Old style Orthodox Christians celebrate St. George in Moldova

Old Orthodox Christians today celebrate Sfantul Gheorghe (Saint George), a fourth – century martyr honoured by all traditional churches, considered spiritual patron of the armed forces of some countries, regions and cities.

The great martyr George was general in the Roman army during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. He climbed into the military hierarchy because of his skill in the art of war.

He was highly acclaimed in the Imperial Court, but he had a religion forbidden in century IV in the Roman Empire. Diocletian believed that his failures were due to Christians who did not want to sacrifice to the gods of war, so he was persecuting the Christians.

General George fell victim to persecution, being closed and tortured to give up Christianity, but he did not give up and was executed by cutting his head.

St. George is one of the most honoured saints in Christianity, as evidenced by the large number of people who are named after him, as well as by the localities that have chosen him as a protector. Being a military saint, he is also the spiritual army patron.

Some traditions and customs related to St. George are preserved in some localities in the country. Thus, in the houses and stables are put flowers, and the dough Christmas pies that were baked at Christmas, soften and given to birds. Also, it is considered that the medicinal plants collected on this day have special healing powers, and the garlic planted at St. George has protective properties and will be preserved over the year. On the evening of the day, the lads light up fires that are said to cast off evil spirits.

Today, there are paid homage all that bear the name Gheorghe and its derivatives – George, Georgian, Gica, Geo, Gelu, Gheorghina, Georgiana, Gina, Georgeta, Geta, Iorgu, Iordache, etc.

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