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Patriarch of Georgia is 79!2012-01-04 15:54
Today the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II is celebrating the 79th anniversary. As reported by the GHN, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II (Irakli G. Gudushauri-Shiolashvili) was born on January 4, 1933 in Vladikavkaz. In 1952 he graduated from high school №22 in Vladikavkaz and entered the Moscow Theological Seminary, then continued his studies at the Moscow clerical seminary, graduating in 1956.
April 16, 1957 in the church of St. Alexander Nevsky Irakli Shiolashvili was tonsured a monk and named in honor of St. Elijah the prophet of God, Ilia, under the blessing of the Catholicos-Patriarch of Melchizedek III.
In 1960, the future Patriarch graduated from the Moscow clerical academy. After graduation he returned to homeland and was appointed the priest of the cathedral in Batumi. In 1961 he was ordained hegumen and then archimandrite.
From 1963 to 1972, bishop Ilia had the obedience of the rector of Mtskheta Theological Seminary. In 1967 he was transferred to the Department of the Abkhaz, and in 1969 he was elevated to the rank of metropolitan.
Ilia II was elected Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia on December 23, 1977. The enthronement of Ilia II was held on December 25, 1977.