By John Sanidopoulos
My grandmother Anastasia had a special devotion to St. George. Often in her prayers I would hear her chant his Troparion from memory. I'm not sure where her devotion originated, but I wonder if it had to do with the fact that she was born in Nicomedia of Asia Minor and lived there into her teenage years until when most of the Greeks of the area became victims of the Greek Genocide and she was exiled with her family to Greece. The reason Nicomedia is significant is because this is where St. George was stationed as a Roman soldier near the Emperor Diocletian who also ruled from Nicomedia at the time. And of course, St. George was also martyred in Nicomedia, being decapitated before the city wall by orders of Diocletian on April 23, 303.
My grandmother eventually married my grandfather John and they bore eight children, five of whom survived beyond infancy, and they settled in the city of Patras in a small one-bedroom apartment. My father, Panagioti, was the second youngest and as a young child developed a bed wetting problem that stuck with him until he was around ten years old. This caused him and my grandmother especially great distress as there was no medical explanation for it at the time.
One day my grandmother stood before her icons and made a supplication before St. George to heal my father of his bed wetting. In her prayer she made a vow on his behalf that if the Great Martyr healed her son, she in turn would send him to the nearby church dedicated to St. George in Langoura to clean the entire thing. She never told my father this, yet still that night his bed was dry and he never had the problem again.
The next day my grandmother contacted the priest and told him of her vow. He allowed my father to come and fulfill the vow his mother made on his behalf. My father did it gratefully.
When my father got a little bit older he took on his fathers trade as an Electrician. When the church dedicated to St. George which years before he had cleaned requested electricity in the church, my father went and did the entire job for free still showing gratitude to the Great Martyr George who healed him years earlier.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
O Great Among the Saints and Glorious Martyr George, since you are a deliverer of captives and a defender of the poor, a doctor for the sick and a noble attendant to kings: intercede with Christ our God, that He may save our souls.