Georgia, Tbilisi, January 4/ Trend , N.Kirtskhalia /
On Jan. 4, His Holiness and Beatitude Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II celebrates his 77th anniversary. A source at the Patriarchate of Georgia told Trend that in connection with this event, Ilia II will conduct a public prayer at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.
Everybody will be able to congratulate him after the festive event.
Ilia II was born as Irakli Ghudushauri-Shiolashvili in Vladikavkaz city on 4 January 1933. 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.
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 PatriarchDavid V, he was elected the new Catholico-Patriarch of Georgia on December 25, 1977.