Comments to: David Woods
Last Updated: May 1999

The Passion of St. George (BHO 316 + 318)

(Translation from E.A.W. Budge (1888), 236-74)

These are the mighty deeds and miracles which God wrought by the hand of St. George after his martyrdom and after the coming of his body into Diospolis his native city, and after the building of his shrine, which was completed and consecrated on the seventh day of the month Athor, and after the laying of his body within it. Saint Theodosius, Bishop of Jerusalem, recited the mighty deeds and miracles which God wrought by Saint George, and the gracious acts which took place in his holy martyrium when he pronounced the following encomium on the day of his holy commemoration, which is the seventh day of Athor, when there was gathered together a great multitude of the orthodox to celebrate the festival of Saint George in his shrine and to praise our Lord Jesus Christ.

"I will open my mouth in parables, I will declare the things which have been hidden from the beginning, which we have heard and known, and which our fathers have declared unto us." As [p. 237] the Holy Spirit spake by the mouth of David the righteous king, so also will I show forth to you the gifts and the miracles which came to pass through Saint George the mighty martyr of Christ, and what happened to him in the city of Tyre where he consummated [his martyrdom] under Dadianus, the lawless [governor] of the Persians. Now Tyre was the city of king Nebuchadnessar who was king of all the Chaldaeans, and he forsook his city Tyre, and went to Babylon, and built it in a beautiful manner, and fortified it, and made it his royal city. And it came to pass that when they had taken off the head of Saint George it was separated from the body from the ninth hour of the day until sunset; and Pasikrates the servant of Saint George stood by it weeping over it and watching it. and behold God put it into the heart of two of his fellow-servants to come to the city to visit their master, and to learn what had become of him; and [the people] told them, saying, "They have slain him today." And they went and rent their garments, and came to the body, and they found Pasikrates sitting and weeping; and they sat down and wept with him. After these things they rose up together and joined the head of the saint to his body, and it united with it as if it had never been severed at all. And they took the napkin which one of them had on him and wrapped his holy body smeared with blood in it; and they found a new sepulchre near to them outside the city, and they laid the body of the holy man in it until it was morning, and they sat outside the door. And it came to pass on the morrow that they rose up, and went into the city and bought incense and linen; and they brought them and put them around the body of Saint George; and they found that the head had joined on to the body [p. 238] as if he were alive and there was no mark of the sword stroke upon it at all. And the servants marvelled greatly, and believed with all their heart that God had received him to Himself, and that everything which He had promised him while he was alive should in truth be done for him. Then they spread incense over him, and carefully prepared him for burial according to the custom of the country, and they buried him in a sepulchre, and sealed it with seals, and they set Pasikrates outside to watch it. And the two other servants went into the city to labour for their living, and to obtain money wherewith to carry the body of the saint with them to their country. And it came to pass that after they had worked for two months the Lord sent to them there a merchant ship from Joppa laden with merchandise: and when they had sold the cargo the servants of Saint George spake with the sailors, and they agreed with them for a price to take them and the body of Saint George on board; and by the help of God they came to Joppa. When the sailors and the merchant heard that it was the body of Saint George of Melitene of Diospolis who had gone into the country of the Persians, they marvelled greatly at the manner of his martyrdom; and they all arose and worshipped him, and glorified God that they were esteemed worthy of carrying Saint George in their ship. And one of the sailors, Leontius of Jopaa, an acquaintance of Saint George, brought horses and laid the body upon them, and carried it into Saint George's own house [at Diospolis]; and when he arrived there he found Saint George's mother and sisters had gone to their rest. [p. 239] Then the report spread abroad that they had brought the body of Saint George who had been martyred, and whom they had not seen for the past seven years, into the house, and because they were Christians they threw themselves down and worshipped him, weeping and marvelling at the things which had taken place; and again they rejoiced and glorified God that they were worthy of such a gift. Then Pasikrates and the two other servants whose names were Lukios and Kirinneos told the people of the city everything that had happened to their master, and they all marvelled. And they laid the body of Saint George in his house for a week, and they all came and worshipped it. When the great day of the festival came they all assembled in the church, and the martyrdom of Saint George was read to all the believers, and they marvelled at him and especially at all that had happened to him, and they glorified God and His holy martyr. And behold when a certain wealthy nobleman of the city called Andrew, who was of the family of Saint George's mother, heard his martyrdom read, God opened his heart and he listened attentively to the passage [in the martyrdom] which says, "And the Lord appeared unto him, saying, I swear to thee by Myself that no harm shall befall any man who shall confess thy sufferings, for I know that he is flesh and blood. No evil shall happen to any man who is in any necessity whatsoever, whether he be in peril by fearful judgements, or by many waters, or on the mountains, or in any affliction, if he remembers My name and the name of My Father which is in heaven, and the Holy Spirit, and My servant George, and I will deliver him out of every trouble. I will write in the Book of Life the name [p. 240] of any one who shall write down thy martyrdom and thy mighty deeds, and shall manifest forth thy day and the sufferings which thou hast endured in My name. I will never allow to want any good thing in this world during his whole life, the man who shall make a book on thy sufferings and place it in faith in thy shrine; he shall be numbered with my saints. I am the Lord God, and that which I have said will I do. I will take into My kingdom whoever shall build a shrine in thy name, and I will never forsake him. I will cause mighty miracles to take place wheresoever thy body shall be laid; I will make the nations of the earth come to thy shrine and bring thee gifts; and I will gather together to thy shrine all the heathen of the earth, Jews, Samaritans, Persians, the children of Esau and even the barbarians, and they shall bring thee gifts."

