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Georgian Catholics celebrate Christmas

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, December 26
Georgian Catholics celebrated Christmas together with the rest of the Catholic world on December 25. A liturgy was held at the Cathedral of Our Lady in Tbilisi, where the mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava, congratulated Catholics with Christmas. “This is a day of hope and faith for believers,” Ugulava said.

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili also congratulated Georgian Catholic Christians.

“Today, a big part of the Christian world celebrates Christmas. Christ’s birth is the beginning of European civilization, of an absolutely different culture, of a new attitude towards the world. The birth of Christ and of all virtues is a feast of kindness and humanism,” Gharibashvili said in his written statement. Congratulating all the Georgian citizens for whom December 25 is a big celebration, Gharibashvili wished them happiness, prosperity, and success in a peaceful Georgia.

Margvelashvili congratulated the Georgian Catholics celebrating Christmas together with the Catholic world with all his heart. He said Georgia is a country of religious diversity and respects differences so that this respect, above all, is recognition of the invaluable contribution of citizens with various religions have had, making a tremendous impact on Georgian history and culture.

“The contribution of Catholic Georgians is special. Their spiritual, cultural, social, and educational activities are an integral part of our common pursuit of a better future. I wish Catholic families well-being, peace, and happiness,” Margvelashvili stated.

Meanwhile, according to Fox News, “Pope Francis lauded Jesus' humble beginning as a poor and vulnerable baby as he celebrated his first Christmas Eve Mass as pontiff in St. Peter's Basilica” in the Vatican on Tuesday.

"You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich, and you made yourself poor, you are all-powerful and you made yourself vulnerable," Francis said of Jesus.

Francis has dedicated much of his nine-month-old papacy to drawing attention to the plight of the poor, of children, and other vulnerable members of society.

"God is peace: let us ask him to help us to be peacemakers each day, in our life, in our families, in our cities and nations, in the whole world," Reuters reported him saying.

The mass was the first of many services Francis will lead during the holidays. According to the BBC, in his “Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message on Christmas Day, Francis said that “every Christian can choose between darkness and light, love and hate.”

The Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7th of the Gregorian calendar.