Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, the Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi and Metropolitan Bishop of Abkhazia and Bichvinta, Ilia II turned 83 today.
Illia II has been Georgia’s Patriarch since 1977 and has made major changes since Georgia’s post soviet union. He gained trust of most of Georgian people and not only.
He has initiated several reforms that drastically improved the country for example in the late 2007 concerned with Georgia’s declining birth rate, Ilia II offered to personally baptize any child born to a family that already has at least two children, as long as the new child was to be born after his announcement. He conducts mass baptism ceremonies four times a year. According to the church official, the patriarch’s initiative spurred a national baby boom, because being baptized by the Patriarch is a considerable honor among adherents of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Today honoring Illia II, Georgian famous song writer Jemal Sepiashvili holds concert, where patriarch will perform his own song.