His Holyness Ilya II, Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgians celebrated his 85th birthday on Thursday (4 January). Leading the well wishers was the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili who hailed the life of the Patriarch as an example for all the people of Georgia.
Ilya II has been head of the Georgian Orthodox Church for forty years. He is held in very high esteem by Georgian society. Recent scandals that affected the Orthodox Church in Georgia have not diminished the veneration with which most Georgians hold Ilya II, who remains a symbol of Georgian national identity and unity.
photo: President Mergvelashvili congratulating Patriarch of Georgia Ilya II on his birthday.
Armenian and Azerbaijani official sources stated that the two leaders discussed matters connected to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but gave no further details.