Saint Iotam Zedgenidze (†1465)

Memory 30 October (12 November)

In 1446 Giorgi VIII was crowned ruler of a united Georgian kingdom. Filled with every virtue, the valiant warrior and God-fearing king dedicated the twenty years of his reign to a ceaseless struggle for the reunification of his country.He was constantly warding off foreign invaders, surmounting internal strife, and suffering the betrayal of his fellow countrymen.

One of the separatists was the ruler of Samtskhe, the atabeg Qvarqvare Jakeli II (1451–1498). In 1465 King Giorgi led his troops toward southern Georgia to attack the rebellious atabeg. Near Lake Paravani the traitors dispatched assassins to the king’s camp.

Among those who served in the royal court was a certain Iotam Zedgenidze, a man deeply devoted to his king. He heard about the dreadful conspiracy and warned the king, but the noble and fearless Giorgi did not believe that such a loathsome betrayal could ever take place.

Desperate to convince the king of the very real and imminent danger, the devoted Iotam told him, “Allow me to spend this night in your bed and prove the truth of my words!”

Certain that his beloved courtier was mistaken and that his unmeasured love and dedication were the reasons for his suspicions, King Giorgi permitted him to spend the night in the royal bed.

The next morning King Giorgi entered his tent and found his beloved Iotam lying in a pool of blood. Immediately he began weeping bitterly over his error. He arrested and executed the conspirators and buried his faithful servant with great honor.

The Georgian Church numbers Iotam Zedgenidze among the saints for his devotion to God’s anointed king.

O right-believing and divinely crowned Martyr Iotam, pray to God on behalf of us all!

Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze


For further information on the book THE LIVES OF THE GEORGIAN SAINTS by Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze contact St. Herman Press:
St. Herman Press, P.O. Box 70, Platina, CA 96076
http://www.stherman.com/catalog/chapter_five/Lives_of_the_georgian_saints.htm

11/13/2007

See also
Holy Hieromartyr Neopite of Urbnisi (7th century) Holy Hieromartyr Neopite of Urbnisi (7th century)
Commemorated October 28/November 10
Holy Hieromartyr Neopite of Urbnisi (7th century) Holy Hieromartyr Neopite of Urbnisi (7th century)
Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze
The holy hieromartyr Neopite of Urbnisi descended from a line of Persian fire-worshippers. In the 7th century, by order of the Saracen emir Mumni (Mu’min), the military leader Ahmad attacked Georgia with an enormous army. After overrunning the central part of Shida (Inner) Kartli, Ahmad dispatched two of his commanders, Omar and Burul, to the capital city of Mtskheta.
Holy Martyr Kozman Holy Martyr Kozman
Commemorated October 17/30
Holy Martyr Kozman Holy Martyr Kozman
Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze
The Life of St. Kozman has not been preserved. In the commemorations for this day it is mentioned only that he died a martyr’s death in the region of Kartli. Here it is fitting to note that, due to its geopolitical circumstances, Georgia has throughout history been a constant victim of foreign aggression. To give one’s life for his motherland and Faith became so customary for the Georgian people that the Georgian Church is unable to commemorate all of its martyrs by name.
Holy Hieromartyr Kozman (†1630) Holy Hieromartyr Kozman (†1630)
Commemorated on July 18/31
Holy Hieromartyr Kozman (†1630) Holy Hieromartyr Kozman (†1630)
Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze
Over the centuries the monastic complex founded by St. Davit of Gareji became a spiritual and cultural center for all of Georgia.Many of the faithful flocked there with a desire to serve Christ. Among them was the hieromonk Kozman, who would end his earthly life as a martyr.
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