Georgian Patriarch Ilia II turned 86 today.
Georgian top officials have congratulated the patriarch on the day, wished him health and long live.
Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze wrote that “the Patriarch is a good example for everyone, inspiring people how to become better and love each other truly.”
On 25 December Ilia II marked the 41st anniversary of his appointment to the position.
Ilia II became the patriarch when he was 44 years old.
In 1988 there were only 180 priests, 40 monks,15 nuns, 200 churches, one seminary, three convents, and four monasteries in Georgia.
Currently there are about 2,000 acting churches and monasteries in Georgia and up to 3,000 monks and nuns.