Mtskheta, Georgia, March 5, 2018
A man was wounded in a knife attack on Saturday outside the ancient Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, Georgia, reports News-Georgia.
The incident occurred Saturday afternoon. According to eyewitnesses, the young man was coming out of the church when he was attacked with a knife, receiving several wounds to the neck.
“The parishioner was picked up by two men, they clamped his neck with their hands, but the blood continued to flow. According to doctors, his carotid artery was cut,” one of the witnesses told journalists.
The assailant was arrested at the scene of the crime. The wounded parishioner was hospitalized in severe condition. He and his family are active parishioners, regularly attending services, according to Blagovest-Info.
An investigation is underway according to Article 117 of the Georgian criminal code “Deliberate Infliction of Serious Harm to Health.”
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is a Georgian Orthodox cathedral located in the historical town of Mtskheta, Kartli region, 12.5 miles northwest of the nation's capital of Tbilisi.
The original Church was built in the 4th century AD during the reign of Mirian II. St. Nino is said to have chosen the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers as the place of the first Georgian church. In the 1st century, a Georgian Jew from Mtskheta named Elias was in Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified. Elias bought Jesus’s robe from a Roman soldier at Golgotha and brought it back to Georgia. Returning to his native city, he was met by his sister Sidonia who upon touching the robe immediately died from the emotions engendered by the sacred object. The robe could not be removed from her grasp, so she was buried with it. The place where Sidonia is buried with Christ’s robe is preserved in the cathedral. Later, from her grave grew an enormous cedar tree. Ordering the cedar chopped down to build the church, St. Nino had seven columns made from it for the church’s foundation. The seventh column, however, had mystical power and rose by itself into the air. It returned to earth after St. Nino prayed the whole night. It was further said that from the mystical seventh column a sacred liquid flowed that cured people of all diseases. In Georgian “sveti” means “pillar” and tskhoveli means “life-giving” or “living,” hence the name of the cathedral.