This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 19 -- Feast of Venerable George of Khakhuli

There's a saint called George of Khakhuli, also known as George the Hagiorite, aka  Giorgi Mt'ats'mindel aka Giorgi At'oneli aka George of the Holy Mountain aka George the Athonite.  But this isn't that saint.  That guy's feast is July 10.  This is his uncle, Venerable George the Scribe.
 George and Sava, brothers, uncles, venerables

George was the spiritual adviser to Bagrat III Kuropalates, King of the Abkhazians and later King of Georgia.  He, his nephew (whose feast is not today), the King, and others were all contributors to the Golden Age of Georgian letters, writing original Georgian works as well as translating other works into Georgian.  Their focus was ecclesiastical of course. 

George the Scribe got a flattering offer. A nobleman named Peris Jojikisdze, the son-in-law of King Bagrat III, invited George to live in his palace as the family's religious instructor and spiritual guide.  George moved to the palace.  He shared this good fortune with his nephew George [the one about whom I am not writing because this is not his feast.] 

At the time, Basil the Byzantine Emperor was still trying to force Georgia into submission.  He must have had some nominal authority over the region at that time, since he sent forces to execute Peris Jojikisdze and seize all the members of the household.  They were taken to Constantinople and held in some form of arrest, most likely hostages while submission was negotiated.  They were held there for twelve years, during which young George (the nephew was also captured, having been brought by his uncle to the palace) studied Greek and theology.  This gave him the foundation to become a distinguished Church father in Greece and an advocate for the autocephalic privilege of the Georgian Church.  [This isn't really about him but there's not much more to say about Uncle George except that he went back to Georgia, where he lived until he died.] 

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