When the believing and truly God-loving man Andrew heard of all these cures with which God would benefit the people through him, he received great joy like Jacob when he saw the face of his son Joseph the ruler in Egypt, and he rose up quickly and wrote down his martyrdom and put it in his house, saying, "I will set the memorial of my brother in my house, that his blessing and favour may abide with me forever." And he cried out among the whole multitude, saying, "My brethren, as we have suffered great tribulation for the sake of our brother who was slain with the sword, let us now rejoice exceedingly that he has received great honour in heaven, and verily, because he has thus received freedom of speech before God, he is able to entreat God on our behalf that He may show mercy and help to us in this world and in that which is to come. And now, my brethren, hearken unto me, and let us build a little shrine to his name, and let [p. 241] us lay his body in it, that his blessing and favour may abide with us forever." Then all the people answered with one voice, "Let be done what thou hast said. If thou wilt undertake the matter, we will undertake with thee, that the blessing of the saint may be with us and with our children, and that his blessing may abide in our city forever." And it came to pass that when he heard these things he rejoiced. And he rose up early in the morning, and brought his servants and labourers and the servants of Saint George, and he pulled down the walls and the dwelling of Saint George, and said, "I will not lay my brother's body in strange ground," and the rest of the people of the city helped him and laboured at the holy place. And he deposited the body of Saint George in the church, until they had cleared the ground and could bring it back again. And it came to pass that when they had cleared the place they laid the foundations, and he marked out with straw where the walls should be according to the size of the little shrine, and he built it as well as he could (i.e. according to his means).

The first miracle of Saint George

Now the first miracle which Saint George wrought was in respect of the building of the shrine in which they were to lay his body, in the peace of God, Amen. And it came to pass [p. 242] that Andrew, who had set himself to build the martyrium of Saint George, was lying on his bed one night and thinking within himself, saying, "I have erred in beginning this building, especially as up to this present I see no man who will help me; and I know not whether I can finish it or not. If I do not finish it, men will laugh at me, saying, "This man began to build, and was not able to finish", even as our Savior said." And while he was meditating these things in his heart upon his bed, slumber overtook him and he slept. And behold Saint George appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Andrew, Andrew, knowest thou me ?" and he said, "What is it, master ?" Saint George said to him, "Knowest thou not who I am ?" and Andrew said, "No." When Andrew knew him in his dream, he was astonished, and rose up and cast himself down at his feet and worshipped him, saying, "Art thou alive, O George, my master ?" Saint George said to him, "Thanks be to God, my body is with you, but I live in God by the Holy Spirit. And now I see that thou art downhearted about the shrine which thou hast undertaken to build in my name, in which to lay my body, and I have come to thee to show thee a little wealth belonging to my ancestors out of which thou may payest for the shrine. Be of good cheer, and be not faint of heart, for I will put it into the hearts of the people of this city to help thee. Arise and follow me and I will show thee a place in the room of my house, which thou hast pulled down, wherein thou didst lay my body before thou didst take it into the church." Then Andrew, in his dream, rose up, and followed him. And Saint George took him into the room of his house, and showed him the place and set a mark on it with his finger, [p. 243] and said to him, "Rise up early in the morning and come here, and dig down into this place one cubit, and thou shalt find the blessing which God hath set apart for thee." And when Andrew woke up from his vision he roused his wife, and told her everything which he had seen in his vision, and they marvelled greatly. His wife said to him, "Rise up now this very night, and let us light a lamp, and go to the place of which he told thee, and thou wilt see if we find the mark or not. If we find the mark as thou hast seen in thy vision, then of a certainty it is Saint George who has appeared to thee, and we may in truth believe that we shall find the money even as he hath shown thee." So they two arose, and lit a lamp which the woman carried, and Andrew took a spade in his hand and went to that place at midnight, and when he looked upon the ground he found the mark which the saint had made with his finger in the vision; and Andrew and his wife marvelled greatly, and believed with all their hearts that it was Saint George who had made it. Then the valiant Andrew bound a napkin round his loins, and took the spade in his hand and dug into the earth, and when he had gone down a little way he found a jar having its mouth sealed up with clay (?), and he dug it up and found it untouched. And Andrew and his wife threw themselves upon their faces, and worshipped God and Saint George; and they arose and lifted it up, and carried it into their house, glorfying God. And they made the light to burn brightly, and went into their storehouse that no one in the house might know of their matter, and the woman lighted him with the lamp while he uncovered the jar, [p. 244] which he found to be filled to the top with gold; and they arose and threw themselves upon their faces, and worshipped God and Saint George for the great favour that he had wrought for them. And the man brought out a measure of two hins of gold wherewith he might complete the building of the shrine, and he buried the remainder again, and kept it hid in his house. Now when the morning had come he wished to give a feast to all the city in the name of Saint George, saying within himself, "It is right to give the first-fruits to the Lord;" and he made a great feast for all the poor and infirm and widows and orphans in the city, and he stood up and ministered unto them and rejoiced with them all. And on the morrow he invited all the nobles of the city, and made another great feast for them in the name of Saint George, and he sat at meat with them, and rejoiced with them, because of the blessing which the Lord had vouchsafed to him. While they were eating he arose, and spake with them saying, "Since God hath put it into your hearts to help me, let each one of you give a little, according to his means, that we in our generation may do this great blessing which God hath considered our city worthy of, and build the martyrium of Saint George in our city." And they all answered him with one voice, saying, "We tell thee that we will act according to our power, and, by the will of God we will come to thee, and that which each one of us will find, according to his power, he shall bring to thee." And they all, from the least to the greatest did so each one according to his power, and they counted what came in in the name of Saint George and they found two thousand pounds in gold and one thousand silver satheri. After these [p. 245] things he came to the place where the shrine was to be built to the name of Saint George, and they laid the foundations in the name of God and of Saint George, and they built it well in three years; and they brought the holy martyr into the martyrium; and they brought the holy Bishop of Jerusalem andhe consecrated the shrine. And what a number of miracles took place then ! and what a multitude of unclean spirits came forth in the name of Saint George the holy martyr of our Lord Jesus Christ !

