Pope Francis invites Georgian Patriarch to Vatican in 2020

Pope Francis and Ilia II met in Tbilisi in 2016 when the former publicly addressed the Georgian people, speaking of Georgia’s long history and ties with the Catholic Church. Photo: patriarchate.ge

Agenda.ge, 24 Dec 2019 - 23:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

Pope Francis invited Georgian Catholicos Patriarch Ilia II to the Vatican next year to commemorate the 40-year anniversary since the latter’s “historic visit” in 1980.

In the letter which was published earlier today, Pope Francis recalled his visit to Georgia back in 2016, saying he wishes to meet with Ilia II again next year. 

Dear brother, our meeting could inspire many people who would be interested in the spiritual wealth of Georgia, Georgian art, culture and civilization which the country created throughout its centuries-long history with strong faith that is confirmed with Christian courage at times of many misfortunes”, Pope Francis said.

He said a lot of events will be dedicated to the Georgian Patriarch’s visit to Vatican in 2020, including high-level musical projects. 

The Pope invited the chorus of the Georgian patriarchy to perform for a wide audience as well. 

From left: Ilia II greets Pope Francis at Tbilisi Shota Rustaveli International Airport in 2016. Photo: President of Georgia's press office/Archive

Pope Francis also wrote that it would be excellent if "His Holiness [referring to Ilia II], whose thrilling spiritual pieces of music deserve recognition and respect, would attend these events”. 

In conclusion, the Pope wished Ilia II good health, strength and inner peace and asked the latter to pray for him as well.