“As the deliverer of captives and the protector of the poor, as the physician of the feeble and combatant of kings, holy champion and great martyr George, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.” (Troparion of St. George the Great Martyr)

St. George, celebrated this Monday on the Older Calendar, has always been close to my heart. This is partly because he’s the patron-saint of my father, and this saint’s feast was always celebrated, both in my hometown-church (with an evening vigil and morning Liturgy), and in my parents’ home (with an open-house and festive dinner for anyone who stopped by to say Happy Nameday to my dad). And I love St. George’s Troparion-hymn, which underlines how he shares the qualities/energies of the Lord Himself, (as “deliverer of captives,” “protector of the poor,” etc.), as does any manifested or glorified “saint.”

While the Lord is the one Source of these qualities/energies, a “saint,” having allowed him/herself to open up to these divine energies and share in them, becomes a “vessel” or “channel” thereof to the rest of humanity. So, the more “sanctified” we allow ourselves to become; that is, the more we embrace the “grace” or divine energies of God, the more “useful” and “helpful” we become to others. And that right there, I’m thinking, is quite an inspiring reason to open up to God, in communion with His grace-filled saints, that we also can become more “useful” and “helpful” in this world and beyond it, as “vessels” of the New Life offered to us by Christ. “Holy champion and great martyr George, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls!”

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