Christianity was spread in Georgia by the pupils of Christ-Andria
Pirveltsodebuli, Simon Kananeli and Matotam. Then many people
convert to Christianity but the main part of people still remained
pagan. Some time later, nearly in 337, Georgians received Christianity.
The conversion to Christianity in Georgia is connected with ST. Nino’s
name. Here is the story told by the chronics.
Nino from Cabadokia moved to Georgia for spreading Christianity. At
first she stopped onto Javakheti, than arrived in Mtskheta and rattled
there. She began preaching. She worked miracles, cured sick people.
She healed badly ill Queen Nana. After this Nana believed in Christ.
King Mirian didn’t want to get Christianity. Once while hunting he
saw a miracle, after this he believed a new religion.
The first Christian king Mirian decided to built a church on the place,
where Christ’s robe was buried, after recommendation of Nino.
According to a legend of Elioz and Longioz had bought the robe of
Jesus. Sidonia, a sister of Elioz, had pasted this shirt in her heart and
suddenly died. Nobody could snatch the robe from the deceased’s
hands so they had to bury Sidonia with the robe of Jesus. There had
grown up a huge “Lebanon fir tree”
So, in 337 when Christianity declared as a state religion,building of a
new church was begun in Mtskheta. During the work they saw a
miracle. They cut off the tree and sculptured 7 column from it. They
hoisted 6 columns, the 7th – the largest and shining didn’t touch the
ground, it hung up in the air. It was shining and released aromatic
smell, and the chrism became from under this column treated every
disease. This column worked many other miracles and it was called
“Tskovely Svety”- life giving pillar – and the church afterward was
called “Svetitskhoveli”. St. Nino prayed the God and the pillar stood
miraculously, itself and began heeding by the sacred miracle.
Another legend of Svetitskhoveli, builder Arsakidze. According to a
legend, because of a builder of Svetitskhoveli was better than his
teacher and he fell in love with a girl of king Giorgi, they had cut off his
hand in the north of church there is curved a hand which has uplifted
Gonio. Next to this there is a manscription “The hand of slave
Arsakidze, forgive him”.
All the life St. Nino spent in preaching Christianity and she died in
Bodbe and is buried there. Her cemetery is kept in the church of Bodbe
Georgian language is one of the oldest living languages. It’s alphabet, one of the fourteen alphabets in
the world war created in the 4th-3rd centuries B.C. The samples of Georgian written language are
discovered not only in Georgia but in 13 churches and monasteries of Jerusalem, Palestine, Egypt and Syria.
The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (1010-1029) surrounded by a crenellated stone wall is in the centre of the town
and attracts one’s attention from afar. The robe of Christ is said to be buried in a small chapel within the
cathedral. This chapel is a copy of the Jerusalem temple.
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