The second miracle of the holy martyr Saint George

And it came to pass when the holy Bishop had consecrated the shrine of Saint George and was bringing up the holy offering, a man came in who had an unclean spirit from his youth, and it used to bring him down to the ground, and inflict sufferings upon him and make him writhe and foam at the mouth; now this man came and stood among the congregation wishing to be blessed with the multitude. And it came to pass that when the Bishop pronounced the trisagion the spirit brought [p. 246] the man down upon the ground and made him writhe and foam at the mouth; then he rose up and stood before the multitude, and cried out, saying, "What hast thou to do with me, O saint of God ? I know who thou art, and that thou art not able to cast me forth from this man, for I am a lunatic, and thou hast no dominion over me, O George." And he began to blaspheme God and Saint George. And Saint George inflicted sufferings upon him and brought him to a pillar. Then Saint George tied his hands behind him, and dragged him up the pillar with his hands tied behind his back, until his head was on a level with the top of the pillar. And all who saw him marvelled and said, "We never saw anyone like this, for behold, his back, with his hands tied behind it, clung to the pillar without fastenings of rope, and his feet did not touch the ground, and he was dragged up the side of the pillar twice without any one touching him, and we have never seen such a miracle as this wrought by any of the martyrs." Now it was Saint George who held the body of the man to torture him, and every one who saw him marvelled at him, and glorified God and Saint George the valiant martyr of our Lord Jesus Christ. After these things Saint George set him free, and he fell down senseless to the ground from the top of the pillar, so that everyone said, "He is dead". And when the salutation of peace had been given they pressed round about him, and marvelled at him, for he was as one dead. And a certain man who had never walked, but was lame from his mother's womb, and who sat begging at the door of the shrine, came in at that moment with the multitude, crawling upon his hands and knees and dragging his feet after him. And he crawled in among the feet of the people until he came to the [p. 247] man who was possessed of a devil. And the man who was possessed of a devil put out his hand and took hold of the neck of the lame man and drew it to him, wishing to take it in his hand, and his legs gave a loud crack and became straight immediately. Then the people took away his neck out of the hands of him that was possessed of a devil, wishing to set him free, and said, "Go forth and depart," and he rose and stood up trembling, and his legs gained strength, and he went forth and departed. And those who knew him ran out after him, but no one could catch him until he came outside the courtyard of the shrine. Then the bishop commanded them to bring him, and the man who was possessed of a devil said, "Forgive me, O holy father, and I will tell thee what I have seen. From my youth up I have been possessed of a devil until to-day, but I never saw him with my eyes except to-day, when, as he was coming to me, I saw fire before me, and I was frightened and fell down on the ground, and I knew nothing until the devil had gone out from me. When the people came to lift me up, it came to pass that [the devil] came to me when I was senseless, and I saw Saint George come in by the altar, and he took hold of my hands and comforted me., and I then saw before my eyes that devil before me in the form of a man, and Saint George inflicted great sufferings uon him. And he took him and dragged him up to the top of the pillar, and he inflicted sufferings upon him, and at last the devil cried out with a loud noise, and swore an oath saying, "I will go out of this man and never return to him again." Then I saw Saint George take hold of him, and lift him up to the top of the pillar, and throw him down upon the [p. 248] pavement, and the devil uttered a loud cry through his nostrils, and came out, and departed. And I knew that I was relieved in my body, and I fell asleep and slumbered, and saw nothing until this lame man looked upon me. When I opened my eyes I saw Saint George holding my hands, and embracing the neack of the lame man, and he beckoned to me, saying, "Hold him tightly." And I held his neck and pulled, and Saint George held his legs and pulled, and his legs gave forth a loud noise; and Saint George let go his legs and beckoned to me to let go his neck, and the man rose up and went away running; and Saint George went up to heaven, and I looke after him." When the Bishop and the multitude who were standing round about him heard these things, they marvelled with a great astonishment, and glorified God and Saint George, saying, "Great are the mighty deeds and favours which God works through him." And the men who were healed became servants of the shrine of Saint George, and served him there day and night until the day of their death. And multitudes of men and women and children who were sick with divers diseases, and fevers, and burnings, and unclean spirits, were healed that day in the shrine of Saint George in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The third miracle of Saint George the holy martyr of Jesus Christ

And it came to pass that when the holy Bishop went into Jerusalem with all those that were with him, they spake of the signs and miracles which had happened through Saint George in the midst of the people. And behold a certain Jew, who [p. 249] was a sorcerer and a thief, and who made men fall asleep by his enchantments while he stole their goods, heard of the mighty deeds and miracles which Saint George wrought, but believed them not. And he said to the multitudes, "The Christians err in praying to this earthly being like ourselves, saying, "Help us, and heal our sicknesses;"" and many Christians strove with this man often, but he continued his great blasphemies after this manner. Now a certain feeble-hearted Christian heard him, and he was very angry and he rose up to contend with him, saying, "God will not allow thee to despise His holy martyr thus, and the saint will revenge himself upon thee and blot thee out;" and they cursed each other with many curses. After these things the Jews answered and said, "Come now and lay a wager with me, I will go into the shrine, and will plunder it and bring out its possessions here without any one knowing it, and I will see what George will do to me." The Christian answered and said, "Lay a wager with me for three pounds in gold. If thou carriest off anything from the shrine of Saint George and bringest it here, we will go into the shrine and make enquiries that we may know of a truth if thou hast carried off anything from the shrine. Then if thou work a month without any evil befalling thee, I will believe thee and will give thee three pounds in gold; but if thou art not able to steal anything from the shrine, and some evil befall thee, thou shalt give me three pounds in gold, and shalt become a Christian." So the matter was thus arranged between them, and they procured witnesses. Then the man who was a sorcerer arose and went into the shrine, and stole some things, and he came out while all were sleeping, and no one knew of the theft; and when he had come outside of the outer door of the shrine, he spake within himself, saying, "Be ashamed [p. 250] now, O Saint George, together with the man who laid a wager with me." And he took counsel with himself as he went along, saying, "I will sell these things for much money, and I will demand the three pounds in gold from the Christian, and I will make him forsake his faith and deny his baptism, and I will see what this dead man George will do unto me." Now as he was pondering these things going along, behold the valiant martyr Saint George came to him in the guise of a soldier, holding a large ox-hide leather whip in his hand, and he said to the man, "My brother, what art thou carrying ? show me." And the Jew was astonished and said, "Friend, I will hide nothing from thee. I have stolen a few things, and since God has led thee across my path, come, take thy portion with me that thou mayest tell no man." Saint George said to him, "Since it is thus, come, let us go into the shrine and divide the thing between us as thou sayest." When he had come to the door of the shrine, Saint George gave him a blow on the head with the whip, saying, "Dost thou know who I am ?" And the thief said to him, "Nay master, I am dead, I am dead, I know not who thou art." Saint George said to him, "I am George;" and when the thief heard this he trembled and fell down upon the ground. Then Saint George took hold of him and dragged him along saying, "Why sayest thou, "I am dead, I am dead", when thou art not dead ? and now come hither and I will make thee to know who I am." Then Saint George bound him in the shrine, and tied the things which he had stolen to him, and suspended him from a beam at the height of three cubits from the ground, and he gave him severe lashes with the whip which he held in hand. O what a number of miracles took place at that time ! and O what a number of cries did the thief utter ! And all those who were asleep woke [p. 251] up, and arose, and came to him wondering what had taken place. And they asked one another, saying, "Who has suspended this man ?" and they said, "Who could have reached up as far as this from the ground ?" and the thief confessed what he had done, and told every one what had hasppened to him. And they marvelled and said, "Let us fetch a ladder and let him down", but the steward answered, "As God liveth, no one shall let him down until he that suspended him lets him down;" so they left him tied up thus until it was morning, that everyone might see him. And the thief confessed that he had laid a wager with a Christian in Jersusalem, and he cried out, "O George my master, have mercy upon me and I will never put forth my hand to steal again from any man from this hour, but I will henceforth become a Christian, and I will never return to the working of magic as of old;" and he wept the whole of the day, being suspended from the beam, until the morning came and everyone saw him. When Saint George saw the fixedness of his intention, he had compassion upon him, and he came in the night and let him down; and the thief gave the things that he had stolen to the steward. And it came to pass that on the morrow he wrote a letter and sent it by the hands of a servant of the shrine to his wife and relatives in Jerusalem, and told them what had happened to him. He wished moreover to become a Christian, but shame would not allow him to enter Jerusalem. When his relatives had received and read the letter, they marvelled at the mighty things which had happened through Saint George. And when the Christian who had laid a wager with him heard it, he rejoiced greatly, and went and announced in all Jerusalem what had happeneed to the Jew in the shrine of Saint George; and all who heard glorified God. And his wife and children and all his [p. 252] neighbours and a multitude of Jews arose and came to him, and he told them everything that had happened to him, and they all feared greatly, and were baptized on that day in the shrine of Saint George in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost; and they glorified God for ever.

