The Church of St. George in Lida
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
The Church of St. George was built in 1875 on the territory of a cemetery and it was intended as just a chapel. But the fate of the temple was different; it was consecrated in honor of St. George the Victorious. Initially, the building was wooden.
The foundation of the church is associated with two names: Archpriest Iosif Koyalovich, who was involved in its construction, and a tradesman from Lida Anthony Vasnevsky, who donated money. Both founders of the church were buried in the cemetery near the ready-built temple, as well as other important figures in city life were buried there.
In 1919, Lida was captured by Polish troops and only one active Orthodox temple, the Church of St. George, remained after the fighting in the city. A few years later, the Polish Church tried to declare independence, which was contrary to Orthodox canons, therefore, the church, thanks to the priest Alexander Levitsky, remained subordinated to the Patriarch Tikhon. For that reason, the poles expelled the rector of St. George Church from Lida.
We will never see the original appearance of St. George Church, because it acquired a new look in the 90-ies of the past century. Thanks to the efforts of father Alex Ivashkevich, wooden walls of the temple was surrounded by walls of brick, the temple was covered with a new roof. Archpriest Rostislav Solovyev became a rector of the church in 2007. The construction of a new temple was completed in the same year and it was consecrated in memory of the 1020th anniversary of the baptism of Russia on November 22, 2008. The consecration was conducted by Archbishop of Novogrudok and Lida Gury.
St. George Church from the inside
Since 1978 on the Holy throne of the Church has been an antimension (in Orthodoxy – a linen or silk cloth with a sewn in it particle of the Holy relics, which is in the altar on the throne, during the Liturgy, vessels for communion are placed on it). There is another throne inside the altar. It is consecrated in honor of St. Joseph of Arimathea.
The iconostasis consists of icons with the images of Belarusian Saints. Residents of Lida treat with special reverence the icon of the Mother of God “Consolation of All Who Sorrow”, are highly valued the icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov, the Vilna-Ostrobramskaya icon of the Mother of God, the exact copy of St. Seraphim Ponetaevsky icon “The Sign”. There are also many new icons in the Church of St. George. Not so long ago, in 2008, the church was donated the icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, brought from Greece.
Nowadays the Church of St. George of the Victorious in Lida runs youth fellowship and parish nursing, a library and Sunday school. More than seventy children of different ages study here under the guidance of five teachers and three priests.
The role of great martyr George in the history of Orthodoxy
St. George was born in a wealthy Lebanese family; being a child he joined the military service. He quickly caught the fancy of the Emperor Diocletian – a heathen, an opponent of the Christian faith. When he learned that the heart of young George was given to the service of Christ, the Emperor ordered to throw him in prison for brutal torture. The young man did not agree to abandon his faith and bravely passed through all the trials, no matter how hard the guards tried to break him. Then the enraged Emperor of Rome commanded to behead George.
The year of this great martyr’s death is considered 303. George was called the Victorious for his incredible endurance and willingness to lay down his life for the faith in Christ, his relics were moved to the Palestinian city of Lydda, where later a temple was built in his honor.