Crowds of men and women, young and old, surge towards the black, police-escorted Lexus as it comes to a halt at the main doors of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tblisi’s old town.
Every Sunday many Georgians travel far and wide to be here. Others wait from the early hours of the morning to get the best spot.
They are coming to attend neither a film premiere nor the release of a new iPhone.
They are here to catch a glimpse of Patriarch Ilia II—the spiritual leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Singer and songwriter
Sot3: (02:53 – 03:08)
The Patriarch definitely has the fame of a pop star.
Sot1 (00:00 – 00:24)
I just a phenomenon that cannot be observed anywhere else. I have not seen anything like that
HRH Princess Michael of Kent
Member of the British Royal Family
Sot6: (08:21 – 10.27)
He has what I value greatly, which is that gift of calm. He spreads about him a calmness; one is calm, it is a sort of soothing of the soul in his presence. I felt blessed in some way when I left his presence.(8:50)
Lord Rowan Williams
former Archbishop of Canterbury
The Patriarch himself clearly has what we would call a “hinterland”, he has an inner life not only his spiritual life, but also the fact that he is a musician, he is a writer, he is a man with a very sophisticated imagination with a cultural sensitivity; and that combined with his spiritual formation, I think, means that he is very much a three-dimensional person and people like that tend to be not just the tools of any party or any system. (10:44)
Philanthropist & Businessman
Sot3: (05.30 - 07.00)
We are a very individualistic, very ambitious, very … in English you would say “Mediteranean-type” bunch. Every Georgian thinks he or she is the king, and we are very driven, very “Italian” to put it in your …. Very emotional. And it is very hard, almost impossible in a nation like this to … to...