Great-martyr Constantine-Kakhi (†852)

Memory 10 (23) November

Тhe 9th century was one of the most difficult periods in Georgian history. The Arab Muslims wreaked havoc throughout the region of Kartli, forcibly converting many to Islam with fire and the sword. Many of the destitute and frightened were tempted to betray the Faith of their fathers.

At that time the valorous aristocrat and faithful Christian, Prince Constantine, was living in Kartli. He was the descendant of Kakhetian princes, hence his title “Kakhi.”

As is meet for a Christian believer, St. Constantine considered himself the greatest of sinners and often said, “There can be no forgiveness of my sins, except through the spilling of my blood for the sake of Him Who shed His innocent blood for us!”

While on a pilgrimage to the holy places of Jerusalem, Constantine distributed generous gifts to the churches, visited the wilderness of the Jordan, received blessings from the holy fathers, and returned to his motherland filled with inner joy. After that time Constantine would send thirty thousand pieces of silver to Jerusalem each year. In the years 853 to 854, when the ArabMuslims invaded Georgia under the command of Buga-Turk, the eighty-five-year-old Prince Constantine commanded the army of Kartli with his son Tarkhuj.

Outside the city of Gori an uneven battle took place between the Arabs and the Georgians. Despite their fierce resistance, the Georgians suffered defeat, and Constantine and Tarkhuj were taken captive.

The captive Constantine-Kakhi was sent to Samarra (a city in central Iraq) to the caliph Ja’far al Mutawakkil (847–861). Ja’far was well aware of the enormous respect Constantine-Kakhi received from the Georgians and all the Christian people who knew him.Having received him with honor, he proposed that Constantine renounce the Christian Faith and threatened him with death in the case of his refusal.

Strengthened by divine grace, the courageous prince fearlessly answered, “Your sword does not frighten me. I am afraid of Him Who can destroy my soul and body and Who has the power to resurrect and to kill, for He is the true God, the almighty Sovereign, Ruler of the world, and Father unto all ages!”

The enraged caliph ordered the beheading of St. Constantine- Kakhi. Bowing on his knees, the holy martyr lifted up a final prayer to the Lord. St. Constantine-Kakhi was martyred on November 10, 852, the day on which Great-martyr George is commemorated.

The holy martyr’s body was hung from a high pillar to intimidate the Christian believers, but after some time it was buried. A few years later a group of faithful Georgians translated St. Constantine’s holy relics to his motherland and reburied them there with great honor. In that same century the Georgian Orthodox Church numbered Prince Constantine-Kakhi of Kartli among the saints.

To the champion leader Constantine, the valiant warrior and chosen of Christ, who didst defeat the power and kingdom of darkness and submit to earthly torture, we offer hymns of praise for thy victory on earth: Rejoice, O Holy Martyr, invincible one!

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

11/27/2007

See also
Emperor Constantine the Great (306–337). The Importance of His Faith in the History of the Church Emperor Constantine the Great (306–337). The Importance of His Faith in the History of the Church
V. Rev. Fr. Thaddaeus Hardenbrook
Emperor Constantine the Great (306–337). The Importance of His Faith in the History of the Church Emperor Constantine the Great (306–337). The Importance of His Faith in the History of the Church
V. Rev. Fr. Thaddaeus Hardenbrook
St. Constantine the Great, Equal to the Apostles, First Christian Emperor of Rome, builder of Constantinople and founder the Byzantine Empire. He is a military victor, effective ruler and glorified saint. There is no doubt that his contribution to world history and that of the Orthodox Church is indeed spectacular.
Great-martyrs Davit and Constantine (†740) Great-martyrs Davit and Constantine (†740)
Commemorated October 2/15
Great-martyrs Davit and Constantine (†740) Great-martyrs Davit and Constantine (†740)
Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze
The 8th century was extremely difficult for theGeorgian people. Marwan bin Muhammad (called “the Deaf” by the Georgians and “the Blind” by the Armenians), the Persian ruler and military leader for the Arab caliph, invaded eastern parts of the Byzantine Empire, then Armenia and Georgia. With fire and the sword he fought his way across Georgia from the east to the city of Tskhumi (now Sokhumi) in the region of Abkhazeti. The princes Davit and Constantine Mkheidze of Argveti were faithful Christians and skilled military leaders. When they heard about the enemy’s invasion, the brothers prayed to God for protection, assembled their armies, and urged their people to pray fervently for God’s help.
Holy Hieromartyr Kirion, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia (†1918) Holy Hieromartyr Kirion, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia (†1918)
Commemorated June 27/July 10
Holy Hieromartyr Kirion, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia (†1918) Holy Hieromartyr Kirion, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia (†1918)
Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze
Holy Hieromartyr Kirion II (known in the world as Giorgi Sadzaglishvili) was born in 1855 in the village of Nikozi in the Gori district. His father was a priest. He enrolled at the parochial school in Ananuri, then at the theological school in Gori, and finally at Tbilisi Seminary.
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