Friday of the Third Week of Easter
Joshua, Chapter 10, Verse 25
Then Joshua said to them, “Do not
be AFRAID or dismayed, be firm and
steadfast. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies against whom you
Joshua, the warrior of God, had just defeated the five Kings of Jerusalem and had all of the soldiers put their foot on the Kings neck as a sign of victory over evil. Additionally, it showed how God had personally empowered each of them to overcome evil and they are not to be afraid or intimidated.
Joshua defeated 5 Kings; is the number significant?
The number 5 symbolizes God's grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture. Five is the number of grace, and multiplied by itself, which is 25, is 'grace upon grace' (John 1:16). The Ten Commandments contains two sets of 5 commandments. The first five commandments are related to our treatment and relationship with God, and the last five concern our relationship with other humans.
Additionally, in the Rosary there are five daily meditations on the life of Christ where the faithful pray a decade of Hail Mary’s.
The traditional legends have offered a historicized narration of George's encounter with a dragon. The modern legend that follows below is synthesized from early and late hagiographical sources, omitting the more fantastical episodes. Saint George likely was born to a Christian noble family in Syria Palaestina, during the late third century between about 275 AD and 285 AD. He died in Nicomedia in Asia Minor. His father, Gerontios, was from Cappadocia, an officer in the Roman army; his mother, Polychronia, was a native of Lydda. They were both Christians from noble families, so their child was raised with Christian beliefs. They decided to call him Georgios, meaning "worker of the land" (i.e., farmer). At the age of 14, George lost his father; a few years later, George's mother, Polychronia, died. Eastern accounts give the names of his parents as Anastasius and Theobaste. George then decided to go to Nicomedia and present himself to Emperor Diocletian to apply for a career as a soldier. Diocletian welcomed him with open arms, as he had known his father, Gerontius — one of his finest soldiers. By his late 20s, George was promoted to the rank of Military Tribune and stationed as an imperial guard of the Emperor at Nicomedia. On 24 February AD 303, Diocletian (influenced by Galerius) issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods of the time. However, George objected, and with the courage of his faith, approached the Emperor and ruler. Diocletian was upset, not wanting to lose his best tribune and the son of his best official, Gerontius. But George loudly renounced the Emperor's edict, and in front of his fellow soldiers and tribunes he claimed himself to be a Christian and declared his worship of Jesus Christ. Diocletian attempted to convert George, even offering gifts of land, money, and slaves if he made a sacrifice to the Roman gods; he made many offers, but George never accepted. Recognizing the futility of his efforts and insisting on upholding his edict, Diocletian ordered that George be executed for his refusal. Before the execution, George gave his wealth to the poor and prepared himself. After various torture sessions, including laceration on a wheel of swords during which he was resuscitated three times, George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia's city wall, on 23 April 303. A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra and Athanasius, a pagan priest, to become Christians, as well, so they joined George in martyrdom.
St. George, soldier-martyr. Invoked for protection for domestic animals and against herpetic diseases. Also, patron of soldiers, England, Portugal, Germany, Aragon, Genoa and Venice. He is pictured striking down a dragon.
St. George is venerated by the Eastern Church among her "great martyrs" and "standard-bearers." He belonged to the Roman army; he was arrested and, probably, beheaded under Diocletian, c. 304. The Latin Church as well as the Greek honors him as patron of armies. He is the patron of England, since 800. Many legends are attached to Saint George. The most famous is the one in The Golden Legend. There was a dragon that lived in a lake near Silena, Libya. Not even armies could defeat this creature, and he terrorized flocks and the people. St. George was passing through and upon hearing about a princess was about to be eaten, he went to battle against the serpent, and killed it with one blow with his lance. Then with his great preaching, George converted the people. He distributed his reward to the poor, then left the area.
Troops of Saint George
The Troops of Saint George (TSG) is a fraternal Catholic nonprofit apostolate for priests, men, and young men looking for a life of adventure coupled with virtue. Initially founded in 2013 by Catholic author and professor Dr. Taylor Marshall, we have become a collection of troops that do the following:
· experience reverent and beautiful Masses on mountaintop vistas
· pray the Rosary with other men around fire pits in the freezing cold
· catch a Fish Friday meal by fly fishing for trout
· go to confession with our priests while kneeling on moss in the woods
· teach our sons archery, rock climbing, marksmanship, fishing, survival skills…and Catholic virtues
· foster a love for the priesthood and a reverence for the sacrament of Matrimony
· support our local parish, our priests, our bishops, and community by being available for works of mercy and service
“The Troops of Saint George apostolate aims to use the outdoors as our canvas and the sacraments as our path to light the way for the formation of Holy Catholic men and boys. Whether called to the vocation of the priesthood, the religious life, or that of Holy fatherhood, our fathers and sons will take a prayerful pilgrimage together to fulfill Christ’s desire for them to grow in virtue and in their Holy Catholic faith as they journey toward heaven.”
Saint George Trinitarian Salute
The Troops of Saint George salute their officers, the flag, banners of the saints and Our Lady, and crucifixes with the “Trinitarian Salute” – three fingers of the right hand (index, middle, ring) out, and with the pinky and thumb joined signifying that the divine nature of Christ is joined to His human nature: fully God and fully man as taught at the Catholic Council of Chalcedon in AD 431.
Prayer Customs: ad orientem
The cadets usually carry a compass with them. Even when they do not, they should be able to find East. Like the early Christians, the Troops of Saint George pray facing the East in response to Gospel according to Saint Matthew 24:27:
“For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appears even into the west: so, shall the coming of the Son of man be.”
The Church believed that Christ’s Second Coming would be revealed “from the east to the west.” The rising sun was an image of the Resurrected Christ.
So, at times of prayer (for example, at the Angelus at noon), the Captain or one of the boys should shout “ad orientem” and the men and boys should turn to face East, unless there is already a suitable image or crucifix erected nearby.
The Role of Proverbs for the Troops of Saint George
Each man or young man among the Troops of Saint George must study the biblical book of Proverbs, since it is the Book of the Bible that instructs men how to become wise and virtuous. There the man will learn why he should resist sexual impurity, alcoholism, quarreling, and financial debt – the chief ways by which men lapse. He will also learn from the Proverbs the riches of knowing God and the blessing of a godly wife and family.
St. George, although a man of courage, like our Christ meekly underwent the torture.