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The Georgian Church has a very long history in the Holy Land. Iberia and Colchis were within the Roman Empire at the time of Christ’s Resurrection, and small communities of Georgians lived in most large cities of the Mediterranean region. Three of the Apostles are known to have evangelised in Georgia (Saints Andrew, Simon the Zealot and Matthias, of the Seventy) but little is known of their local supporters. When the Church ruled that Gentiles should be freely admitted to the faith without first submitting to circumcision and becoming Jewish, the Christian faith rapidly spread amongst the Greek and Latin speaking communities of the Mediterranean, including the Georgian communities of that region.

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After Constantine the Great’s conversion to Christianity early in the 4th century, he  had a site in Jerusalem consecrated for the establishment of a monastery, and upon the conversion of King Mirian of Iberia to Christianity in 327, presented it to the Georgians for the use of their countrymen in the Holy City. The site is located  It is located in the Valley of the Cross, below the Israel Museum and the Knesset.

The current Jvari Monastery (The Monastery of the Holy Cross) in Jerusalem dates back to the 11th century; there are some remnants of the original 5th century structure intact within this more modern structure. The Georgian Church in Palestine suffered financial difficulties in the 17th century, as both Palestine and Georgia were under Muslim occupation and the Church was suffering many constraints. As a result of these difficulties, the Jvari Monastery was sold to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which continues to administer and operate the monastery to this day. Last year negotiations between the Georgian government and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem allegedly commenced regarding the return of this monastery to the Georgian Church.

This video filmed by a group of Russian Orthodox pilgrims from America provides an interesting overview of the monastery.

February 25 is the Feast of  Saint Prokhore of the Georgian, Saint Luka of Jerusalem and Saint Nikoloz Dvali, all of whom were intimately associated with this monastery. The Feast also celebrates all the Georgian clergy who have served in Jerusalem over the centuries.

Saint Prokhore the Georgian, a descendant of the noble Shavteli family, was born at the end of the 10th century and grew up in a monastery. When he reached manhood he was ordained a hieromonk and labored for one year at the Lavra of Saint Sabbas in Jerusalem. Then, with the blessing of his spiritual father Ekvtime Grdzeli, he began the reconstruction of the Holy Cross Georgian Monastery near Jerusalem.

According to tradition, at this spot Abraham’s nephew Lot planted three trees—a cypress, a pine, and a cedar. Eventually these three trees miraculously grew into one large tree. When the Temple of Solomon was being built, this tree was cut down but left unused. It is said that the Cross on which Christ our Savior was crucified was constructed from the wood of this tree.

In the 4th century, the land on which the miraculous tree had grown was presented to Holy King Mirian, the first Christian king of Georgia. Then in the 5th century, during the reign of Holy King Vakhtang Gorgasali, the Holy Cross Monastery was founded on that land. The monastery was destroyed several times between the 7th and 9th centuries.

Finally, in the 11th century, King Bagrat Kuropalates offered much of his wealth to Father Prokhore for the restoration of the monastery. Saint Prokhore beautified the monastery, then gathered eighty monks and established the typicon (the monastic rule) for the community in accordance with that of the Saint Sabbas Lavra.

When Saint Prokhore had labored long and lived to an advanced age, he chose his disciple Giorgi to be the monastery’s next abbot.

Then he departed for the wilderness with two of his disciples, and after some time the righteous monk yielded up his spirit to God.

Beyond this, little is known about the life of Saint Prokhore. According to Georgian researchers and scholars, he was probably born sometime between 985 and 990. He spent the years 1010 to 1015 in Jerusalem, and labored at the Lavra of St. Sabbas until 1025. He reposed in the year 1066, between the ages of 76 and 81. 

The holy martyr Luka of Jerusalem lived in the 13th century. He was born to an honorable, pious Georgian family by the name of Mukhaisdze. After the repose of Luka’s father, his mother left her children and went to labor at a monastery in Jerusalem.

When Luka reached the age of twenty, he traveled to Jerusalem to visit his mother and venerate the holy places. After spending some time there he decided to remain and be tonsured a monk. He was later ordained a deacon and became fluent in Arabic. Soon the brothers of the monastery recognized his wisdom and asked him to guide them as abbot. For three years Luka directed the monastery in an exemplary manner.

