This Saturday, September 24, the Armenian Church commemorates St. George (Kevork) the Commander. St. George was a third century Roman general who challenged the Emperor’s persecution of Christians by publicly tearing up the Emperor’s decree, and he urged others to follow his example. To this day he remains a popular saint in the Armenian Church; he is considered to be the patron saint of soldiers and scouts. As in many other instances, the Armenians have given St. George an Armenian national character. The Feast of St. George is always on the Saturday before the Feast of the Holy Cross of Varak, which is preceded by a period of fasting. Although the fast is not connected to St. George, through the centuries it has been popularly identified as the Fast of St. George.