On this day, the first church in the name of St. George was built in Egypt in the city of Beer Maa in the Oasis. As was consecrated also on this day a church in his name in the city of Birma, district of Tanta. For after the perishing of Diocletian, and the reign of the righteous Emperor Constantine, all the temples of the idols were destroyed. Churches were built after the name of the heroic martyrs, who strived with their blood to defend the faith.
Some Christian soldiers in the land of Egypt, had donated a piece of the land where the city of Birma is now located. One of them was a righteous and meek young man, who lived on a piece of this land with some of the farmers. In this area there was a well of water. This young man heard of the wonders of the great among the martyrs, St. George. He searched until he found his biography. He wrote it, and it comforted him to read it, which he did without boredom.
While he stood praying, on the evening of the twenty-fourth of the month of Bashans, he saw that an assembly of the saints had come down beside the well. They were praising God and chanting with angelic voices. They were surrounded by heavenly light, and he was astounded. One of them, who was in the uniform of a soldier, came forward and informed him that he was Gawargios (George) who was martyred at the hands of Diocletian. He ordered him to build a church for him on that site, for that was the Will of God. The assembly left him, and raised up to heaven while they were glorifying the Most High.
The young man spent that night awake till morning. Few days passed during which he was thinking about how he could build this church, knowing that he did not have the money for a small piece of it. One night, while he stood praying, the great martyr St. George appeared to him. The Saint pointed out to him the place to build the church. Then he directed the young man to another place and told him, "Dig here and you shall find what you need to build the church." When he woke up in the morning, he went where the honorable martyr had directed him. He dug there and found a vessel filled with gold and silver. He praised God, and glorified his patron saint. He built the church and called the father the Patriarch who consecrated it on this day.
The relics of St. George, that were kept in his church in the city of Beer Maa in the Oasis, were relocated to the monastery of Anba Samuel by its monks. That was during the days of the Saint Abba Mattheos (87th Patriarch), and the monastery was under the direction of Fr. Zachary Ebn-Elkomos and Fr. Soliman El-Qualamony.
During the Papacy of Pope Gabriel (88th Patriarch) the relics of the saint were relocated to his well-known church in Old Cairo. That was on the 16th of Abib, 1240 A.M. (July 10, 1024 A.D.). A great celebration takes place annually, where the church was built beside the water well, to commemorate this venerable event. There, many signs of casting out of evil spirits and healing of the sick take place with the intercession of this great martyr.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
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