The fourth miracle of Saint George the holy martyr

Now the name of Saint George and the report that he wrought mighty deeds and signs, and miracles, and cures, and that he cast out devils spread abroad everywhere. And there was a certain man in the land of the Persians, called Nicanor, who was ruler over a third part of the Persians, and he had a son called Anatolius, whose body and face were covered in leprosy. And when he heard of the mighty deeds and miracles which God wrought by the hand of Saint George, he cried out with a cry, saying, "If God and Saint George heal the leprosy on the face of my son, I will dedicate a hundred pounds of gold to the shrine of Saint George and I and all my house will become Christians." and it came to pass that when he had thus vowed he rose up on the morning of the morrow and the face of his son was healed, and there was no trace of leprosy in it. When Nicanor the ruler of the Persians saw this great miracle which had taken place in his son, he rose up and took the gifts which he had vowed, and much money, and Anatolius his son and his brethren and the multitudes of Persians who came with him, and they rose up and embarked in ships and came to the shrine of Saint George, and they washed his son in the bath and anointed [p. 253] him with the oil in the lamp, and his whole body was healed straightway. And he made his gift, and was baptized with those who were with him in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and they glorified God and Saint George for the favour which had happened to them. And it came to pass that when they came to their own land they built a large church, and called it by the name of Saint George; and they sent to Antioch and brought the God-loving Bishop, and he consecrated the church in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost and Saint George. And a multitude of Persians received holy baptism on that day, men, women, and children. When many of them that were sick saw the young man that had been healed of his leprosy in the shrine of Saint George, they believed, and went into the shrine, and were healed straightway; and they glorified God and Saint George for ever.

The fifth miracle of Saint George the holy martyr

Now there were two Samaritans who were partners in business, and they wanted to buy one hundred pounds worth of merchandise. And they rose up and saddled their asses, and took their money with them, and they mounted them wishing to go into Damascus to buy their merchandise. And while they were travelling along the road and were talking with each other about the mighty deeds and miracles which Saint George wrought, the night fell upon them. And it came to pass that while they were talking and were yet two or three miles from the town, behold there came forth against them out of the wood, two hungry, roaring and ravening lions, as it is written, "He maketh darkness, and it is night in which all the beasts of the earth go about. [p. 253] The young lions roar and raven and seek their food." When the asses saw the wild beasts which were coming out against them, they ran away terror-stricken, and the men fell down off them half dead with fright. And the wild beasts stood still near the men wishing to devour them, but they did not pursue the animals, neither did they come up to the men; and they stood still near them and glared(?) upon them. Then the men spake with one another, saying, "If God and Saint George deliver us from themouths of these wild beasts we will give this hundred pounds in gold to Daint George's shrine, and become Christians." And it came to pass that when they had thus vowed their vow to God, that the Good God, who desires the salvation of all men, and who made the lions to be at peace with Daniel the prophet, inclined the hearts of these two lions, and they bowed down their heads, and turned into the woods and departed. And the men whose minds had thus been quieted knew that it was Saint George who had vouchsafed to them this gift, and they glorified God and His holy martyr. When they had gone along the road a little they found their asses grazing and unharmed, and they got upon them and came into the town; and they spake with each other and with the people of everything which had happened to them. And every one who heard marvelled at the mighty deeds and miracles of Saint George; and the men of the city spake to them, saying, "These wild beasts have destroyed several men, and multitudes of animals of this district, but glory be to Saint George who hath delivered you from this wrath." After these things the two merchants took counsel with each other, saying, "What we have vowed to the shrine of Saint George let us [p. 255] perform as a thanksgiving to the glory of God, and let us become Christians in very truth and not turn back. And as we have come so far let us go into Damascus, and buy our merchandise, that we may make a little profit wherewith to make a requital." When they had come to Damascus they saw some precious stones called diamonds which they bought for one hundred pounds in gold; and when they came into Jerusalem they sold them for two hundred pounds in gold before they reached their native city in Samaria. Then the men spake with each other saying, "Thanks be to God that Saint George hath considered us worthy of this great favour." And it came to pass that when they had come into their city they told their kinsfolk and all the people of the mighty deeds and miracles which God had done to them. And they arose and took the hundred pounds in gold which they had vowed to give to the shrine of Saint George, and they proclaimed throughout the city, saying, "Let him that loveth God come into the shrine of Saint George with us;" and numbers of men and women in Samaria came forth with them. When they had come into the holy shrine they gave in theirgift and saw the mighty miracles, and the many cures of the sick, and the many devils which were cast out, and they all rose up and received baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And one hundred and fifty-three souls became Christians that day in the shrine of Saint George in the peace of God, Amen. [p. 256]