But the devil was envious of the holy father and provoked a certain Shekh-Khidar, an influential Persian at the court of Sultan Penducht, (Probably Sultan Zakhir-Rukedin-Baibars-Bundukdar of Egypt (1260–1277)) to take up arms against St. Luka. Sultan Penducht then transferred possession of the Holy CrossMonastery to Shekh-Khidar, who “treated the Georgian monks in a beastly manner and finally ousted them from the monastery altogether.” Fulfilling his God-given duty, the blessed Luka insisted on personally confronting Shekh-Khidar in defense of his brotherhood.

Luka’s Christian brothers and sisters warned him, saying, “Shekh-Khidar is threatening you.… Flee and hide fromhim!” But Luka paid no heed to their admonitions, certain that it was more fitting to die for Christ than to live for the world. As he had insisted, he himself approached Shekh-Khidar and asked for the release of the imprisoned fathers.

Luka told him that he was prepared to accept any demands. The wicked Persian leader demanded nothing from Luka except that he convert to Islam, promising to make him emir if he consented. When he refused, the furious Shekh-Khidar ordered Saint Luka’s beheading.

After the terrible deed had been performed, Saint Luka’s severed head turned toward the east and gave thanks to God with an expression of pure peace. Soon after, his precious body was set on fire at the command of the bewildered Shekh-Khidar. This occurred in 1277.

Saint Nikoloz Dvali the Martyr was born at the end of the 13th century to a God-fearing couple who directed his path toward the spiritual life.

At the age of twelve Nikoloz traveled to the Klarjeti Wilderness and was tonsured a monk. From there he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and remained in the holy city, settling at the Holy Cross Monastery. Burning with desire for the apostolic life, Monk Nikoloz was determined to die a martyr’s death.

In Jerusalem a group of godless men arrested and tormented Saint Nikoloz for publicly confessing the Christian Faith, but a group of Christians succeeded in rescuing him from prison. Then, in accordance with his abbot’s counsel, Saint Nikoloz relocated to a Georgian monastery on Cyprus. There the pious monk beseeched the Lord to make him worthy of the crown of martyrdom. One day, while he was praying before the icon of St. John the Baptist, he heard a voice saying, “Nikoloz! Arise and go to Jerusalem. There you will find a Georgian monk who will teach you the way of righteousness and encourage you on the path of martyrdom. He has been appointed to guide you.”

Accordingly, Saint Nikoloz returned to Jerusalem, met the monk whom God had appointed, and informed him of what had been revealed. The Most Holy Theotokos and Saint John the Baptist appeared to St. Nikoloz’s spiritual father, who had been praying intensely for guidance, and told him that it was the Lord’s will for Nikoloz to journey to Damascus.

While in Damascus, the holy father entered a mosque and openly confessed Christ to be the Savior, reproving those present for their folly. The angry Muslims seized Saint Nikoloz, beat him, and cast him into prison. After a great struggle, the metropolitan and local Christians succeeded in recovering him from captivity, but he immediately returned to the Muslims and began again to denounce their ungodly ways. Again they beat him mercilessly, lashed him five hundred times, and cast him in prison for a second time. But the holy martyr’s wounds were healed through the miraculous intercession of St. John the Baptist, and after two months he was released from prison.

By chance the emir of the city caught a glimpse of Saint Nikoloz as he was preparing to return to Jerusalem. The emir recognized him and sent him to Dengiz, the emir of emirs. Dengiz flattered him and offered to convert him to Islam, but Saint Nikoloz bravely defended his faith in Christ. In response, Dengiz ordered his execution.

At the hour appointed by Dengiz, the blessed martyr turned to the east, joyfully bowed his neck to the sword, and prayed, “Glory to Thee, O Christ God, Who hast accounted me worthy to die for Thy name’s sake.” The sword pierced his neck, but the severed head glorified God seven times, crying out, “Glory to Thee, O Christ our God!”

The Persians burned the saint’s body, and for three days a pillar of light shone at the place where it lay.

When Saint Nikoloz’s spiritual father heard about his martyrdom, he prayed to God to reveal to him whether Nikoloz would be numbered among the saints. Then one day while he was reading, he saw a vision of a host of saints standing atop a mountain, illumined and surrounded by a cloud of incense. Among them the Great-martyr George shone especially brightly, and he called Saint Nikoloz, saying, “Nikoloz! Come and see the monk, your spiritual father. He has shed many tears for you.”

Nikoloz greeted his spiritual father, saying, “Behold me and the place where I am, and from this day cease your sorrowing for me.”

Saint Nikoloz Dvali was tortured to death on Tuesday, October 19, in the year 1314. The Georgian Church continues to commemorate him on that date.”

From “Lives of the Georgian Saints” by Archpriest Zakaraia Machitadze, Saint Hermanns Press.

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I have mentioned before how I am impressed with the geographic distribution of Georgian monasteries in the Medieval world. In addition to monasteries in the Holy Land, Cyprus and Mount Athos, the Petritsoni Monastery of south-central Bulgaria was a major monastic complex built and run by Georgian monks from the 11th century.

Known in Bulgarian as Bachkovo Monastery, Petritsoni Monastery is one of the oldest monastic complexes in the Balkans. Established by Prince Gregory Bakurianidze of the Eastern Roman Empire in 1083, the community was run by Iberian monks living within the Roman Empire at the time. Hailing from Georgia’s Tao region (currently part of Turkey) , Prince Gregory’s family background is not well known. A seminary was established at Petritsoni and it was renowned as a major centre of learning for the faithful throughout the Balkans, Black Sea region and the Levant. It is recognised as a  unique fusion of Georgian, Byzantine and Slavic architecture and art, and was nominated for UNESCO World Heritage listing in 1984

The Georgian monks lost their influence in the monastery in the 13th century and the complex was administered by the Church of Bulgaria until now. It is the second largest monastery in the country.

Today is the commemoration of Saint Iaone Chimchimeli (იოანე ჭიმჭიმელი) of Petritsoni,  one of the most eminent theologians and scholars to graduate from the seminary of Petritsoni.

He translated many Greek Neoplatonic philosophical texts, with the objective of reconciling the core message of Christianity with Classical Greek philosophy. This clashed somewhat with Georgian patristic orthodoxy, and it is believed that several of his mentors in Constantinople were censured and persecuted for attempting this reconciliation.

King David Aghmashenebeli eventually established him at Gelati Academy in Kutaisi. During his life he translated works by Aristotle, ProclusNemesius, and Ammonius Hermiae. His orginal analysis of the works of Proclus and the Neoplatonic ideal is considered his most enduring work. He also wrote mystical poetry and hymns.

Little information about the life of Saint Ioane of Chimchimi has been preserved, but we know that he was a great translator, philosopher, and defender of the Georgian Christian Faith.

Ioane received his education in present-day Bulgaria, at the literary school of the famous Petritsoni (now Bachkovo) Georgian Monastery.

One historian writes: “In his eulogy on the death of Saint Demetre the King, Ioane the Philosopher of Chimchimi brilliantly describes the glory, honor, and heroism of this holy man’s life.”

Saint Ioane translated many exegetical compositions, including two commentaries on the Book of Ecclesiastes, one by Metrophanes of Smyrna (Metropolitan of Smyrna (857–880). His Commentary on Ecclesiastes is preserved only in Georgian.) and the other by Olympiodorus of Alexandria. (A 6th-century deacon who wrote a series of commentaries on the books of the Bible, not to be confused with the neoplatonist philosopher also of the 6th century.) He also translated “An Explanation of the Gospel According to St. Mark” and “An Explanation of the Gospel According to St. Luke”, both by Blessed Theophylactus of Bulgaria

The works of our Holy Father Ioane of Chimchimi are fundamental to the canon of Georgian theological literature.

In his work “Pilgrimage”, the eminent eighteenth-century historian Archbishop Timote (Gabashvili) mentions Ioane of Chimchimi among the holy fathers portrayed in the frescoes at the Holy Cross Monastery in Jerusalem.

In the second half of the 19th century the historian Mose Janashvili wrote, in his History of the Georgian Church, that Ioane of Chimchimi directed a literary school in the village of Gremi in Kakheti.

According to Janashvili, students at Saint Ioane’s school were instructed in philosophy and theology as well as in the Greek, Syrian, and Arabic languages.

From “Lives of the Georgian Saints” by Archpriest Zachariah Machitadze, Saint Herman’s Press.

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Tbilisi’s two cathedral churches are both centres of excellence in the sacred musical arts. The Georgian Patriarchate’s television station, Ertsulovneba, recently commissioned this documentary on the Choir of the Holy Trinity Cathedral (Tbilisis Tsminda Samebis Sakathedro Tadzari), very ably conducted by Mr Simon Jangulashvili.

