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November 4, 2021

The Engolpion That Saved the Life of Saint George Karslides

The grandmother of Saint George Karslides reposed when he was only seven years old, leaving him a valuable inheritance in an ivory icon of the Panagia in the form of an engolpion (a medallion with an icon in the center worn around the neck). This is something he always carried on him.

When he reached the age of 18 he was tonsured a monk and ordained a deacon. This was shortly after the Bolshevik revolution, which almost cost him his life. The monastery where he lived was looted and destroyed and many monks were executed for not denying their faith.

Saint George, while being led himself to the firing squad, managed to miraculously survive because the first bullets struck the icon of the Panagia in the engolpion he was wearing on his chest. The impact of the initial bullets caused him to fall down, and later the rest of the bullets could be found at his feet. None had struck him directly. This was viewed as a miracle.

When the relics of Saint George were exhumed and translated on February 9, 2006 he had this engolpion on him, and it is from this event that we have the photo above.