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REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

Georgian Orthodox Church Celebrates Epiphany

The Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Epiphany on January 19 according to the religious calendar as rest of the Orthodox Christendom.

Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II held a festive liturgy at the Sameba Cathedral in Tbilisi this morning together with the priesthood.

After the liturgy, Ilia II performed Great Sanctification of Water regarding the day of Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sameba Cathedral’s courtyard. The believers will take the blessed water home.

Ilia II then blessed the parish and all Georgia. The sanctified water acquires divine grace of river Jordan and immortal features. Believers can take the water on an empty stomach.

The day of Baptism of the Lord is celebrated on January 19. It is one of the 12 divine feasts. God revealed Himself as the Holy Trinity. According to the Gospel John is preaching repentance and baptizing at the Jordan for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus comes to John, who at first is reluctant to baptize Him.

However, according to the passages written by Matthew, Jesus persuades John to do so ‘to fulfill all righteousness’. John immerses Jesus and when He comes up out of the water, ’the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:15-17).