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President Zourabichvili Opens International Conference for the 120th Birthday of Grigol Peradze

President Salome Zourabichvili opened the first Grigol Peradze International Scientific Conference, entitled “Georgia in the Context of Christian Civilization” at the Tbilisi State University.

The conference is being held under the patronage of the President of Georgia and is dedicated to the 120th birthday of Archimandrite Grigol Peradze, late Professor at the University of Warsaw canonized as a saint by the Georgian and Polish Orthodox Churches. The President wished success to the participants of the conference. She also extended her hope that holding this conference will become a tradition and talked about the life and legacy of Grigol Peradze. “Grigol Peradze is not only a legendary figure for me,

he is a part of the history I was brought up in. I did not know him personally, but his marks on Georgian emigration and the Georgian Church is extremely strong. “During his time in emigration, Grigol Peradze played the role that the Georgian Church had consistently played in the history of Georgia: unifying, strengthening the faith, and preserving the Georgian identity. To maintain these symbols of Georgia’s independence is even more significant abroad and while in emigration. Grigol Peradze started this process that is continuing until the present day. “Grigol Peradze is a clear evidence of dignity and devotion to our country. He taught us to deal with and endure the totalitarian system. It is complicated to see role models around us, so our history needs such figures not only in the Church but also in society, to grow the nation on actual examples. “It should also be noted that Grigol Peradze was first recognized by Poland. It is our behavior that we have problems with recognition and seeing the true power in ourselves. We should be grateful to the Polish people as they first saw the value this person was carrying and how his lifetime lesson could be preserved. They were also the first who printed his works. “I cannot not mention Tamila Mgaloblishvili alongside Grigol Peradze, who revived him and worked on his works. Time will pass and the distinguished merit of Tamila Mgaloblishvili in Georgian archeology, history, and in regard of Grigol Peradze will be more appreciated.

“The current conference’s topic, “Georgia in the Context of Christian Civilization” is very appropriate as this was the direct inspiration Grigol Peradze worked on. It is significant that we are returning to Europe with our Christian civilization and not without it, as Europe is a Christian civilization, one of the features that unites us. Grigol Peradze has been a distinguished European with his Christianity, his culture, his education and, most importantly, with his freedom,” said President Zourabichvili.

More than 50 speakers from Georgia, Poland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Russia are participating in the conference. Also in attendance of the event were: · George Sharvashidze, rector of the Tbilisi State University; · Bishop Shio of Senaki and Chkhorotsku, locum tenens of the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia; · Mariusz Maszkiewicz, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to Georgia; · Jan Malicki, Director of the Centre for East European Studies at the University of Warsaw; · Pr. Zviad Gabisonia, General Director of the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia

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