1,600 Babies Baptized in Georgia as Godchildren to Beloved Patriarch Ilia

The Patriarch has been guiding the Church for more than 40 years and is the most trusted man in the entire nation.

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Christianity

Another mass Baptism was held in Tbilisi yesterday, with well over a thousand children becoming new Godchildren of His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

The Patriarch has been guiding the Church for more than 40 years and is the most trusted man in the entire nation. In an effort to improve Georgia’s dire post-Soviet demographic situation, the Church began holding mass Baptisms in January 2008, with the beloved primate personally becoming Godfather to the third and subsequent children of spouses who were married in the Church.

Photo: orthodoxianewsagency.gr

Photo: orthodoxianewsagency.gr    

About 1,600 children were baptized yesterday in the 64th mass Baptism at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi, reports Sputnik-Georgia. His Holiness now has 43,230 Godchildren.

Pat. Ilia was enthroned as head of the Georgian Church on December 25, 1977. At that time, 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.