Posts Tagged ‘martyr george’

Why saint George is depicted on icons killing a Dragon (an ancient story of saint George killing the last dragon) – A Collection of 7 icons of Saint Martyr George

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Reading Time: 4minutes

saint_Georgios-killing-the-dragon-in-cave
Saint George is one of the most venerated Orthodox Christian saints in the Eastern Orthodox Church. My interest in saint George is cause of the reason, I myself bear the name Georgi (the Bulgarian equivalent of George). Saint George is mostly venerated in the Slavonic Christian-dome.In almost all Church icons depicting st. George in Orthodox and Roman Catholic christiandome saint George is piercing killing a dragon.
One of the reasons, st. George is depicted piercing the dragon is a reference of st. George victory over satan, through his martyrdom.

The Beast (Dragon) on the iconi is a straight reference to the Holy Bible; Chapter Revelation also known under the name Apocalypse.

In revelation, we read humanity and our saviour Jesus Christ will finally once and for all will kill the "ancient beast" = (satan)

In same logic, as Saint Martyr George has been victorious over Satan by his unshakable confession of faith in Jesus Christ in early 5th century A.D. , we believe in the Orthodox Church he is given the crown of (eternal) life as a prize for bearing un-human tortures in the name of the of Christ.

To illustrate visually the victory of saint George over Satan through his immesurable faith confession with which he become, there is a an early tradition in iconography in the Church to depict st. George killing a dragon.

The other reason why saint George is depicted to kill a Dragon is due to a Lebanon / Palestinian ancient story saying; There was a huge Dragon living somewhere in nowdays Lebanon / Palestinian lands.
The beast created a huge havoc killing many people and systematically torturing people in the area.

As the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition continues …. the Dragon is said to have inhabited one of the caves near some village.
Interesting, the story tells these very same dragon was the last Dragon crawling the earth before the final disappearance of dragons.

Many brave local people tried to kill the beast but many died as the beast was unbeatable.
Being unable to beat-up the dragon with a physical (human) force the local population turnted to God for help – saying continously prayers to Saint George to help them defeat their dragon mischief.

Soon after, Saint George appeared on a white horse and pierced the "old dragon / snake". The dragon liberation miracle is said to be evidenced by local people and according to Orthodox monk books is one of the many great miracles occuring in past times.
The report of the miracle has quickly spread around all Lebanon / Palestinian lands and soon, being confirmed as real spread along all Russia as well as the rest of the Slavonic and Orthodox Christian world (Bulgaria, Serbia), Greece, Egypt (Alexandria) etc..
To illustrate saint George's appearance miracle, monastic iconographers started depicting saint George as we see him until this very day – Riding a horse and slaughtering a monstrous beast.

Below are seven 12-th century earlyicons of saint Saint Great-Martyr George killing the dragon;;
I've collected the icons from various website online. Hope this collection will be blessing for all Christ brother and sisters and generally anyone reading this post:

12-th century mosaic icon of st. George the Great Martyr Xenophontos Monastery

12-th century mosaic icon of st. George the Great Martyr Xenophontos Monastery

Orthodox Christian icon saint George dated to 1130 - 1150 A.D.

Orthodox Christian icon saint George dated to 1130 – 1150 A.D.

Saint Georgius the Dragon Slayer icon XII century orth icon

Saint Georgius the Dragon Slayer icon XII century orth icon

St. George Enamel icon Georgia 12th century

St. George Enamel icon Georgia 12th century

saint George Christian icon Yuriev Monastery Novgorod 12th century

saint George Christian icon Yuriev Monastery Novgorod 12th century

st. George Staraya Ladoga Orthodox Christian icon

st. George Staraya Ladoga Orthodox Christian icon

sv. Georgius 12th century Aios

sv. Georgius 12th century Aios

Nowdays saint George Holy Relics particles are kept for veneration in many Orthodox Christian countries monasteries. Here in Bulgaria saint George Holy Relics are kept in a Monastery nearby the seacoast in Pomorie. Any Christian visiting Bulgaria have the opportunity to venerate the Holy in (Pomorie's Monastery – St. Great Martyr Georgi.
 