The sixth miracle of Saint George the holy martyr of Jesus Christ

Now there was a certain Christian in Jerusalem whose name was Zogrator, and he had a son who was a lunatic, and he himself was gouty; and the man was very rich, and had much wealth in gold and silver and many herds of cattle. And it came to pass that when he heard of the mighty deeds and miracles of Saint George, he vowed a vow, saying, "If God and Saint George heal my feet and legs of this disease, I will give in return to his shrine, three meals and three pints of wine, every month. And if I can walk freely with my feet and can go alonfg upon them by the twenty-third day of Pharmuthi, which is his great day, I will walk upon my legs to his shrine and will give one hundred pounds of gold to it." And when he had thus vowed, his legs became smaller(?) little by little, and his body became easier, and at the end of the appointed days he walked, and went into his house and into the church, and he prayed to God, saying, "I thank thee, O God of Saint George," and after two days his whole body was healed." When the day of the holy martyr, which is the twenty-third of Pharmuthi, drew near, he made ready everything which he would take with him, and his servants came to him, saying, "What animal shall we make ready for thee to ride ?" Zogrator answered and said, "As God liveth, I will walk on my legs from Jerusalem to the shrine of Saint George the holy martyr." Then they arose and went to the shrine of Saint George, and they found so great multitudes gathered together there marvelling at the mighty deeds and graces of healing which [p. 257] had taken place through Saint George, that Zogrator marvelled when he saw the mighty miracles and the healings which took place through Saint George, and he gave his gift to the shrine readily. And it came to pass that when the steward saw the marvellously greeat gifts which Zogrator gave, he took him into his house for two months, and he ate and drank with him joyfully. On the third day, by the good favour of God, the son of Zogrator arose and came to learn what had happened to his father, for he and those who had gone with him to the festival had not returned. Now Zogrator was within, talking to the steward of his son, saying, "I have a son possessed of an exceeding wicked devil who inflicts such great sufferings upon him that it has been said many times, "It would be better for him to be dead rather than live and suffer such tortures as these." If God and Saint George heal him by this time next year, I will bring him to thee, and I will come hither to thee and will give greater gifts than these to his shrine." The steward said to him, "Dost thou believe that God is able to do everything ?" [and Zogrator answered] "I believe that the saints receive everything which they ask for, and that nothing is too hard for them [to do] in God's name. Moreover, it is written in the gospel of John, "Whosoever believeth on me shall himself do greater works than these that I do." And it came to pass that while they were talking to one another, behold the son of Zogrator and a number of servants came up riding upon horses, and stood by the door of the shrine, and he enquired for his father and [p. 258] found that he was with the steward; and he came to his father, and they spake with one another. And while they were talking with one another, behold the devil came into the boy suddenly, and tare him for a long time, and he foamed at the mouth, and the devil rose up and cried out with a loud voice, saying, What hast thou to do with me, O George ? and why dost thou trouble me so much ? By Hercules, I am a lunatic, and no one shall cast me out." And he uttered great blasphemies, saying, "By Hercules, thou shalt not cast me out, O George." Then Saint George smote him with severe smitings, and again the devil cried out loud cries, saying, "O George, thou makest me suffer," and he sware mighty oaths, saying, "If thou wilt allow me to come forth I will never return to him again." And when the devil had cast him down in the midst he came out from him and never returned to him again; thus he was healed immediately. When Zogrator saw that the devil had come out of his son, he gave many thanks to the shrine of Saint George, and returned thanks to God. And he came to the shrine every year on Saint George's day, and made a great feast to the poor and the widows and the orphans, and his son stood by them with joy; and they glorified God and Saint George until the day of his death.

The seventh miracle of Saint George the holy martyr

And it came to pass that when the servants of the shrine of Saint George had increased, the steward made them go out to collect and [p. 259] gather in the first-fruits and gifts which were given to the holy shrine of Saint George. Moreover, many people in the country vowed and dedicated thewir sons and daughters and cattle to the shrine of Saint George, because of the mighty deeds and miracles which he wrought, and many barren women bore children after they had vowed cattle to the shrine. Whenever, too, a storm broke upon many ships at sea, so that they were suddenly in great danger, and the sailors cried out to God and Saint George, saying, "Help us," straightway the help of God strengthened them speedily and saved their ship until they arrived in haven. And much cattle which had been vowed, but had not been given by their masters to Saint George's shrine, went of their own accord until they came and entered into the shrine. But why should I mention the beasts which went of their own accord into the shrine, and omit the mighty miracles of soulless pieces of wood, and stones, and books, and pieces of gold which travelled through the air like birds until they came into the shrine of Saint George by the help of the living God ? if a ship were in danger and pieces of wood, or writings, or pieces of gold, and other things were cast out of it into the sea in faith in the name of Saint George, they would travel of their own accord through the air, untl they came into the shrine. Now many people believed in the mighty deeds and the many miracles but a few did not. And one of the servants of the shrine rose up and stole some of the property of the shrine, and took it into his house, and the holy martyr bore with him until the end of five years, saying, "Peradventure he will repent of his sins, and [p. 260] I will forgive him;" but he did not cease to steal, and he acted in this wise: everything that was given to him to take to the shrine, he took home to his wife like Judas, who when he stole from the Saviour out of the bag, took home to his wicked wife everything which had been given to the Saviour, Who put it into the bag in the hands of Judas; even so did the servant steal and give to his wicked wife. It was on account of his wife that great temptation came upon Judas, and made him hang himself, for when God had set them apart for apostleship, all the Apostles, except Judas, forsook their houses, and wives, and children, and followed after the Son of the living God. Judas alone did not follow after his God, but lived with his wife, and was impure with her, and for this reason the devil found a resting place within him until he made him an alien from God. And thus shall it happen to all who hgearken unto their wicked wives until they make them aliens from God who created them. Now this man who was a servant of the shrine of Saint George and to whom things were given as to all his other fellow servants, used to take them into his house, and did not cease to steal the property of the shrine. After these things the holy martyr put a very wicked devil in him, and inflicted great sufferings upon him day and night. And the devil brought him into the church and spake from within him, saying, "I have taken much property [p. 261] of the shrine into my house, go ye into it, and ye will find it there;" and they went and found it there. And after he had suffered thus for two monthsSaint George had compassion upon him, and healed him, and the steward cast him forth from the shrine; and all who heard of it glorified God and Saint George.

