George is one of the most revered Christian Saints, especially loved in Russia. He became known in the Russian Lands soon after the Baptism, in the eleventh century. The saint was depicted as a Fighter with a Dragon and was called the Victorious One. In Russia there were several variants of his name:
Princes and voivodes considered St. George the patron saint of warriors, and the peasants sent him prayers for sick animals – faithful helpers in agriculture. George is commemorated three times a year: on the sixteenth of November, the ninth of December, and the sixth of May. On the sixth of May, one of the most important church holidays is celebrated – St. George's Day.
George was a military commander in Rome. When Emperor Diocletian outlawed all peasants, the Saint did not renounce his faith. George had a lot of terrible moments. Wounded, he lay in a damp and dark dungeon. But the Angel of the Lord healed his wounds and bruises.
Having learned about the blessing sent to George, the citizens began to come to him. They gave the guards their last money just to meet the Saint. George resurrected fallen cattle and helped people in difficult situations.
George the Victorious was made, but the day before the Lord appeared to the Saint and put a crown of thorns on his head. But even after his death, he did not leave the unhappy and offended.
Once – it happened after his death - George overcame a Dragon that lives in one of the Libyan lakes. The monster poisoned all living things with its stinking breath. To appease the Dragon, the locals decided to sacrifice their children.
The first innocent victim was supposed to be Princess Elizabeth. She was saved by a young man riding a white horse. He defused the monster with a prayer and a sign of the cross, and told the princess to take the bound Dragon to the city. There, the inhabitants could destroy their nightmare.
The whole story is full of symbols. The lake means hell, the Dragon is the devil, the princess is the human soul struggling in the grip of fear.
The icon and the symbols on it
The icon of St. George is a miniature depicting a fight with a Dragon. It consists of gold and silver. The galloping rider is surrounded by a ring and a picturesque ornament. At the bottom is a caption about the miracle and the victory over the dragon.
On the reverse side there is a lion and an ornament of plants. The lion is a symbol of a domineering, wayward and powerful person, and the plant ornament represents paradise. The image is surrounded by a prayer to Saint George.
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