Wednesday, April 23, 2014

St. George

Happy Feast of St. George (patron saint of my sweet almost birthday boy)!

St. George was a soldier in the Roman army of Emperor Diocletian.  He was one of the Emperor's favorite soldiers, but he held a secret that none knew, he was a Christian!  As you may know, Diocletian had it out for the Early Christians.  He led the greatest persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.  He had edicts rescinding the legal rights of Christians and demanding that they follow traditional Roman religious practices. Other edicts targeted clergy and demanded universal sacrifice to Roman gods.  One day he read an edict where he was stationed and knew it would be his job to round up Christians and to possibly even kill them himself.  He fearlessly went to the Emperor and informed him of his Christian beliefs and scolded him for his cruelty.  George then gave up his position in the Roman army.  He was tortured horribly and finally beheaded, never denying his faith.  George's brave declaration of his faith gave courage to other Christians.  Many songs and poems were written about his martyrdom, spreading the story.  For George the dragon signified evil and the lady whom he is saving is God's holy truth, but we all have dragons hiding in our lives:  greed, laziness, pride, fear, etc.  With George's intercession and guidance, we can all fight our "dragons" with God's help.

My sweet middle child has his birthday this weekend and will also celebrate his first communion--yes, all in the same day!  What a blessing this is for him.  Many years ago, he chose St. George as HIS Saint.  He told me he just felt close to him (and being a boy, loved the dragon and the soldier imagery).  Little did I know how appropriate George would be for him.  He suffers with asthma, which has always been a huge obstacle for him.  This being pollen season, he is constantly feeling terrible and having issues, but calls on St. George to help him fight the grouchiness and irritability that plague him while on his medicines.  Then came the issue of dyslexia.  Wow--kick a kid when he's down!  We realized he was having a hard time learning to read and write.  He was constantly frustrated and feeling inadequate.  Yet again he has turned to George.  His frustrations are immense, but he has taught me that no matter what you face, you can always turn to God for help and that our saints in heaven are always there to be a support.  Happy Feast of St. George and may you find the strength to turn to your dragons and fight them today!

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