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It is believed that George was ordered to take part in the persecution but instead confessed to being a Christian himself and criticized the imperial decision.
The holy, glorious and right-victorious Great-martyr and Trophy-bearer George was a Christian Roman soldier killed under Diocletian at the beginning of the fourth century.
According to Tradition, George was born to a Christian family during the late 3rd century. George joined the army soon after his coming of age. He proved to be a charismatic soldier and consequently rose quickly through the military ranks of the time. In 303, Diocletian issued an edict authorizing the systematic persecution of Christians across the Empire.. It is believed that George was ordered to take part in the persecution but instead confessed to being a Christian himself and criticized the imperial decision.
An enraged Diocletian proceeded in ordering the torture of this apparent traitor and his execution. Then, after innumerable forms of torture, George was executed by decapitation in front of Nicomedia’s defensive wall. The Greek Orthodox Church commemorates George on April 23, and the translation of his relics on November 3. St. George is often depicted with a dragon or some other serpentine creature under his feet. The story may or may not be taken entirely literally. For example, the battle between George and the dragon may represent the battle between Christianity and Satan or between St. Michael, the archangel, and Lucifer.
The lithographic icon of the Saint has been placed in a wood derivative that has been worked with wax and resin by the monks who live at the Holy Hut of St. George on Mount Athos. By applying high temperature, the wood took this particular shape and its distinctive black color.