Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia turns 83 – The path of His Holiness Illia II
04 January, 2016
Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia turns 83 – The path of His Holiness Illia II
Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia, His Holiness Ilia the Second turned 83 on January 4.
Ilia II was born as Irakli Ghudushauri-Shiolashvili in Vladikavkaz. His descendants had family ties with the former royal dynasty of the Bagrationi.

He graduated from the Moscow clerical seminary and was ordained a hierodeacon in 1957 and hieromonk in 1959; he graduated from the Moscow clerical academy in 1960 and returned to Georgia, where he was assigned to the Batumi Cathedral Church as a priest. In 1961, he was promoted to hegumen and later to archimandrite. On August 26, 1963, he was chosen to be the bishop of Batumi and Shemokmedi and appointed a patriarchal vicar. From 1963 to 1972 he was also the first rector of the Mtskheta Theological Seminary - the only clerical school in Georgia at that time.

‘I wanted to be an ordinary person, just another human being. That was my dream. I loved nature and I was growing up in this beautiful environment. I loved animals too and I thought to become an agrarian or a livestock specialist. Sometimes I was also amazed by medicine. I was collecting recipes from ethno science. I grew up in a family of Russian language teacher and I spent summer in Stepantsminda’, Illia II says.

His holiness was baptized when he was three years old. His parents named him Irakli, in honor of a famous Georgian King. His parents were very religious. His father, Giorgi Gudushauri, got up with prayer early in the morning, while his children were still sleeping. In the evening, together they read 90th psalm.

‘90th psalm is a very powerful one. It is against all the visible and invisible enemies. We had to know it by heart. My father read the prayers aloud and when he finished, he would sprinkle holy water at us. Then, we would go to bed and he would go on with the prayer. On weekends, we would go to church and that is why my mother would prepare food beforehand, on Saturdays.

When I entered the school of theology I wanted to have a family of my own and I also wanted to be a priest in a very small Georgian village. I dreamed of working like other people do. In the School of Theology, we, the students, had one tradition. Every morning we went to the Chruch of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh and prayed, receiving blessings and
I think, that had a very big influence on me when choosing my life’s path,’ the Patriarch recalls.

In 1967, he was consecrated as the bishop of Tskhumi and Abkhazeti and elevated to the rank of metropolitan in 1969. After the death of the controversial Patriarch David V, he was elected the new Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia on December 25, 1977. He began a course of reforms, enabling the Georgian Orthodox Church, once suppressed by the Soviet ideology, to largely regain its former influence and prestige by the late 1980s. In 1988 there were 180 priests, 40 monks, and 15 nuns for the faithful, who were variously estimated as being from one to three million. There were 200 churches, one seminary, three convents, and four monasteries. During the last years of the Soviet Union, he was actively involved in Georgia's social life. He joined the people demonstrating in Tbilisi against the Soviet rule on April 9, 1989, and fruitlessly urged the protesters to withdraw to the nearby Kashueti Church to avoid bloodshed. This peaceful demonstration was dispersed by Soviet troops, leaving behind 22 dead and hundreds injured. During the civil war in Georgia in the 1990s, he called on the rival parties to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.

From 1978 to 1983, Ilia II was Co-President of the World Council of Churches (WCC), an ecumenical organization the Georgian Orthodox Church had joined with other Soviet churches in 1962. In May 1997, the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church announced its withdrawal from the WCC.

‘I will always cherish that invisible and yet visible throne on which I was led up by the powerful hand of the almighty. The duties I was imposed with an endless mercy are ineffaceably written on my heart,’ these are the words his Holiness, the Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II said during the anniversary of his enthronement.

For the last 35 years, due to his efforts, the number of Georgian church eparchies increased from 15 to 39. Some tens of churches and monasteries were built, new saints were canonized and the biggest church of Georgia, St. Trinity Temple was built.

Related Story:

