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May 3, 2021

Homily on George the Holy Great Martyr of Christ (Archimandrite George Kapsanis)

By Archimandrite George Kapsanis,
Former Abbot of Gregoriou Monastery on Mount Athos

We thank Saint George, because he showed us what a great thing it is for a man to give himself completely to God and to give Him his own life. And how God accepts this sacrifice, and how the sacrifice of those thus given to God becomes a source of sanctification for the whole world. We also felt today that Great the Martyr of Christ was the officiant of our holy vigil and feast.

The Church praises him, among others, "as a liberator of the captives." And, I think, it is opportune today to ask him to heal us and help us free ourselves from two captivities, which hinder our spiritual path.

The first captivity is the captivity of the passions, the captivity of our egoism, which does not allow us to give ourselves completely to God, as Saint George was given, and for which captivity requires a lifelong struggle with a heroic spirit. Because it is not easy to accept oneself as passionate, nor is it easy to make a constant struggle to overcome one's passions and be healed of them.

The second captivity, for which I think we Orthodox Greeks feel the need to pray, is the captivity of atheism, which today is boldly trying to imprison our Orthodox people in ways that are not free and to de-Christianize them, in order that they will not be people of Christ, of the Panagia, of Saint George and of all the Saints of our Faith, and to become an atheist and non-religious people.

And we learn with great sadness that these efforts of atheism to de-Christianize our people continue intensively, culminating in a very brazen TV show last Sunday against Orthodox Monasticism. Do you see where atheists are hitting? They strike where the sources of the spiritual renewal of our people are. Areas that are the centers of faith and piety.

But we believe that the Grace of God will not allow it. And the intercessions of the Panagia and the Saints, who guard this place, will not allow their lawless plans to succeed, but they will probably end up in the opposite result, because the pious people will long for the Church more, they will gather more around their Church and they will fight more for their Church.

Therefore, let us ask Saint George today, who is also the patron saint of all Orthodox and of Orthodox Greece, and for whom there are churches and chapels and icons everywhere, and his festivals are held. He is also the patron saint of Mount Athos; let us ask him to help our Church, the faithful people of the Lord, to abolish the council of atheists, to raise the horn of Orthodox Christians and to inspire in us a fighting spirit. Firstly in the struggle against our passions and secondly in the struggle for the confession and testimony of the Orthodox Faith, which all of us, clergy and monks and laity, especially in our time, have an obligation to bring before the nations and rulers of this world.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.