Apr 23 Saint George’s day in England – St. George Patron Saint of England

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Reading Time: 3minutes

Earlier when I wrote an article about celebration of St. George's day in Bulgaria and took the time to read a bit more in Wikipedia about which country venerate st. George's day who by the way is one of the most honored Orthodox Saints, I curiously found United  Kingdom to be among one of the countries keeping saint's memory. Today while opening Google.co.uk for a search Google's usual picture logo had instead below nice looking fairytale medieval picture;

United KIngdom patron saint George Google logo medieval picture

The picture made my childish nature be curious and I clicked on it just to find few articles about Saint George's day in England which happens to be celebrated today in 23 of April. As I myself bear name after saint George it means it is now my nameday in England 🙂 Though saint George is England patron saint because English people are not so religious as earlier, the feast is not considered as Official Public Feast. In Bulgaria we celebrate st. George's day in 6th of may and it is non-working public holiday for all country as well as it is Official Feast of Bulgarian Army.
I like comparing things so It was quite curious for me to see how Saint George is depicted in England and Western Europe countries and compare to our Orthodox icon saint tradition;

saint George orthodox icon from Novgorod 15th century icon

St. George Orthodox icon from Novgorod 15-th centuryicon

saint George orthodox icon

St. George Roman Warrior before his Martyrdom – Orthodox Icon

England South Darley St George depiction on church window

Saint England depicted on Anglican Church Window

saint George and the Dragon Raphael painter painting year 1506

Saint George and the Dragon by Master Raphael – circa 1506

saint George and the Dragon master Raphael painting 2

Master Raphael – Saint George killing the Dragon (beast)

Saint Martyr George from Lydda Palestine Carlo Crivelli - Italian Master 14th century

Saint Martyr George from Lydda Palestine Carlo Crivelli – Italian Master 14th century

Curious fact related to Saint George's veneration is that the center cross on England's flag is actually saint George's cross of victory – A reference for saint's victory over evil with faith in Christ.
 

Saint George Cross on England's national flag

In England it is typical flags with the image of St George's cross are flown on some buildings, especially pubs, and a few people wear a red rose on their lapel.
Saint's day is most venerated in Salisbury, where there’s an annual St George’s Day pageant, which probably dates back to the 13th century. During the crusades in the 1100s and 1200s, English knights used St George's cross as part of their uniform. St. George's cross keeps in England official flag for centuries. Nowadays the flag of England – the so called Union Flag is a combination of St George's cross, St. Andrew's ( X shaped crsoss ) and St. Patrick's cross. Even to this day English football fans paint variation of cross on their face most of which do it without realizing  the deep roots of the ancient Great Britain symbol.

My observations on brotherhood monks life in Pomorie Monastery or how life flows in a monastery

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Reading Time: 6minutes

My Observations on Brotherhood monks life in Pomorie Monastery - How Life in Bulgarian Orthodox Monastery goes

I'm currently once again on a pilgrimage in Pomorie Monastery St. George (Bulgaria) – EU as you should read in my previous day post. The brotherhood here is very hospital, since our coming (with Kliment), we were treated like being a part of the monks community. We're given food and allowed to eat together with the monks on one table and even we can enter into some of the interesting discussions after food :).
The life in a monastery is actually quite fascinating, though on the outside it seems boring.

As a general rule monks eat a meal twice a day. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the meals are cooked and served usually without oil (except if the Abbot didn't bless differently). The abbot in the Monastery is like a King. The order in the whole monastery resides very much a Kingdom, where the abbot is king some of the monks are his (left and right hand and counselors) etc.

Just like in kingdoms, there are workers who help the kingdom to flourish. With the case with the monastery workers are (mostly believing people) hired (with a wage) to help with the monastery works.

The kitchen "district" has a (chef) cook lady, person/s (usually believing Christians) who help with cooking cutting and vegetables and various meal preparations etc. and serving the brotherhood and workers dinner and lunch. Oh yes I almost forgot, monks didn't eat breakfast. Their usual first meal is like 12 or 12:30 as a straight dinner.

