October 25, 2023

Synaxarion of Saint George of Amastris

Venerable George the Bishop of Amastris, a Composer of Canons, reposed in peace.

Verses for October 25*

To the divine you sang hymns on earth and in death Father,
With words we sing hymns of this.

On this day we commemorate our Venerable Father George the Bishop of Amastris.

Verses for February 21

George in leaving behind the flesh,
Cultivates for many the salvation of the soul.

This Venerable one was the son of pious parents, whose names were Theodosios and Megethos, and was from Kromna, which was a city near Amastris, on the coast of the Black Sea. Because the parents of this Saint spent their lives childless, for this reason they supplicated God in prayer and fasting to give them the fruit of the womb, and this indeed happened. By a divine voice they learned of his conception and his name and of the office of high priesthood which their future son, George, who was to be born in their old age, was destined to receive.

When the child was born and weaned off milk, he completely cast away the pleasurable and temporal things of youth, and longed for with all his heart the good things of the future. He did not neglect his education, both divine and human. Observing the virtuousness of their child, his parents rejoiced and glorified God.

The Saint, having been properly educated, departed his homeland and went to a mountain called Agrioserike, where he found an honorable elder, and received from him the angelic schema of Monks.

After his elder died, he went to Vonitsa, which is on the mainland of Acarnania, near Xiromero, and there the renowned one put himself through suffering with hard work and asceticism.

Because the Bishop of Amastris at the Black Sea died, this Venerable one was elevated against his will to that throne, as a lamp on a lampstand, by the election of God and the agreement of the Priests.

He was ordained High Priest in Constantinople, then departed and went to his eparchy in Amastris. In all things he was diligent and eager, with the arrangement of the sanctuary, the decoration of the holy Bema, the establishment of the priestly order, the protection of orphans and widows, the feeding of the poor, settling and liberating those who were in debt, and most of all, he eagerly established piety and Orthodoxy towards God. With these things, one could also observe in Amastris, various miracles performed by this Saint.

In such a good manner the thrice-blessed one passed through life, and he departed to the Lord, delivering his spirit to Him in peace.**


* According to Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite, the commemoration of Saint George of Amastris on October 25th is mainly focused on him as a composer of Canons. He composed several Canons in honor of the Saints, which are chanted on February 7 and 26; April 13; August 1; October 8, etc. Perhaps his double commemoration implies the belief that it may have been two different people, though he seems to have been the same person. His primary feast is on February 21.

** He reposed some time between 802 and 807 AD. His life was composed by Ignatios the Deacon around 830 AD, though some scholars say it may have been after 860 AD which fits better with the raid of Constantinople by the Rus. 

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