SAINT GEORGE

St. George was a prince of Cappadocia and an officer in the Roman legions. He entered the Roman army as a young man and rose to the rank of Tribune by the age of 20. When a wave of persecution of Christians began in 303, St. George came before The Emperor Diocletian and boldly declared his faith in Christ. According to legend, he died a martyr's death during Diocletian's persecutions.

In accordance with the best-known legend, the personage of the alleged prince of Cappadocia was connected with the liberation of a city from the power of a cruel dragon. This dragon was venerated by the inhabitants of the city to such an extent that they would sacrifice their own children to it. One such sacrifice was to be Elisabe, the king's daughter. The princess was about to be given to the cruel dragon, when St. George appeared, mounted on a white horse. With one well-aimed thrust of his spear he killed the winged monster. On the right side of the icon the figure of the princess is projected against the painted architectural background. Above the figure of the princess are the figures of the king and the queen. The composition is complemented with the figure of Christ and that of a heavenly messenger- the angel bringing the warrior saint a martyr's crown.

The icon by the hand of Janusz Charczuk. Egg tempera on wood, priming on textile, background 23 K gold leaf. 60.5 x 45.5 cm (23.75 x17.75 in) The origins of this icon go back to Central Russia, about 1800.