Idea #502 – Looking for the tunic of the Christ to Mtskheta in Georgia
Mtskheta was the capital of the kingdom of Iberia, from the IIIth century BC to the 5th century. The place would be the epicenter of the development of the Christianity in Georgia; Catholicossat-Patriarcat of all Georgia is still based there. The cathedral of Svétitskhovéli was founded in 1010; this place is one of the most sacred places of Georgia. It contains the graves of Georgian kings.
The legend claims that a Jew of the name of Élias, which lived to Mtskhéta in Ier century, having attended the Crucifixion, acquired to a Roman soldier the tunic of the Christ and brought back it in Georgia. Her sister Sidonia stole the tunic and wore it ; she was immediately submerged by such an emotion as she died from it. It was impossible to remove to it and she was thus buried with the tunic. A cedar of Lebanon grew on its grave. In the IVth century, the builders wanted to cut down the cedar to use its wood for the construction of a church, but this one did not give in under axes. In front of this miracle, saint Nino put himself in prayer, the tree took place then alone, came life, bloomed and began producing a supernatural oil which cured all the troubles or almost.
According to another version of this legend, the builders used the cedar to make seven pillars. They put in position without any trouble six first ones, but when they wanted to use the seventh, this one flew away, and only saintNino succeeded, after a night of prayer, was able to took it back in the ground ; the tree came back to life and began producing a supernatural liquid. To celebrate this miracle, the church was called Svétitskhovéli, that is “alive Pillar” or better, “Pillar which gives birth”.
The church was reconstructed again from 1010 till 1029. This third church, in cruciform plan and dome, is still today visible. The church is surrounded with a defensive surrounding wall, and is accompanied with several building, and a bell tower. The historic monuments of Mtskheta are registered on the UNESCO world heritage list since 1994.
Where is it ?