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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

April 23rd: St. George, martyr

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Gospel text (Jn 15,1-8): Jesus said: «I am the true vine and my Father is the vine-grower (…). Live in me as I live in you. The branch cannot bear fruit by itself but has to remain part of the vine; so neither can you if you don't remain in me (…). If you remain in me and my words in you, you may ask whatever you want and it will be given to you. My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit: it is then that you become my disciples».

Saint George, Catalonia's second patron

Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola OFM (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we celebrate the feast of saint George, Catalonia's second patron. He was a bold knight, who probably suffered martyrdom at Lydda, in Israel. If History is not very explicit regarding George's biography, the legend has certainly more than “completed” his figure. Venerated since the 4th century, he has been chosen as patron by different countries and places: Greece, England, Portugal, Latvia, Georgia, Genoa... In the 13th century, his devotion was introduced in Catalonia and Aragon, where he was also elected as their patron.

Saint George embodies not only patriotic, cultural, literary and chivalrous values, but also and most than all, profound Christian values. Because, where could saint George get the courage from to fight the dragon and rescue the princess? From his union and communion with Jesus that nourished him with the sap of his own life: «I am the vine and you are the branches» (Jn 15:5). Where did he get the strength from to remain faithful and be able to stand his martyrdom? From the Lord who said: «Apart from me you can do nothing» (Jn 15:5).

—Saint George’s festivity invites us to remain well united to Jesus to receive his life, and to the others, to make them participate.

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