The eighth miracle of Saint George the holy martyr

There was a certain rich man in Antioch whose name was Eulogios; and he had a ship which went to sea, and he was occupied in great business. And he was a kind man, and gave great charities to the poor and the infirm, and he gave gifts and first-fruits to every church in his city Antioch, and he made a great feast to all the clergy of his city twice a year, and he ate and drank frequently woth the Archbishop, and prayed to God always; moreover, he visited the prisons, and was very rich. And he frequented the shrine of Saint George, and went there on the great day of his festival, which is the twenty-third of Pharmuthi, and he prayed there, and gave money to the shrine, and he ate and drank with the steward, and returned to his house in peace. And it came to pass that when he had done thus for twelve years, the devl, who is the enemy of every one that believes on Christ, was envious of him because of the kind deeds which he wrought, and raised up a great black darkness on the sea, and a storm. Now the ship of Eulogius was keeping close [p. 262] to the shore, for the saolors feared to put out to sea lest it should be destroyed under them, and they rose up and brought the merchandise and all their necessary clothing to land; and they passed the whole night sorrowfully while the wind carried awy the ship, and they knew not where it had gone. When the morning had come, they tired themselves out in seeking for the ship of Eulogios, but they found it not, and they came and told him everything that had happened; and he and his wife wept and were sorrowful. After these things they thanked God, saying, "God's will be done, blessed be His name for ever. If He wishes to be merciful to us we will build another ship like unto this;" and saying these things to each other, they comforted themselves in God, and were strong in the property which they still had. But behold the devil raised up for them a greater trial than this. Now there was a certain Egyptian who was a very skilful thief, and when he was sought after to be put to death, he rose up and fled, and came down to the sea, and by Satan's luck he found a ship about to sail to Antioch, and he went on board, and came thither, and lived in the house of Eulogios. After he had been there a few days he became a labourer for two years, and knew everything that was in the house of Eulogios, who knew not that he was a thief, but trusted him. And the thief found two other transgressors like unto himself and made companions of them, as the Scripture saith, "Every man cleaveth to him that is like unto him," and they took counsel together to rob the house of Eulogios. And it came to pass that when the day of the martyr drew near, that is to say, the twenty-third of Pharmuthi, Eulogios and many other people with [p. 263] him made ready to go to the shrine. And it came to pass that while they were there, the mother-in-law of Eulogios fell sick, and, according to the will of God, died; and his wife and her kinsfolk went to weep for her leaving the Egyptian alone in the house. Then he rose up and went quickly with his companions to the house, and took them in with him, and they ate and drank, and spent the whole day in robbing the house of Eulogios. And they carried off the gold and silver and all the other valuable things, and finding an Alexandrian ship they embarked, and came to Alexandria; and they set out all the property of Eulgios in the market, and sold it for much money, and the share of each one amounted to three thousand pounds in gold. And it came to pass that when Eulogios came back from the shrine of Saint George, he found his wife and kinsfolk sorrowing; and they told him what had happened, and he grieved for many days. After these things he took consolation in God and glorified Him, saying, "God's will be don." Meanwhile those who had stolen his property went into Egypt to Peremoun, and lived there; and one of them fell sick (?), and became possessed of a devil, and went away, and no one knew whither he had gone. After a few days there was anger between the remaining two, and they quarrelled with each other, and at midnight the Egyptian rose up, and took a sword, and slew his insensible companion, and took all the gold and went to the country of Palestine where he toiled in business, and ate and drank with the money of Eulogios a long [p. 264] time. And Eulogios, the true Christian and his wife Euphemia, true to God, did not relax their offerings, and first-fruits, and charities on festival days which they had been wont to give to the poor and the sick; and they did not cease their offerings, but continued them as formerly. And he gave awy that which he had laid by, and when that had come to an end, he spent everything that he had. When the day of the martyr drew nigh, Eulogios spake with his wife, saying, "Behold all the people of the city are going to the shrine of Saint George, but we have no income this year to give; behold, O God, may Saint George look upon our affliction." His God-loving wife answered and said meekly to him, "I know, brother, that we have nothing, and that thee is none to lend us anything, for we are poor, but behold, I have two garments, take this good one and sell it for money, that our offering to the sgrine may not cease." When Eulogios heard these things his eyes filled with tears and they both wept. And again Eulogios spake with his wife concerning the cost and carrying out of the journey. The blessed Euphemia answered and said, "O good brother, rise up and go to thy neighbours, perchance God will cause them to have compassion upon thee and to lend thee the money wherewith thou shalt be able to supply thy wants and to go to the shrine in peace. If they will not lend theee money, then give this garment to the people who are going to the shrine, and God's will be done." And Eulogios hearkened to her, and rose up and went to a neighbour of his, and said to him, "I want to speak with thee on a certain matter;" and he replied, "Speak, beloved brother." Eulogios said to him, "Behold the day of Saint George [p. 265] draweth nigh, and I do not wish to cease this year from giving the little gift which I am accustomed to give to his shrine; but behold I have nothing at all this year to give, for thou knowest all that has happened to me. And now, neighbour, perhaps I may borrow some money from thee until God show me a way in which I can work and make it up." And while Eulogios was speaking, his neighbour's eyes filled with tears, and he said to him, "O good brother, why sayest thou such things as these to me who have been thy servant until this day ? and why speakest thou such things as these to me about money ? As God liveth, hadst thou asked me for ten pounds in gold I would have given them to thee that I might obtain the blessing of the martyr. But behold now, I have here three pounds in gold, take them, and if thou needest more I will give it to thee." And Eulogios took them and brought them to his wife, saying, "I believe on God and Saint George, and if we cast all our care upon God, he will have mercy upon us again." His wife said to him, "God hath set apart the money for thee." And he said, "Thanks be to God and His holy martyr, for when I went to such and such a man and told him everything, he said to me, "If thou art in need of more, come hither to me, and I will give thee what thou needest;" and she rejoiced greatly, and thanked God. Then Eulogios rose up and embarked with those who were with him, to go to the shrine of Saint George. And behold the man who had stolen the property of Eulogios meditated within hinself, saying, "I know that I have sinned from my youth up, without counting the great sin which I committed when I [p. 266] rose up against my neighbour and slew him craftily, and I shall suffer everlasting punishment for the sake of the things belonging to other people. Behold now the day of the martyr draweth nigh, I will arise and go to his shrine, and will pray there and make a small offering that peradventure he may receive me favourably before God, and show mercy to my miserable soul." And it came to pass that when Eulogios came to the shrine of Saint George he with those who were with him, prayed; and they came to the steward and handed in their gifts to him. And the steward knew Eulogios from his being accustomed to come to the shrine year by year, and he ate and drank with him. When it was morning they came into the shrine and prayed, and they stood up until the service was ended, and Eulogios and his fellow citizens came out and walked to the market place. And behold the Egyptian who had robbed the house of Eulogios came in through the door of the shrine dressed in the dress of Eulogios with the money tied up in it; and they knew him immediately and ran upon him and laid hold of him, for he wished to flee away. Then they bound him and carried him to the steward, who said to him, "What hast thou done with the things thou hast stolen ?" and he said, "I have stolen nothing. O my master Eulogios, thou knowest that I served thee for two years, and that I never stole anything from thy house; and this dress (?) is one which I bought in the market." The steward said to him, "If thou wilt come in with me to the altar of Saint George, and wilt swear to me in the name of God and Saint George, saying, "I have not stolen", thou shalt depart." And the thief was glad that he was going to escape, and he cried out, saying, "I will swear wherever thou pleasest, [p. 267] and in whatever manner thou pleasest;" and the steward took him [in] that he might take the oath. and the steward said, "...... this man chooseth death rather than life. For I say unto you that when a man takes an oath it is received in the presence of God before he cam smite the earth thrice with his foot. As for me, Saint George has already told me in a dream during the past night, saying, "They will bring to thee tomorrow a man who has stolen what belongs to me, do not let him go, but punish him until he gives up to thee everything that he has stolen"; but I did not understand the vision until this moment." And he commanded two new whips to be brought to him, and when they were brought they beat the Egyptian with many stripes; bu the thief kept his mouth shut and did not speak at all. Then the steward took an oath, saying, "Thou shalt either be beaten with these whips until thou shalt die, or thou shalt restore the things thou hast stolen." And he commanded them to strip his clothes off him, and to beat him with many stripes; and when they had taken off his clothes they found money inside. They said unto him, "What are these ?" and he cried out, saying, Master, I have sinned," and he admitted [his theft] before the multitude in the shrine of Saint George, and confessed everything that had happened to him; and when they had beaten him with many stripes they cast him into a dungeon, and they left him without food and water to die. When Eulogios had received the money he gave sixty pounds in gold to the shrine, and made a great feast to the poor and the sick, and he rejoiced, and thanked God and Saint George who worked mighty deed and miracles. Now the money which they had [p. 268] found with the thief amounted to more than five thousand pounds in gold. After these things Eulogios besought the steward and the man was set free, and Eulogios gave him three pounds in gold and the dress which he had worn, and sent him away in peace. When the man saw the compassion of Eulogios and the mighty deeds and miracles of Saint George, how that he had told the steward [about him] in a dream, he gave the three pounds of gold to thes hrine of Saint George, and ministered unto the sick until the day of his death; and Saint George received himfavourably and forgave him his sins.

