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December 29, 2018

Saint George, Bishop of Nicomedia, Composer of Canons and Troparia

St. George of Nicomedia (Feast Day - December 29)


Panegyrist of things beyond comprehension,
Now George applauds with the Angels.

Venerable George Of Nicomedia lived in the latter half of the ninth century, and was a deacon and keeper of the archives (chartophylax) of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. He was a close friend and correspondent of Patriarch Photios, with whom he shared mutual interests, and became Bishop of Nicomedia sometime before 867 till sometime after 877. He reposed sometime after 880.

George is primarily known as a poetic composer of homilies and hymns, most of them dedicated to the Mother of God and associated with her role in various feasts of the Church. Of his ten surviving homilies, eight have to do with the Mother of God, one with her mother Saint Anna, and one with Saints Kosmas and Damian. He also composed idiomela to Saint John Chrysostom, he set to music the Service for the Entrance of the Theotokos, and also set to music the forefeast Canon for the Annunciation. In addition to these, he composed many other canons and troparia of the Church. His sermon on the lamentations of the Mother of God for Great Friday was incorporated into the typikon of the Evergetis Monastery.