As in Other Orthodox monasteries, here in Pomorie Monastery the monastery is named after the heavenly protector of the place Saint Martyr George.

The brotherhood life here is not as tough as the monasteries located in desert destinations, though just like in other mountain situated Orthodox Christian monasteries the monks has an established everyday Morning and Evening Church Service.

The morning Church service usually starts around 06:00 or 06:30, while on a feast days like Sunday (The Day of Resurrection of Jesus Christ) the service starts a bit later in 07:00 or at very special occasions in 07:30 …

The Evening Services usually start around 04:30 or 05:00 o'clock and continue (depending on Church calendar feast day (saint)) from 30 to 40 minutes up to 2, 3 hours (in biggest feasts or fasting periods).
All the monks should be present on Morning and Evening service, where a bell is rang whether the monks has to gather together for a Church service prayer.

As of time of writting officially Pomorie monastery has 4 monk brothers. One is the Abbot, the abbot's left hand, one other hiero-monk who sometimes is serving the Holy Liturgy church services and another monk who is in his 70s and is mostly doing Church book readings.
Occasionally the brotherhood accepts a novice pupils who want to enter the monastic life, but as long as my observations goes (during the few years I came as a pilgrim here) many of the novices find the monastic life for them and quit after a few months or a year time.

Just a year earlier the brotherhood, here had 6 monks. Unfortunately the oldest monk Father Tikhon who lived inside the monastery more than half of his life (40 years in the monastery W0W!) passed away after a short sickness and hospitalization.
Another one of the monks (Father Joanikius) was transferred by the Sliven's Metropolitan (named also father Joanikius) to serve his monkship (obedience) in our Bulgarian Monastery situation in Holy Mount Athos (Greece) , e.g. to Zographus monastery.

The Abbot of the monastery (Father Yierotej) is a young and energetic person (35 years old) with a good sense of humour and a great God given wisdom grace and joyful temper.

Besides the core monks brothrehood currently the monastery has 5 workers and about 5 to 10 persons (people who are in hardships and have no place to stay) and were accepted to get a healing and a life stabilization while living for a while in the monastery. Some of those people are almost full time living inside the monsatic walls helping with their knowledge and talents to the brotherhood
The overall number of people who inhibit the monastery is about rawly 15 people.
All this people are given free meals 2 times daily and eat together often either in the monastic kitchen or the dining-room (which is also serving as a guest room).

Before and after each meal intake the people gathered together in the dinner-room pray together asking Jesus Christ to bless their food and drink. Usually the Abbot whenever on the table is the one to ask God for a food blessing. After the meal is complete the Abbot or some of the monks says a thanksful prayer thanking Jesus for giving the daily bread and asking God to give us also the heavenly spiritual food.

The most common food eaten here is vegetables and fruits and in non-fasting days they eat some youghurt, cheese or fish. Eating meat however is un-common and most of the food consumed is fasting food (meat is considered inappropriate food for Orth Christian Monks).
The monastery is surrounded by a around a meter monastic walls. In the middle of the monastery is located the Monastic Church Saint Martyr George whichs basic walls dates back to the distant XIX century.

Pomorie Monastery oldest monastic found stone (orthodox depiction of Saint George basrelief).

Facing the church about 40 meters from the Chuch are located the monks dwelling rooms also in monastic language called (cells). The monk's cell is full of icon and holy water, crucific crosses and all kind of faith related books so in a sense the monks room looks like a tiny Church.

Right in the middle of Pomorie Monsatery there is a holy spring – disease healing water which by God's providence healed the first Abbot and beneficient of the monastery (ironically the Turkish Abbot Salim Bey who converted from Islam to Christianity and donated all his land to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the 18 century when still Bulgaria was enslaved by Turkish).

The monastic yard is filled with green beautiful Peach and Plumb Trees. In the monastery yard they have sew of; potatoes, tomatoes, corn and few other "basic" self-grown. vegetables.

