A while back a fellow Orthodox Christian commented twice on one of my posts twice. In the second post she asked me if I have heard about St. Gabrieli of Georgia. She included a quotation from a letter written by one of the deacons in her Parish, who was visiting his son in the country of Georgia. Here’s the excerpt:
Last week Tamuna (daughter-in-law, native Georgian) took us to Mtskheta to the Monastery of Samtavro where St. Gabrieli lies in the Church of the Transfiguration. St. Gabrieli is a modern saint, officially canonized by the Georgian church in 2014 when his relics were moved from his grave site to the nave of the church. He was born in the 1920’s and reposed in the ’90’s and was venerated even during his lifetime as a living saint. He was arrested in 1963 for burning a banner of Lenin during a communist parade and spent several years in soviet psych-wards. (Of course, he had to be crazy to denounce Lenin, right?) Today he is known as “a Fool for Christ” and a healer and a worker of miracles; his relics and several of his icons around Tbilisi are myrrh-streaming. When we walked into the church a service was taking place near his relics, and the church was filled with children. As we later found out, every Thursday an akathist is served to St. Gabrieli for “children with special needs.” The presence of St. Gabrieli was palpable in the church and whereas I knew very little of him before coming to Georgia I know he will be a constant presence in our lives from now on.
Online Sources – St. Gabrieli of Georgia: