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[[Image:Saint_George_of_Ioannina_(1808-1836).jpg|right|thumb||George of Ioannina]]
300px| Saint George of Ioannina]] | |
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|−|'''Saint George of Ioannina ''' |+|
George of Ioannina
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|−|Saint George of Ioannina became a martyr in 1838 and he is remembered and honored on the 17 January. George was born in 1808 in Tsourhli Grevenon. At a young age he become an orphan and was forced to work as a stable hand, a servant of the Turks. In 1838, while previously he had been islamized, he was charged with returning to Christianity. He was jailed and because he courageously professed his belief in Christ he was hanged on the 17th January 1838 in Ioannina. From the moment he was tortured the people honored him as a Saint and they asked for a formal nomination from the Patriarchate on the 19th September 1839. In the end the Patriarchate asked that secretly the celebration of the Saint be on the 19th January which also honors Saint Anthony so that it didn’t look to the Turks that a new day of celebration had been set for the Martyr. The main literary sources outlining the life and torture of the Saint are as follows: |+|
George a in he and on the . . In , had in on January 1838. as the Turks a .
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|−|· “The Life of the Martyr Saint George” carried out by the priest-monk Laina and published in segments by Dimitis Salamagkas in his work “The Martyr Saint George of Ioannina” Athens 1954. This biography is a major source because it was written before the sanctification of the martyr. |+|
the the and his . the of the .
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|−|· In praise of Saint George of Ioannina by the above author. |+|
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|−|· “Biography of the Saint” compiled by the residents of Ioannina, signed by two bishops and thirty residents of the city, sent to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in April 1938 and published by Dimitri Salamagkas. |+|
of the of Ioannina, by of the , the .
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|−|· “Patriarchal and Synodic Memorandum” |+|
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|−|· “The life of the Martyr Saint George of Ioannina , carried out by a virtuous Ioannite to express his devoutness to the Saint. |+|
Saint George of Ioannina
The New Martyr George of Ioannina was a young Christian who maintained his Christian beliefs while laboring for Ottoman Turks who considered him an apostate from Islam, which led to his martyrdom. He is commemorated on January 17.
George was born in 1808 in the village Tsourchli in what is now Grevena Prefecture, Greece, the son of a poor farmer Constantine and his wife Vasilo. Orphaned at a young age and without any formal education, George moved to Ioannina and became a servant of the Turks, employed in the Turkish army as a horse groom and stable hand under the name "Infidel (Giaour) Hasan". Modest in demeanor, George wore the traditional long foustanela of his village and an embroidered waistcoat, as now depicted on his icons.
In October 1838, George entered into a new phase in his life as he became engaged and then married Eleni, a Christian girl from Ioannina, on the feast day of St. Demetrius. In December 1837, the couple had a son whom they had baptized John in the Christian tradition on January 7, 1838. These events provoked his persecution as the Islamic Turks had considered him a muslim Turk who was abandoning Islam.
George refused to deny his Christian faith as he was subjected to torture by the Turks, torture during which he courageously maintained, "I was never a Turk, I was always a Christian". Sentenced to the gallows, George steadfastly defended his faith. Facing the gallows with composure and bravery, George answered his tormentors' final question to him "What are you?". After he had asked his hands be untied so that as he made the sign of the cross, he replied, "I am a Christian and I shall die a Christian, I bow before my Christ and my Lady Theotokos.” His martyrdom occurred on January 17, 1838.
His body was left to hang from the gallows for three days. When taken down, his body was found not having begun decaying, which caused even many Turks to believe in his holiness and allowed George's body to be buried honorably.
The people began to honor him as a saint even as he was being tortured and soon after his death asked for formal recognition of George as a saint from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. George of Ioannina, a new martyr, was officially glorified on September 19, 1839 by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. To make his sainthood less obvious to the Turks, the Synod, at the time, asked that it be celebrated on January 19, with St. Anthony.
The first icon to the newly martyred saint was made on January 30, 1838, only days after his martyrdom. It was commissioned by the Hieromonk Chrysanthos Lainos who was George's spiritual father and guide and depicted St. George in his traditional clothes, holding a cross in his right hand and a scroll in his left.