Georgia celebrates the 38-th anniversary of Patriarch’s enthronement


Print
Other Stories
24-year-old Georgian researcher to lead blockchain technology research center in China
Tamar Menteshashvili is a researcher at the Jiao Tong University, in Shanghai, China.
Disaster that changed the life of Tbilisi - 2 years from June 13 flood
21 people dead and 2 still missing, dozens of animals drowned or killed by police as they roamed the city streets and more than 200 families’ properties damaged
Tram restoration project ready and will cost 130 million euros
'There will be the time when the tram project is highly required' - Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania has told InterPressNews agency.
‘Rustavi 2’ TV Director General resigns
‘Rustavi 2’ TV Director General Nika Gvaramia has left office. The TV Company has confirmed this information.
Georgian Airways Launches Tbilisi-London Flights
From now Tbilisi and London are linked with a new direct flight by Georgian Airways.
Georgian student gets $250 000 scholarship from University of Pennsylvania
Georgian student, Meri Kavtelishvili, who this year graduated from the Komarov School with Gold Medal, has been admitted by four leading universities
“Georgian Association of Social Workers” to present winning projects of CSOs for improved child and family services
The Georgian Association of Social Workers will hold a press-conference on June 2nd, 11:00 to present the winning projects of Georgian CSOs
Georgian student who paints with bacteria earns third place at Microbiology Art Contest
Georgian student of veterinary department, who is famous for creating artworks using bacteria
Patriarch to Georgian emigrants: “I urge you to stay where you are, but at the same time be in your homeland”
The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II addressed Georgian emigrants attending the Diaspora Forum taking place in Tbilisi,
May 17: Anti-Homophobia and Family Purity Day events take place simultaneously in Georgia
May 17th features two different events: one part of the society marks the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) in Georgia
76 years together – Adjarian couple and their 162 descendants
In the village of Garetke, in Adjara’s Merisi gorge, there live 94-year-old Zekie and 95-year-old Hasan Turmanidzes,
Bicycle Lanes to Be Laid in Tbilisi
Tbilisi will soon boast its own cycle paths and infrastructure, enabling riders to safely navigate the city in specifically modified areas.
Culinary competition demonstrating US-Georgia friendship
On May 5th, 2017, USAID program REAP together with the Culinary Academy hosted an exciting culinary competition marking the 25th anniversary of Georgian and the US friendship.
Smart Kids - Winners of Millenium Innovations Award Visit NASA
The first prize winners of the Millenium Innovations Award, a team of 8th graders called Smart Kids from the Zugdidi
4.7-magnitude earthquake hits Georgia
A 4.7-magnitude quake has hit Georgia. According to the Seismic Monitoring Center, two underground quakes were observed
New Wine Festival to Open on May 13 in Tbilisi Mtatsminda Park
It will be the eighth time that Georgian Wine Club hosts a wine festival, aimed at popularizing Georgian brands, as well as raising awareness and wine culture inside Georgia.
Chips, fizzy drinks and jellies to be restricted in Tbilisi schools
The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia has devised recommendations aimed at implementing principles of healthy eating in educational centers.
Comfort stations to be arranged at Tbilisi’s 30 locations
As Tbilisi City Hall has reported, comfort stations will be arranged at 30 locations in Tbilisi.
“I want to confess that for my family you are a saint” - Sheikh Ul Islam to Georgia’s Patriarch
"You may never hear anything like this happen in the world: the Muslim sheikh visits the Christian patriarch, kisses his hand and recognizes him as his elder."
Fast buses may appear in Tbilisi soon
Fast buses moving on separate lines may appear in Tbilisi soon,
Polluters to be fined in Tbilisi from today
Beginning from today, the street inspectors will fine the individuals and legal entities for polluting.
Georgia enlisted in low-risk countries list on ‘Bloomberg Risks Map’
The U.S. Bloomberg edition releases the global risks map assessing the threats world’s countries are facing.
Inside the Lives of Georgia’s Child Brides – National Geographic
Mari, 15, lives in the Adjara region. Most girls her age drop out of school to get married. Her grandmother believes it’s a tradition meant to be passed down.
Inheriting the Future, the Georgian-German Year 2017
On April 21 the Georgian-German Year 2017 will officially begin, with an opening ceremony to be held at Tbilisi City Assembly,
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
23.06.2017
24.06.2017
USD
1
USD
2.4080
2.4110
EUR
1
EUR
2.6881
2.6921
GBP
1
GBP
3.0512
3.0690
RUB
100
RUB
4.0271
4.0425
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Other Stories
Today Georgia marks the day of a highest significance in the country’s history.
So-called Night Wolves, Russian motorcycle club, has arrived at Vake Park.
In the frames of the media-program conducted by IREX and US Embassy to Georgia,
Ani Tsitsishvili is a 20-year-old student of Georgia’s Agricultural University veterinary department and she’s very fond of microbiology.
More and more Georgian alternative musical bands are emerging on the scene.
Wooden products are gaining popularity on Georgian market, including glasses, watches, bags, etc. A new item was added to that list recently – bows made of natural wood.
Georgian citizens will be able to enter the EU without a visa for short stays, under a new law passed by the Parliament on Thursday, - Official website of European Parliament reports.
The heavy fire has entirely destroyed the building of a trade centre Chidren’s World last night.
The world-famous American musician Moby expressed his support to Georgian rock band The Mins at the nearest Eurovision contest publicly.
In all prisons throughout Georgia a special Christmas service was held.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.4080
EUR
1
EUR
2.6881
GBP
1
GBP
3.0512
RUB
100
RUB
4.0271