Saint George was welcomed into Diocletian's army when he had come of age. By his late 20's, George became a Tribunus and served as an imperial guard for the Emperor at Nicomedia. On February 24, 303 A.D., Diocletian, who hated Christians, announced that every Christian the army passed would be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods. George refused to abide by the order and told Diocletian, who was angry but greatly valued his friendship with George's father. When George announced his beliefs before his peers, Diocletian was unable to keep the news to himself. In an effort to save George, Diocletian attempted to convert him to believe in the Roman gods, offered him land, money and slaves in exchange for offering a sacrifice to the Roman gods, and made several other offers that George refused. Finally, after exhausting all other options, Diocletian ordered George's execution. In preparation for his death, George gave his money to the poor and was sent for several torture sessions. He was lacerated on a wheel of swords and required resuscitation three times, but still George did not turn from God. On April 23, 303 A.D., George was decapitated before Nicomedia's outer wall. His body was sent to Lydda for burial, and other Christians went to honor George as a martyr.Saint George stands out among other saints and legends because he is known and revered by both Muslims and Christians.In older works, Saint George is depicted wearing armor and holding a lance or fighting a dragon, which represents Christ's enemies.
St. George,Heroic Catholic soldier and defender of your Faith, you dared to criticize a tyrannical Emperor and were subjected to horrible torture. You could have occupied a high military position but you preferred to die for your Lord.
Obtain for us the great grace of heroic Christian courage that should mark soldiers of Christ. Amen
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