all the helped received, for all the good things received from Him and then laid his head on the block and waited calm the moment of beheading, not afraid of death, with no violence, hate, or wickedness. This sacrificial death of an innocent man shows the power of faith as well as the power of his relationship of love through prayer with Christ Crucified and Risen, the One who defeated sin and death bearing the cross of sufferance”, His Beatitude said.
The celebration of the historical chapel of the Patriarchal Residence was crowned by the presentation of an illustrated album of images of the interior of the chapel.
“We are glad to announce that these days a very beautiful album came out, with not much text, but with many images, dedicated to this historical chapel of Saint Great Martyr George which appears as a burning Resurrection candle on the Joy Hill. It will be presented in the programmes of Trinitas television”, His Beatitude said.
To end with the Divine Liturgy, the Patriarch of Romania congratulated all those of the name of George and of its derivates: “We pray Saint Great Martyr George to protect our country, especially since he is the saint protector of the Romanian Army, and our Church too, as well as our faithful who are in need, to give them help and the joy to feel the presence of Christ in their life for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and our salvation. We wish all those named George or its derived names many years of life in good health, joy and help of God for keeping faith and for increasing the love for the Church of Christ, for all people’s welfare”.
The chapel is also dedicated to Saint Prophet Daniel and Saint Pious Parascheva.