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Saint George of Ephesus
Had there been a temperance society in eighteenth-century Greece, it would have found a prime example for abstinence in the person of a young family man who fell from grace only to arise and become the man we know today as St. George of Ephesus.
When Father George learned that his fellow priest had been forced to flee the village of Malakope, he announced to his own parish that after services he would go to the church at Malakope to conduct services and administer holy Communion. He felt it his sacred duty to make this comparatively short trip, but it proved to be his last earthly journey.
The defiant Greek gave a full account, commencing with his return to Christianity, the nullification of his meaningless marriage to a Turk, his stay in a Christian monastery, and finally his declaration of independence of his own from Islamic rule.
There is so much legend attached to his holy name that there are Christians who have in exasperation dismissed him as the product of some storyteller’s imagination which somehow got into the record of saints and has been allowed to cling there out of sentiment, if nothing else.