Daily Current Affairs 2021 India gifts 17th Century holy relic of St. Queen Ketevan to Georgia | Daily Current Affairs 2021

India gifts 17th Century holy relic of St. Queen Ketevan to Georgia

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17th century Georgian Queen St. Ketevan Relics

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar recently handed over the relics of St. Queen Ketevan to the government and the people of Georgia.

Key Points:

  • In heeding to a long-standing request of Georgia, the holy relics were handed over nearly 16 years after they were found in Goa.
  • Her relics were found in 2005 at the St. Augustine Convent in Old Goa, on the basis of medieval Portuguese records.
  • The relics were handed over by him at a ceremony in Tbilisi in the presence of Beatitude Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.
  • The relics have reached Georgia back after more than 390 years.
  • Mr. Jaishankar is on a two-day visit to Georgia, a strategically important country situated at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

Background:

  • In 2017, at the request of the Georgian government, India sent the relics to Georgia for an exhibition for six months.
  • The relics were personally welcomed by His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II, the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia along with many Georgians on September 23, 2017.
  • This loan of relics was extended for another six months and was returned to India on September 30, 2018. The relics spent the year traveling to different Churches of Georgia.
  • Considering the persistent request from the Georgian side for the permanent transfer of the relics and also taking into account the historical, religious and spiritual sentiments attached to the St. Queen Ketevan by the Georgian people, India decided to gift one part of the relics to Georgia.
  • Her relics were found in 2005 at the St. Augustine Convent in Old Goa, on the basis of medieval Portuguese records.
  • The relics are believed to have been brought to Goa in 1627 and interred in the St. Augustine Complex.
  • At the instance of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, carried out DNA analysis that confirmed its authenticity.

About St. Queen Ketevan:

  • St. Queen Ketevan was a 17th century Georgian Queen.
  • Ketevan the Martyr (c. 1560 – September 13, 1624) was a queen of Kakheti, a kingdom in eastern Georgia.
  • She was regent of Kakheti during the minority of her son Teimuraz I of Kakheti from 1605 to 1614.
  • She was killed at Shiraz, Iran, after prolonged tortures by the Safavid suzerains of Kakheti for refusing to give up the Christian faith and convert to Islam.
  • She was canonized by Patriarch Zachary of Georgia (1613–1630), and September 13 (corresponding to September 26 in the modern Gregorian calendar) was instituted by the Georgian Orthodox Church as the day of her commemoration.

 Additional info:

  • During the visit, Mr. Jaishankar will have a bilateral meeting with his counterpart covering various aspects of bilateral relations as well as exchange views on issues of regional and global interest.
  • He is also scheduled to unveil the newly installed statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Tbilisi.
  • The visit would further strengthen the close and cordial relations between India and Georgia.

About Georgia:

  • Georgia, a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia, is the former Soviet Republic.
  • It is bounded on the north and northeast by Russia, on the east and southeast by Azerbaijan, on the south by Armenia and Turkey, and on the west by the Black Sea.
  • Its capital is Tbilisi.
  • The currency used here is the Georgian lari.
  • The current President of Georgia is Salome Zourabichvili.

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