Divine Liturgy at 7AM
In 303, Diocletian issued an edict authorizing the systematic persecution of Christians across the Empire. His caesar, Galerius, was supposedly responsible for this decision and would continue the persecution during his own reign (305–311). It is believed that George was ordered to take part in the persecution but instead confessed to being a Christian himself and criticised the imperial decision. An enraged Diocletian proceeded in ordering the torture of this apparent traitor and his execution. After innumerable forms of torture, George was executed by decapitation in front of Nicomedia's defensive wall on April 23, 303. The witness of his suffering convinced Empress and Athanasius, a pagan priest, to also become Christians, and so they also joined George in martyrdom as consequence. George's body was then returned to Lydda for burial, where Christians soon came to honour George as a martyr.