Many of the hymns sung in the programme are familiar, and some have been composed and arranged by His Holiness Patriarch Ilia II.

 

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Today is the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, when the infant Jesus was presented at the Temple. This is one of the dozen Great Feasts of the Church; the elder Simeon’s recognition of Christ’s divinity marks a key revelation in the life of Jesus. From Vincent Martini’s excellent blog.

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Continuing with my interest in the history of the Tao-Klarjeti region, the story of King Ashot Kuropalates is a fascinating one. I have mentioned him before regarding his relationship with Saint Grigol. The first of the Bagrationi family to rule beyond regional boundaries, he developed an organised state incorporating most of Central and Western Georgia and parts of Turkey’s Northeast. He worked vigourously to free Georgia of Arab occupation.

In the year 786, Ashot, the son of Adarnerse, ascended the throne of Kartli. From the very beginning of his reign he fought fiercely for the reunification of Georgia. His first step was to take advantage of the Arab Muslims’ weariness and banish them from Tbilisi. 

Three years passed and, under the leadership of a new ruler, the reinvigorated Muslims began to hunt for Ashot. The king was forced to flee after he delayed taking action against them. The enemy had again conquered Tbilisi. 

Ashot was compelled to leave Kartli, and he departed for Byzantium with his family and small army. The refugees journeyed as far as Javakheti in southern Georgia and stopped near Lake Paravani for a rest. But while they were sleeping, a Saracen army assailed their camp. The king’s army was doomed, but God helped Ashot Kuropalates and his scant army. He bestowed power upon them, and they defeated an enemy that greatly outnumbered them. The king was deeply moved by God’s miraculous intervention and decided that, rather than journeying on to Byzantium as he had intended, he would remain in the region of Shavshet-Klarjeti.

At that time southern Georgia was suffering great calamities. A cholera epidemic intensified the struggles of a people devastated by a ruthless enemy. Very few had survived, but that powerless and wearied remnant gladly received Ashot Kuropalates as their new leader, and the king began to restore the region at once. 

Ashot Kuropalates restored Artanuji Castle, which had originally been built by King Vakhtang Gorgasali and later ravaged by the Arab general Marwan “the Deaf.” Ashot founded a city nearby and proclaimed it the residence of the Bagrationi royal family of Klarjeti. He also constructed a church in honor of Sts. Peter and Paul. As it is written, “God granted Ashot Kuropalates great strength and many victories.” 

The region of Klarjeti took on a new life, and through the efforts of St. Grigol of Khandzta and his companions, the former wasteland was transformed into a borough bustling with churches, monasteries, and schools. Georgian noblemen soon began traveling to Klarjeti to forge their nation’s future with King Ashot and the other God-fearing leaders. 

Ashot Kuropalates was not only a leader who campaigned vigorously for the unification of Georgia—he was truly a godly-minded man. With great honor and joy he was the host of Fr. Grigol of Khandzta, a “heavenly man and an earthly angel.” Fr. Grigol blessed Ashot’s kingdom and his inheritance. 

Upon those who labored at Khandzta Monastery, Ashot Kuropalates bestowed the best lands, including Shatberdi, to serve as rural estates, which would supply food for the monastery. His children, Adarnerse, Bagrat, and Guaram, would later contribute much of their own fortune to the revival of the monasteries in the KlarjetiWilderness. (Udabno in Georgian. Translated as “wilderness,” these deserted places where hermits made their abodes often attracted monks and pious laymen as the fame of these holy men spread. Over the centuries, with the foundation of numerous monasteries, these deserts became veritable cities and only retained the name “wilderness” in a figurative sense.) 
      
The king prepared to return to Kartli. But his plans were foiled when a certain Muslim warrior named Khalil invaded, conquering the lands of Kartli, Hereti, and Kvemo Kartli.

Ashot sent his men to assemble an army, but before the troops had been gathered, the Saracens attacked and forced them to flee. The king then traveled to Nigali Gorge with the intent of enlarging his army. Some of the draftees turned out to be traitors, and when the king discovered the betrayal, it was already too late. He hid in a church, but the godless men found him and stabbed him to death in the sanctuary. “They murdered him on the altar, as though slaughtering a sacrificial lamb, and his blood remains there to this day,” writes Sumbat, the son of Davit, in his book Lives of the Bagrationis. 

