Welcome to Georgia, a vast and diverse country rich in natural beauty, historical significance, and cultural variety. It is well know Georgia is rich with holy places. According to tradition, when the holy apostles were casting lots deciding who to which country was to go to preach the gospel, St. Mary had got Iberia (ancient name of the Eastern Georgia) as her lots.
Though later, by the joint decision She left for the mount Athos and St. Andrew instead of Her was sent to Georgia to convert its population to Christianity. Still, it’s widely believed by Georgians that they are under the special protection of the Holy Virgin.
Indeed, the very fact that this country, repeatedly devastated during the centuries by the much stronger and numerous conquerors – the main goal of the most of them had been the abolition of the Christian faith in Georgia - does exist to these days keeping untouchable its orthodox belief may only be explained by the heavenly intervention.
The tunic of the Lord; St. Mary’s garment and sash; St. John’s hallows as well as the hallows and graves of numerous martyrs and saints; convents founded by the holy Assyrian fathers – it’s commonly believed that 3-time prayer at one of the fathers’ monastery, the St. David Gareji convent has the spiritual power equal to the prayer in the Holy town Jerusalem; the churches and monasteries dating back from the fifth century to nowadays, many of which are true masterpieces and make part of the world’s cultural heritage of the UNESCO .
The visit will largely coincide with the Orthodox celebration of Holy Week and Easter, which will add an even richer dimension. Georgia is a profoundly religious country and its churches and monasteries vie with its natural scenery in interest and often splendour.