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April 4, 2016

Saint George of Mount Maleon in Peloponnesos


George gladly delivered his soul,
To the tiller of souls and planter of flesh.
On the fourth George departed to the heavens.

Our Holy Father George lived in the ninth century, and from a young age loved the Lord with all his soul. Although he desired to live a monastic life, his parents sought to arrange a marriage for him against his will. He therefore departed his household and entered a monastery on Mount Maleon in Peloponnesos. There he gave himself over to every form of asceticism, namely fasting, hard work, prayer, and the study of Holy Scripture among other things.

Many people came to Saint George seeking his guidance in spiritual matters, and they left enlightened and in a spirit of repentance. Such a crowd of people came to see him, that Saint George would leave the monastery and climb Mount Maleon to find the quiet necessary for prayer. However, even there many monks came to visit him, and he guided them in asceticism and prayer. He progressed to such a state of virtue, that he became known to many people in high places as well, even emperors, to whom he would send many letters addressing various matters of concern to them.

Three years prior to the end of his earthly life, he foretold his death to his disciples. Thus when the time approached, he gathered his disciples to give them final words of advice, and he departed to the Lord.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Like a divine plant, O Venerable George, thy virtuous life brought forth holy fruit in abundance. Thou didst blossom in asceticism like a date palm, and nourish Christ's Church with the gifts that were given to thee.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
O Father George, thou didst wisely disdain the pleasures of earth, and on wings of virtue find rest in the abodes of the incorporeal choirs in heaven. And thou dost intercede unceasingly for us all.