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Parliament sets ‘Day of Georgia’s Allotted to St. Mary’

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, May 10
Georgian Parliament will declare May 12 as ‘Day of Georgia’s Allotted to Virgin Mary.’

They based the decision on ancient texts which read that after the crucifixion of Christ, his apostles and Saint Mary randomly selected the countries where to spread Christianity. It turned out that Saint Many should have come to Georgia with the mission. However, Virgin’s death was approaching and Saint Andrew replaced her. That is why Georgia is regarded as the country allotted to and protected by Saint Mary.

The Georgian Dream government’s Parliamentary Secretary Natia Mikeladze presented the proposed changes to legislators.

96 MPs of the 150-member legislative body voted for the amendment in the Labor Code, which set May 12 as a day off.

May 12 is already a day off in the country as many Georgians mark Saint Andrew’s Day, the first saint who sought to spread Christianity in Georgia in the 1st century.

Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze appealed to Parliament to discuss the issue on setting the Day of Georgia dedicated to St. Mary on April 4, 'in an accelerated manner.'

The initiative regarding the day belonged to Georgian Patriarch Ilia II, which he voiced last year.

Several of the opposition MPs refrained from participation in the voting.

Many welcomed and many criticized the decision on social networks, saying the step is 'populist,' aimed at attracting votes in the May 19 by-elections.

Others grilled the government for spending time on such issues, in a country with the severe economic condition.