After these things Saint George appeared to Eulogios by night, and said to him, "God hath heard thy prayer and hath accepted thy alms, saying, "I know of thy charity to the poor and the sick, and I will show mercy unto thee in this world and in that which is to come." when thou shalt wish to return to thy house thou shalt find another ship, greater than thine which was lost, laden with stores and wood; take it to thy city that thou mayest build a shrine in my name, and I will bless thee, and thou shalt lack no good thing during thy life." And it came to pass that when it was light Eulogios told the people everything that Saint George had told him during the night, and they marvelled greatly; and they embarked in their ship and sailed to Antioch. And behold Saint George brought the ship of Eulogios to meet them laden with cypress wood and many good things. And Eulogios and those that were with him knew it, and they rose up and went up into it rejoicing, and they brought the ship to Antioch, and told the whole city; and when the people heard it they glorified God and Saint George. Then Eulogios gave great charities to the poor and the sick and the orphans on the day of Saint George, and his prayers and offerings and first-fruits continued in the church always. And he built a glorious shrine in the name of Saint George the holy martyr, and he and his wife and children ministered therin [p. 269] until the day of his death. And Saint George received him favourably before God, who made him a partaker in the heavenly Jersusalem, the place which he desired greatly, and he kept the festival with all the saints.

The ninth miracle of Saint George

And it came to pass during the reign of Diocletian the lawless idolater who destroyed the whole earth, that there was a certain general under his authority whose name was Euchios; and he was savage in appearance and of an exceeding wicked disposition. And the emperor Diocletian appointed him three thousand soldiers, and sent them into Egypt to overthrow the churches and to build temples to polluted idols in every place. When this man had come into the country of Egypt he appointed governors in every city and counts and dukes, and commanded them to bind all the Christians throughout their dominions; and he inflicted great punishments and fearful tortures upon them, and finally cut off their heads with the sword; and they became martyrs and died for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And he sent an edict throughout the whole land of Egypt, and all the churches were overthrown, and temples of idols were built, and devils worshipped in them.