Thus the first Bagrationi king, “a believer, upon whom the inheritance of the Georgian people was established,” was also a martyr. Venerable Grigol and the Georgian people wept bitterly over the loss of their king and hope. St. Ashot’s holy relics were buried in the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul that he himself had built.

From “Lives of the Georgian Saints” by Archpriest Zakariah Machitadze. Saint Hermans Press

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Today is the feast day of King David the Builder, a major figure in Georgia’s political and ecclesiastical history. We have referred to him previously regarding his patronage of the  Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi, and his miraculous victory over the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Didgori . The victory at Didgori however was the culmination of a long struggle for independence from Turkic colonisation beginning during his father’s reign, as this history describes:

 

From “Lives of the Georgian Saints”

At the end of the 11th century the Georgian Church underwent a trial of physically and spiritually catastrophic proportions.

The Seljuk sultan, Jalal al-Dawlah Malik Shah (1073–1092), captured the village of Samshvilde, imprisoned its leader, Ioane Orbeliani, son of Liparit, ravaged Kvemo Kartli, and finally captured all of Georgia, despite the isolated victories of King Giorgi II (1072–1089). The fearful Georgians fled their homes to hide in the mountains and forests. 

In the year 1089, during this period of devastation and despair, King Giorgi II abdicated, designating his sixteen-year-old only son, Davit (later known as “the Restorer”), heir to the throne. 

The newly crowned King Davit took upon himself enormous responsibility for the welfare of the Church. He supported the efforts of the Council of Ruisi-Urbnisi to restore and reinforce the authority of the Georgian Church and suppress the conceited feudal lords and unworthy clergymen. During King Davit’s reign, the government’s most significant activities were carried out for the benefit of the Church. At the same time, the Council of Ruisi-Urbnisi reasserted the vital role of the Orthodox Faith in rescuing the Georgian people from the godless mire into which they had sunk. 

Foremost among King Davit’s goals at the beginning of his reign was the repatriation of those who had fled Georgia during the Turkish rule. The king summoned his noblemen and began to reunify the nation. The king’s efforts to reunify Georgia began in the eastern region of Kakheti-Hereti, but the Turks and traitorous feudal lords were unwilling to surrender the power they had gained in the area. Nevertheless, King Davit’s army was in God’s hands, and the Georgians fought valiantly against the massive Turkish army. King Davit himself fought like any other soldier: three of his horses were killed, but he mounted a fourth to finish the fight with a fantastic victory. The Turkish presence was eliminated from his country. 

Soon, however, the uncompromising Seljuk sultan Mehmed (Muhammad) I of Baghdad (1105–1118) ordered an army of one hundred thousand soldiers to march on Georgia. When King Davit heard of the enemy’s approach, he immediately assembled a force of fifteen hundred men and led them towards Trialeti. A battle began in the early morning, and with God’s help the enemy was defeated.

Simultaneously, the king’s adviser, Giorgi of Chqondidi, recaptured the town of Rustavi, and in 1115 the Georgian army recovered the ravine of the Mtkvari River. One year later, the Turks, who had been encamped between the towns of Karnipori and Basiani, were banished from the country. The “Great Wars” continued, and the holy king was crowned with new victories. Davit’s son Demetre (later the venerable Damiane), a young man distinguished in “wisdom, holiness, appearance and courage,” was a great asset to his father. The prince led a war on Shirvan, captured Kaladzori, and returned to his father with slaves and great riches, the spoils of war in those days. One year later, the villages of Lore and Agarani were rejoined to Georgia. 

In spite of his victories, King Davit knew that it would be difficult for his meager army to protect the recovered cities and fortresses, while continuing to serve as a permanent military force. Thus it became necessary to establish a separate, permanent standing army. The wise king planned to draft men from among the Qipchaks, a northern Caucasian tribe, to form this army. He was well acquainted with the character of these people, and confident that they were brave and seasoned in war. Furthermore, Davit’s wife, Queen Gurandukhti, was a daughter of Atrak, the Qipchaks’ ruler. Atrak joyfully agreed to the request of his son-in-law, the king. 

As a true diplomat seeking to maintain peaceful relations with the Qipchaks, King Davit took his adviser, Giorgi of Chqondidi, and traveled to the region of Ossetia in the northern Caucasus. There Giorgi of Chqondidi, an “adviser to his master and participant in his great works and victories,” reposed in the Lord. Following this, the dispirited King Davit declared that his kingdom would grieve for forty days. But he accomplished what he had set out to do, and selected forty thousand Qipchaks to add to the five thousand Georgian soldiers he had already enlisted. From that point on King Davit had a standing army of forty-five thousand men. 

The king’s enormous army finally uprooted the Turkish presence in and around Georgia permanently. The defeated Turks returned in shame to their sultan in Baghdad, draped in black as a sign of grief and defeat. Nevertheless, the unyielding sultan Mahmud II (1118–1131) rallied a coalition of Muslim countries to attack Georgia. The sultan summoned the Arab leader Durbays bin Sadaka, commanded his own son Malik (1152–1153) to serve him, gathered an army of six hundred thousand men, and marched once more towards Georgia. 

It was August of 1121. Before heading off to battle, King Davit inspired his army with these words: “Soldiers of Christ! If we fight bravely for our Faith, we will defeat not only the devil’s servants, but the devil himself. We will gain the greatest weapon of spiritual warfare when we make a covenant with the Almighty God and vow that we would rather die for His love than escape from the enemy. And if any one of us should wish to retreat, let us take branches and block the entrance to the gorge to prevent this. When the enemy approaches, let us attack fiercely!” 

None of the soldiers thought of retreating. The king’s stunning battle tactics and the miracles of God terrified the enemy. As it is written, “The hand of God empowered him, and the Great-martyr George visibly led him in battle. The king annihilated the godless enemy with his powerful right hand.” 

The battle at Didgori enfeebled the enemy for many years. The following year, in 1122, King Davit recaptured the capital city of Tbilisi, which had borne the yoke of slavery for four hundred years. The king returned the city to its mother country. In 1123 King Davit declared the village of Dmanisi a Georgian possession, and thus, at last, unification of the country was complete. 

One victory followed another, as the Lord defended the king who glorified his Creator. 

In 1106 King Davit had begun construction of Gelati Monastery in western Georgia, and throughout his life this sacred complex was the focus of his efforts on behalf of the revival of the Georgian Church. Gelati Monastery was the most glorious of all the existing temples to God. To beautify the building, King Davit offered many of the great treasures he had acquired as spoils of war. Then he gathered all the wise, upright, generous, and pious people from among his kinsmen and from abroad and established the Gelati Theological Academy. King Davit helped many people in Georgian churches both inside and outside his kingdom. The benevolent king constructed a primitive ambulance for the sick and provided everything necessary for their recovery. He visited the infirm, encouraging them and caring for them like a father. The king always took with him a small pouch in which he carried alms for the poor. 

The intelligent and well-lettered king spent his free time reading the Holy Scriptures and studying the sciences. He even carried his books with him to war, soliciting the help of donkeys and camels to transport his library. When he tired of reading, King Davit had others read to him, while he listened attentively. One of the king’s biographers recalls, “Each time Davit finished reading the Epistles, he put a mark on the last page. At the end of one year, we counted that he had read them twenty-four times.” 

King Davit was also an exemplary writer. His “Hymns of Repentance” are equal in merit to the works of the greatest writers of the Church. 

This most valiant, powerful, and righteous Georgian king left his heirs with a brilliant confession when he died. It recalled all the sins he had committed with profound lamentation and beseeched the Almighty God for forgiveness. 

King Davit completed his will in 1125, and in the same year he abdicated and designated his son Demetre to be his successor. He entrusted his son with a sword, blessed his future, and wished him many years in good health and service to the Lord. The king reposed peacefully at the age of fifty-three. 

St. Davit the Restorer was buried at the entrance to Gelati Monastery. His final wish was carved in the stone of his grave:This is My rest for ever and ever; here I will dwell, for I have chosen here (Ps. 131:15).

From “Lives of the Georgian Saints” by Archpriest Zakaraiah Machitadze. St Hermans Press.

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I have today discovered that a kind person has filmed some wonderful choirs in Kutaisi and uploaded both concert-style recitals and excerpts from the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom in the temple. A sample is provided below, the Trisagion (Thrice-Holy Hymn, known in Georgian as “Tsmindao Ghmerto”) prior to the readings from the Epistles and the Holy Gospel.

If Georgian chant interests you, you can subscribe to the Youtube channel here ,  via Facebook here , or via Google+ here.

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