St. George Karslides was born in Argyroupolis (Gümüşhane), Pontos in 1901. He was orphaned very young, so it was his pious grandmother, who raised the young Athanasios (St. George’s baptismal name) to have a “holy fear of God and a fervent love for the Church’s divine services.”
Because of the extremely difficult situations he was facing, at the age of seven Athanasios decided to run away, and was sheltered for awhile by some crypto-Christians. St. George the Great-martyr was a great protector of Athanasios, and he appeared to him, told him to mount his horse, and helped him to travel to Tiflis, Georgia where a pious priest took care of him. The priest was impressed by his spirituality and maturity, and clothed him in a cassock from age nine. In 1919 Athanasios was tonsured a monk with the name Symeon, and during his tonsure the bells of the monastery began to run by themselves. (Excerpt from the life of St. George)
He concelebrated with saints. “I rarely celebrate alone” the Elder would say. He was particularly devoted to the Mother of God, the Honourable Forerunner and Saint George.
“Strive to intensify your faith, and during the Divine Liturgy be undistracted and attached to the celebration of the service so that you might be granted to behold the majesties of God.”
“Don’t’ be sad, for we will all depart from here. We are passing travellers. We came here to show our works and to leave.”
“Love all your fellow men, even your enemies. This is the most basic thing. Always love not only those who love us, but also those who hate us. Let us forgive them and love them all even if they have done us the greatest evil; then we are truly children of God. Then our own sins are also forgiven… Always preach love. This is the most basic law of God: love and love alone.”
”The Christian who loves all people has a great reward, especially if he forgives those who do him evil. For if we don’t love our neighbour, all the good works we do will be worthless. They amount to nothing, we will be worthless. Love, my brethren, God requires love from us.”
“The Panagia does not want big candles, she wants charity shown to the poor.”
One day a lady brought some quinces to the Elder. A pregnant woman stopped her along the way and asked for some, but she refused. When she arrived at the monastery and gave them to the Elder, he told her, “On the way the gate of Paradise opened and you closed it.”
“God cares for everyone. Despair is in effect a lack of faith.”
St. George the Great-martyr, the Trophy-bearer, the Wonderworker and St George Karslidis the New Confessor, pray to God for us!