The Order of Saint Anthimos the Iberian was handed to Nikoloz Nikolozishvili, the outgoing ambassador of Georgia to Bucharest, by the patriarchal auxiliary bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti.
As a sign of recognition for fostering solid ties between the Romanian and Georgian peoples, the order was given on behalf of Patriarch Daniel of Romania.
“His Excellency is at the end of his mandate as the ambassador of Georgia in Romania. A few days ago, he was received by Patriarch Daniel. On this occasion, they recognized the strengthening of cultural, touristic, and commercial ties between Georgia and Romania,” the patriarchal auxiliary bishop said.
“Although like us, he had to endure this pandemic period full of restrictions, His Excellency has done remarkable things for the cultivation of friendship between the Georgian and Romanian peoples, relations inaugurated more than 300 years ago by the Georgian-born Hieromartyr Saint Anthimos the Iberian,” the bishop noted.
“His Excellency organized at the National Art Museum of Romania an exhibition dedicated to the three centuries of cultural relations between Georgia and Romania, an exhibition of Georgian books printed at the Tbilisi Printing House that were offered to the people and his country of origin by Metropolitan Saint Anthimos the Iberian, along with typographical material and letters he had written.”
“He also organized a hall dedicated to the holy hierarch at “Anthimos the Iberian” High School in Râmnicu Vâlcea. Also, during His Excellency’s mandate, a collaboration protocol was signed between the Embassy of Georgia and the Bucharest high school under the patronage of the holy hierarch,” Bishop Varlaam of Ploiești continued.
“He made several monuments and memorial plaques devoted to prominent figures in Georgian cultural and artistic life, including a plaque dedicated to Metropolitan Iona, who for a time resided in the Moldavian Pangărați Monastery.”
The patriarchal auxiliary bishop also recalled the Georgian children’s choir that took part in the festivities of Saint Anthimos the Iberian at Ramnicu Valcea, where the saint served as bishop. The choir also sang “Cantă cucu-n Bucovina” in flawless Romanian in the courtyard of St. Anthimos Monastery in Bucharest.
“At the completion of his diplomatic mission in our nation, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel presented His Excellency with the Order of Saint Anthimos the Iberian for these reasons. May he enjoy a long life!” His Grace, the Bishop of Ploiești, Varlaam, concluded.
Ambassador Nikoloz Nikolozishvili assisted in creating a direct Bucharest-Tbilisi flight route, which, beginning in February 2018, permitted Romanian and Georgian Christians’ pilgrimages to the holy sites of both nations.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu