On December 14, 2022, a jubilee session dedicated to the 90th birthday and 45th anniversary of the Enthronement of His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia was held in the Hall of Queen Tamar at Tbilisi City Council.
The session was opened by the Rector of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, Doctor of Theology, Philology and Political Sciences, Professor, Protopresbyter of the Orthodox Church of Georgia Giorgi Zviadadze. He spoke about the multifaceted activity of the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II. Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze cordially thanked the participants of the event for coming and confirming their deep respect for His Holiness and Beatitude.
“It should be noted that the Patriarch’s greatest input into the revival of the State of Georgia, the Orthodox Church of Georgia, the strengthening of the Georgian people and in the well-being of the world Orthodox Church is an epochal commitment which cannot be faded by any power and which everyone will always look at with awe”, - he said.
The event was attended by the members of the Holy Synod - Metropolitan Anania (Japaridze) of Manglisi and Tetritsqharo, Metropolitan Abba David (Makharadze) of Alaverdeli, Metropolitan Theodore (Chuadze) of Akhaltsikhe and Tao-Klarjeti, Metropolitan Antoni (Bulukhia) of Vani and Baghdadi, Metropolitan Andria (Gvazava) of Gori and Ateni), Bishop Giorgi (Jamdeliani) of Marneuli and Hujabi and other clergymen of the Orthodox Church of Georgia. Among the guests were the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia - Shalva Papuashvili, representatives of the legislative and executive bodies of the Government, Chairman of the Tbilisi City Council - Giorgi Tkemaladze, President of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia - Giorgi Kvesitadze, Vice-President of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia - Roin Metreveli, rectors of higher education institutions, academicians, professors, teachers and students. Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of the Holy See Jose Avelino Bettencourt; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Georgia - Kelly Degnan, representatives of the diplomatic corps and those of other religious denominations.
Within the framework of the mentioned event, Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze presented to the audience the most important publications published at Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary – “The Multilingual Bible”, “The Book of Needs”, Saint Giorgi the Athonite’s “The Lenten Triodion”. He spoke about the special scientific, theological and national significance of each of them, as well.
Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze expressed his great respect and gratitude toward the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr. Irakli Gharibashvili, with whose help and support the publication of the unique monument of national importance “The Multilingual Bible” has become possible. He expressed his gratitude for special help provided by the Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Mr. Mikheil Chkhenkeli, in carrying out this most important publication.
The Head of the Department of Patristics and Dogmatics of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, Doctor of Philology and Theology, Academician of Gelati Academy of Sciences, Professor Edisher Chelidze spoke about the already published three volumes of the multi-volume “Biblia Polyglotta”, compiled by him. It has been printed with the blessing of the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II and the support of the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili.
The scholar noted that the book contains the richest biblical material in the Georgian language, which has not only a special scientific and theological value, but also a great national significance. It is because, sadly, various editions of the Multilingual Bible published in European scientific centers up to now do not contain the truly invaluable treasury of the Holy Scripture, which is preserved in the Georgian language ones. It has a distinct research purpose, which is reflected in the numerous footnotes attached to the texts.
The scholar noted as well that as regards “The Book of Needs”, it represents the most important part of the Church liturgy published in three volumes. It contains the main consecration ordinances, which editorially include both the pre-Athonian era and the most precious liturgical heritage of the Fathers of Mount Athos and Gelati. The publication of the texts is done according to all the existing manuscripts, with appropriate footnotes and extensive terminological and scientific source analysis.
The Head of the Department of Georgian Language and Literature of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, Doctor of Philology, Professor Lela Khachidze spoke about “The Lenten Triodion” edited by Giorgi the Athonite (published in 2 volumes). She noted that in this work for the first time is printed the unique liturgical and hymnographic collection translated and edited by the greatest representative of the Apostolic Church of Georgia and Georgian culture Saint Giorgi the Athonite, titled “The Lenten Triodion”. Its text had been ascertained according to the seven most important Georgian manuscripts of the 11th-15th centuries. This collection contains the Georgian translations of numerous hymns composed for the Great Lent by prominent representatives of the Christian Church, who are also great saints. These texts were translated from Greek by Giorgi the Athonite or edited by him. There has not been found any collection of similar completeness among the Greek Lenten Triodions known today. More than 100 hymns composed by the great Georgian hymnographer of the 10th century Ioane Minchkhi are preserved in the same collection.
Among the speakers were the President of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia, Academician Giorgi Kvesitadze, the Vice-President of the National Academy of Georgia, Academician Roin Matreveli, the Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia, Doctor of Philology Elguja Khintibidze, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of the Holy See Jose Avelino Betencourt; the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Georgia, Kelly Degnan, the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Shalva Papuashvili, the Chairman of the City Council Giorgi Tkemaladze. The speakers thanked the Rector of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, Giorgi Zviadadze for the event organized at a high academic level and of a large-scale and representative format, and expressed their special love and respect for the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia. In his concluding speech, the Rector of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze thanked for attending the event the hierarchs and clergy, the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Mr. Shalva Papuashvili, the Chairman of the City Council Mr. Giorgi Tkemaladze, members of the Parliament and representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers, representatives of academic circles, the President and Vice-president of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia, the rectors of the higher education institutions, the professors, teachers and students of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia.
He noted that their coming and participation in the mentioned event is a confirmation of great respect for the Patriarch of Georgia, the Holy Church of Georgia, the Theological Academy and Seminary.
Students’ choirs of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary (conductors - Lasha Zaalishvili and Lexo Gremelashvili) participated in the anniversary event.