After all these things it came to pass that the Good God remembered all the evil which the impious emperor Diocletian had wrought, and the innocent blood of the saints, the holy martyrs which he had poured out. And when his end drew nigh, he called to Euchios the general, and said to him, "I know that thou art a prudent man, and that thou dost perform the decrees and commands of the emperors. Rise up now and take soldiers and the edict of the emperor to help thee, and depart quickly into Syria of Palestine, and go first to the shrine of him that is called George, and overthrow it to its very foundations. For I cannot bear to bear to hear tell of the mighty deeds of magic which are [p. 270} wrought in the name of him whose head Dadianus the Persian cut off several years ago. And the Christians have built a shrine to his name, and they perform mighty deeds and signs by works of magic so that his name may be magnified in all the land, and many people have forsaken the glorious gods and follow after the mighty deeds of that man, and become Christians." So Euchios the general made obeisance to the emperor and took the edict, and the emperor appointed him three thousand soldiers and sent them to Syria and commanded him, saying, "Thou shalt first destroy the shrine of St. George. Then thou shalt pull down all the churches and bind all the Christians and cast them into prison. And thou shalt punish them and inflict fearful sufferings upon them, and thou shalt cut off with the sword the heads of those who will not worship our gods, and shalt spare them not." Then the general took the soldiers with him, and he embarked them in ships and sailed to Syria. When they came to the port of Saint George, they all went quickly into the city with swords, and weapons, and bows and arrows in their hands, and the whole city was disturbed by the multitude of the soldiers. And Euchios, like Holofernes of old who was the chief general of Nebuchadnezzar, went into the shrine of Saint George in great pride holding a staff in his hand, with a [p. 271} multitude of soldiers following after him. When he had come into the shrine and saw the lamp burning to Saint George, one said [to him], "Look at this senseless thing," and he said, "I see the folly of the Christians, and if the god of this people were not blind, the sun would give him light and he would have [no] need of a thousand lamps to give him light." And he took the stick in his hands and smote the lamp, saying, "What is this ?" and the lamp broke and fell in fragments upon him and some of the soldiers; and a little piece of glass stuck in his head without his knowing it, and every part of his body which the oil from the lamp touched became leprous. And he thought that that was all that would happen to him, and said to the soldiers, "Until today we have heard only with our ears that there is a magician in this place, but today we have seen [that there is] with our eyes, for look and see what has happened to my hands and feet;" and the multitude of soldiers round about him marvelled at the power of the holy martyr who had made him leprous. And his head pained him exceedingly and he said to the soldiers, "Let us rest here until the morning;" and he was greatly ashamed because of the multitude of the soldiers round about him. And since all the people of the city were Christians, none of them would take him into their house, for they were angry with him on account of the lamp of the shrine which he had broken; and they went out and left him there. Then he rose up and went forth ashamed, and when he reached the door of the shrine and was coming out, his head became dizzy and he fell headlong on the ground, and his whole body trembled and he was unable to stand. Then the soldiers [p. 272} came round him and carried him into their house, and they ate and drank, but he could taste nothing for his head was suffering great pain. When the evening had come the soldiers went to bed and slept, but Euchios saw a vision in this wise. He saw a soldier whose name was George shoot an arrow into the air, and the arrow stuck in his head, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying, "George, George," and straightway woke from his slumber. When those who were in the room with him heard the cries they said, "Master, to whom dost thou speak ?" and he was ashamed to tell them his dream, and he kept his mouth shut, not wishing to utter the name of Saint George from his lips at all. When the morning had come he was suffering greatly from the piece of glass in his head, and he cried out with loud cries frightening the soldiers and saying, "Take me up, and let us go into our own country that I may not die in this foreign land." And all the soldiers rose up joyfully, and embarked in ships, and sailed to Antioch greatly ashamed; and the head of the general suppurated and became very putrid, and on the third day God smote him and he died. And after five days his whole body became a mass of worms and very putrid, and the soldiers took him and buried him in the sea. When the soldiers had come into Antioch they showed the emperor everything that had taken place, and they told him of the mighty deeds and miracles which they had seen in the shrine of Saint George. But Diocletian the lawless and hateworthy apostate did not believe these things, for God wished to destroy him by an evil death on account of all the evil deeds he had wrought upon the saints. And he [p. 273] hardened his heart like Pharaoh of old, and said to the soldiers, "Ye have slain this great general of the empire, and ye utter these foul lies, saying that George the Galilean worketh mighty deeds and miracles. Now by our glorious gods, I will go myself to the shrine, and if I find that ye have foully lied I will cut off all your heads with the sword. And I will take an army there with me and will put the whole city to the sword, I will uproot the shrine to its very foundations, and I will make the Christians worship idols in its."

After these things Diocletian arose and gathered together all his army, and prepared ships for them to embark in and sail to Syria: and he made a herald proclaim throughout the whole city, saying, "Prepare yourselves, O soldiers, for we are going to Syria to overthrow the shrine of the arch-sorcerer of the Gaileans." Now while the words were in the emperor's mouth, behold the hly archangel Michael and Saint George came down from heaven and overturned under him the throne upon which he sat, and the golden pomegranates which were on the top of it struck his eyes and crushed in his eye-balls. And he cried out with a loud voice and wept, saying, "Woe is me, O my Lord, woe is me; O Lord God the Good, I have sinned, forgive me, for I have wrought great evil to Thy servants upon earth; O God, forgive me, for I am a sinner." Then the voice of the holy archangel Michael came to him straightway, saying, "There shall be forgivess to thee neither in this world nor in the world to come: and now thy dominion has passed away and is given to Constantine who is more excellent than three thousands of times." And all the multitude of the soldiers and all the senators who were assembled in the royal presence heard the voice of the archangel Michael speaking, and they marvelled at what had [p. 274] suddenly happened from heaven. And they straightway arose and cast him forth from the royal office, and they brought in Constantine in his stead and robed him in royal apparel. And he was a lover of God, a lover of charity, a lover of man, a lover of goodness and of evry person. He went to Church morning and evening every day; he made large assemblies at the Holy Communion, he prayed to God with great earnestness; he gave away large charities and gifts: and he, and his house, and his mother, the God-loving Queen Helena, feared the Lord always, and they praised and blessed and thanked our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, through Whom be all glory and adoration and honour for the Father and the Son and Holy vivifying and consubstantial Spirit with Him, now and always and for ever and ever, Amen.


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