Flowers in front of Holy Sprint Pomorie Monastery St. Martyr George

Along with the plants in one of the corners near the monastic wall there is a henhouse where some chickens and few turkeys are grown for getting fresh (natural) eggs.

In the old days the brotherhood was growing all their food by themselves as it was a tradition in the Monasteries, however with the changing times and the huge decrease of monks, growing all the monastic food on their-own became an impossible task ….

The monastery is mainly living on pilgrim or local believing people donations and the monastic land, as well as to sales of Orthodox icons and tiny faith related objects (crosses, holy bibles, church related books and literature) etc.

As I hear from some of the monks the harsh economic situation and severe world crisis that is plaguing the world also has a negative influence on the financial balance of the holy cloister too.
A monk shared with me the financial expenses of the monastery tend to be "dangerously" growing lately as the amount of people whose the brotherhood is feeding and taking care (healing) daily along with the money for restoration works are raising and the monastery experiences a shortage of money.
Still they're not discouraged but as I was told praying and hoping on God's grace to send them kind heart donators to help the monastery.

On Pomorie Monastery's website there is an e-PayPal donation form through which willing donators can help financially the monastic community

Most of the people who are in the monsatery not for a theraupetic reason (with a severe disease) work all day long. Though the work seems to be never ending here, one feels calm, relaxed and gracious.
Even staying for few hours here, makes you filled-up with God's grace and gives you new energy and hope to continue the harsh daily stress filled life.

Besides the Monastery the town of Pomorie is also very beuatiful and have all the facilities and entertainment a tourist might like to have from a modern beach resort. Yesterday I went and had my first beach time here in Pomorie.
Something interesting I noticed on the beach is the sand color which here in Pomorie is a bit blackish. The sea coast here near the beach is not big but feels cozy and there are bars near the beach shore, so anyone wanting to enjoy some of the world goods too can have a fanastic time here 🙂

Pomorie Monastery Holy relics from st. George’s day pictures

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Reading Time: 2minutes
Here are the pictures of the holy relics which were temporary sojourned in Pomorie’s Monastery for veneration in the the period 04.05.2011 – 14.05.2011.

It’s been like a tradition that the monastery is blessed with having a different saints holy relics on the Monastery feast day (St. George’s day).

Last year in the monastery were exhibited for veneration the holy relics (the hand remains) of St. Dasius

This year the holy relics the good tradition by God’s grace was continued as the holy relics of the saints:

  • Saint Great Martyr George
  • Saint Venerable Macrina
  • Saint Marina
  • Saint Cyprian and Saint Justina

were for veneration in the Monastery Church called also Saint Great Martyr George / Sveti Velikomachenik Georgi

Here are the pictures of the holy relics I was able to obtain:

Holy relics of the hand of saint great martyr George / GeorgiSaint Great Martyr George hand holy relics
Saint Venerable Macrina Holy Relics picture from Pomorie MonasterySaint Venerable Macrina Holy Relics (hand bone)
Saint Cyprian and Justina holy relicsSaint Cyprian and Justina Holy relics
Saint Martyr Marina Holy relics (hand bone)Saint Martyr Marina Holy relics
There were also few other particles of saints which are permanently in the Pomorie monastery and christian pilgrims can freely go there to venerate them so I would not post pictures of this holy relics here.

What is really striking is that all the Holy relics had a very specific odor (similar to Roses) but as the monk Father Sergii said (an Odor not of this world).
God’s grace can be felt with one’s spiritual heart when he is near the holy relics of this great saints, the monk father Sergii also told me that the reason for the odor is that God testifies in through the odor that the holy relics belong to his holy saints.
Each saint holy remains had a different (parfume like) odor, it’s really amazing and hard to believe if you don’t smell it yourself but I have smelled the scent myself, the almost 15th century old bones (miraculously preserved by today) emits a specific beautiful odor.
The preservation of this holy relics for all this centuries is another great miracle of God, as any normal not hermetically preserved bone kept for veneration for all this years would have decayed by so far, however this saints relics are obviously not!
As you can see truly Great is God in his saints! Glory be to the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit now and forever and ever. Amen!

