Tbilisi, January 16, 2020
His Holiness Patriarch-Catholicos Ilia II of Georgia became the Godfather to another 521 children on Tuesday, January 14, reports Interpress News.
Since January 2008, His Holiness Catholics-Patriarch Ilia II has been holding several mass Baptism ceremonies in a year, in which he personally becomes Godfather to the third and later children of married Orthodox couples.
The Baptisms are part of his initiative to improve the dire post-Soviet demographic situation in Georgia. Pat. Ilia is the most trusted and beloved man in the nation, and families are overjoyed to spiritually unite their children to him.
Tuesday’s service at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi was the 62nd such mass Baptism. The Patriarch now has 40,909 Godchildren.
Pat. Ilia has been the primate of the Georgian Church for 42 years. At the time of his enthronement, there were 15 dioceses and only 30 active churches left thanks to communist persecutions. Today there are 47 dioceses and about 2,000 active parishes, as well as about 3,000 clergy.