Our Patron Saint - St. George
A brief Biography of St. George includes the birth at Cyrene in Present day Libya and His life as a Roman soldier, whose subsequent valor and courage to protect the King’s daughters the human sacrifice offered for the Dragon and the culmination in slaying the Dragon. It was believed that a Church for St. Mary was erected at the place where He slays the dragon and a spring erupted. His fame and the steadfast belief in Jesus Christ brought persecution by the Romans who beheaded him for his faith. This was on April 23, 303 A.D. a day observed by many churches as St. George Day. His unflinching courage and uncompromising faith brought many more martyrs to Christianity. His fame spread when the Crusaders brought the story to England and He was elevated to the position of the “Patron Saint of England”. Many Countries and Cities count on His blessing by naming Him the Patron Saint. The city of Moscow has more sculptures of him than anywhere else and to list all the names of countries and cities where he is adored needs a long extension.
The Palestine Christians observe the Feast of St. George as a holiday and a major day of celebration which involves all the three major religions. It is significant to end this foray in to the life of this saint with the Shakespearean quote, the rallying cry for the English troops in Henry V “God for Harry, England and St. George“.
It is Customary for every Eastern Orthodox Christian to observe the feast of St. George, the venerated Saint and even more so for the St. Thomas Christians of Kerala, whose vivid memories of the feast, the festivities and the accompanying folklore of the slaying of the dragon never fade from childhood memories. A place abound with deadly snakes, it is of paramount importance to participate in the festivities and offer “Nercha appam and Kozhi Curry” for the protection by the saint. The stories that bear testament to the many miracles performed by St. George fortify the faith and people from all walks of life seek protection from the deadly venom of the serpents. These yearly parade of faithful include people from different religions whose testimony accentuates ones faith in the Saint. The Churches at Puthupally, and Chandanappalli are of particular significance due to the very famous “Perunal” festivities that involves the whole town folks. The feast of St. George in the orthodox churches in the west is a whole- hearted attempt to emulate the festivities of the past in its style and grandeur and to seek the blessing of this saint-a nostalgic and uplifting experience. Our Church celebrates the feast of our patron saint on the first Friday and Saturday of the Month of May with the colorful procession accompanied by “Nercha Vilampu“.