st. Georgi’s day in Pomorie Monastery st. great Martyr Georgi pilgrimage of the relics of saint great martyr George

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes
the relics of saint great martyr GeorgePomorie Monastery st. (George) Georgi miraculous craeting icon of saint George

Currently I’m once again in Pomorie’s monastery for the Saint George’s day

It is the second year I take the time to come for a pilgrimage in Pomorie’s Monastery st. great Martyr George (Georgi).<</b>

I’m named after the great Christian saint (It’s my Name day today :)!) and I do wanted to receive a spiritual blessing here in the monastery.

The believing Orthodox Christians this year could receive a spiritual blessing this year from the Monastery as some of the Holy Relics of many great saints are temporary in the monastery for the Monastery’s feast day which is the day we commemorate our great Orthodox Christian martyr saint Georgi.

It’s unique that this year by God’s grace the monastery has temporary received a small particle of the holy relics of st. George.
The pilgrims could come here and does venerate the great saint martyrs for which I thank God for being allowed by his providence to be here in the monastery and venerate the holy relics.

Here are few photos of the Holy relics from the monastery, on the pictures you see the holy relics of Saint Cyprian & St. Justina on the right, st. George’s holy relics in the center and st. Macrina’s holy relics on the left.
Saint Georgi (George) holy relics in Pomorie Monastery Bulgaria

Abbot of Pomorie Monastery Father Ierotei and holy relics of st. Macrina

On the picture above you see the Abbot of Pomorie monastery Father Ierotei (who is a truly great father and a wonderful spirited man !) with the holy relics (bones) of saint Macrina on his left.

On this last picture you can see the holy relics of the Pomorie’s monastery embedded into icons (the two icons on the right).

Pomoriiski Manastir Holy relics

I thank God for blessing me with being here in this holy cloister and blessing me with being able to venerate the holy martyrs relics and through this bless me and strengthen me.!

It’s important to say that we the orthodox Christians had the tradition to venerate our saint holy remains as a way to venerate God himself in accordance to the holy bible psalm which says Great and Glorious is God in his saints!

I’m sorry to provide my readers with this bad quality pictures, I’ll try to put some better quality pictures of the holy remains in very short time.
Being able to show this holy remains to other orthodox christian brother and sisters is also a great grace and blessing which by God’s grace was given to us the sinners! Just to close I’ll say glory be to our God – The Holy Trinity now and forever and ever amen!

Bulgarian Orthodox Monastery st. martyr George Zograph few monks songs from Holy mount Athos for download

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Reading Time: < 1minute
Zograph Monastery Holy Mount Athos complex distant picture

A friend of mine who is a devoted Orthodox Christian (and ipodqkon Georgi), regularly visits Holy Mount Athos as a pilgrim.
On a few times he has been there serving to the workman who are currently restoring a number of monastery building which has been abandoned for quite some time.

Every Sunday morning he also goes to the Monastery Church St. George Zograph for the monks Holy Liturgy service.
He send me few recordings he made with his phone during the Holy Liturgy monks chanting. The recording’s quality is quite raw as however still it’s very invaluable piece of spiritual music, which I think every spiritual person will highly regard and enjoy.

Here are the 12 songs which he send me over skype I hope the songs, will be enjoyable and a spiritual blessing to some Christian brothers and sisters out there:

Zograph Monks Church Service Chanting – Song 1
Zograph Monks Church Service Chanting – Song 2
Zograph Monks Church Service Chanting – Song 3
Zograph Monks Church Service Chanting – Song 4
Zograph Monks Church Service Chanting – Song 5
Zograph Monks Church Service Chanting – Song 6
Zograph Monks Church Service Chanting – Song 7
Zograph Monks Church Service Chanting – Song 8
Zograph Monks Church Service Chanting – Song 9
Zograph Monks Church Service Chanting – Song 10
Zograph Monks Church Service Chanting – Song 11
Zograph Monks Church Service Chanting – Song 12