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Wednesday, 20 June 2018


One Conqueror for everyone

2009-05-07 18:19

 2642.jpegToday, all the orthodox countries including Georgia and Russia are celebrating St. George's Day. The Conqueror's exploit of spearing the dragon is revered in both countries. Regrettably this year the two spiritually allied people are celebrating their common feast as enemies.


The day before, the Georgian authorities revealed an anti-State plot at the military base. However, the truth, whether there has really been any plot and what it was aimed at, will be known for sure only from the archives after the change of the current power. Anyway, MIA has already traced the main initiators represented by the Russian special services. According to MIA, that was the way Moscow tried to disrupt NATO's military exercises in Georgia scheduled for today. By the way, the authorities stubbornly keep nurturing rumors that the Georgian opposition is also supported and incited from Moscow. This is how Saakashvili hopes to maintain his power, using an image of enemy and a bogey of a threat from outside.

Perhaps, for Saakashvili Russia is indeed a personal enemy, for it was him who gave a culpable order to attack South Ossetia, and it was by his will and wish that the blood of Ossetians and Russian peace-makers was shed. By the way, the latter were coreligionists of Sakartvelo. For Georgians, Russia has always represented support and defense against being assimilated by the non-Christian states. No one is able to sponge the people's genetical memory of the multi-century alliance between the two orthodox cultures, the Georgian and the Russian.

We have the same symbol of Victory - the image of Saint George the Conqueror. This historical character lived at the end of the II - beginning of the III century in the Asianic province Kappadokia that belonged to the Roman Empire. He was born to and brought up in a noble family. His feats of arms made him the ruler of Kappadokia. Having accepted the Christian religion, the brave warrior stirred the Emperor Diokletian's wrath and was cast into prison and put to severe torture. They bludgeoned and flogged him, tied him to a spiky wheel and put red-hot iron boots on his feet. But Saint George bore all these tortures and did not deny the Christian faith. By the Emperor's order, on 23 April 303 (May, 6 according to the New Style Calendar), he was put to death in the town of Nikodimia.

Icon-painters depict St. George on horseback, spear in hand, killing the dreadful dragon. This mythological event happened after the hero's death in Beirut, where the pagans sacrificed humans to the dragon. That is why George's battle with the dragon is often interpreted as an allegory of the fight between the Holy Spirit and the demons. In the orthodox iconic theme "St. George and the Dragon" his victory over the serpent (the dragon) is understood as the victory of Christianity over filth, over paganism.

Together with the Blessed Virgin, George the Conqueror is revered as the Patron Saint of Georgia. The first church in his honour was built there in 335, at the place of St. Nina's tomb. In Middle Ages, Georgian churches started to be erected across the whole Georgia. The Georgian Cross appeared on Georgian banners in the days of Tsarina Tamara and can be still seen on them today. The image of George on horseback is at the center of Sakartvelo's national emblem.

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