Moscow, May 2, 2017
This past Sunday the holy Myrrhbearing Women were celebrated in all Orthodox churches throughout the world, and on the day of these holy women who became the first witnesses and heralds of the Lord’s Resurrection, more than 1,000 Georgian children were united to the risen Lord in the holy Sacrament of Baptism, reports Romfea.
The latest in the regular mass Baptisms was celebrated in Tbilisi’s Holy Trinity Cathedral by His Holiness Patriarch-Catholicos Ilia II. 1,173 children were baptized on Sunday, while over 800 were baptized at the previous celebration on the feast of Theophany in January.
The patriarch blessed all of his new Godchildren, giving each one a baptismal cross.
With the first mass Baptism on January 19, 2008, Patriarch Ilia commenced his initiative to help improve the dire demographic situation in Georgia caused by post-Soviet abortion rates. Such mass celebrations are held four times a year in which the primate personally baptizes and becomes the godfather for the third and later children of married Orthodox couples.
Patriarch Ilia has been the beloved leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church since the 1970s and is perhaps the most trusted public figure in the ancient Orthodox nation. Many parents have been overjoyed to have children and entrust them to the spiritual care of their pious archpastor.
Patriarch Ilia has to date acquired more than 30,000 Godchildren.