Holy Catholicos Petre and Holy Catholicos Samoel (5th–6th centuries)
Memory 30 November (13 December)
Saint Petre was the first catholicos of
It is written in the biography of Holy King Vakhtang IV Gorgasali that the king was introduced to Petre, a pupil of St. Gregory the Theologian, during one of his visits to
The close spiritual bond of the holy king and the catholicos, combined with their concerted efforts on behalf of the Church, contributed immeasurably to the establishment of friendly political relations between
Having returned to his own capital, King Vakhtang sent an envoy to
St. Petre ruled the Church according to the principle of autocephaly and established a form of self-rule that would later help to increase the authority of the Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church.
The mutual respect and cooperation of the catholicos and the holy king laid the foundations for future, harmonious relations between secular and Church authorities in
Petre accompanied Holy King Vakhtang Gorgasali to war with the Persians in 502. It is written that “the fatally wounded king Vakhtang summoned the catholicos, the queen, his sons and all the nobility.” St. Petre heard the king's last confession, granted the remission of his sins, presided at his funeral service, and blessed the prince Dachi (502–514) to succeed him as king of Kartli.
Holy Catholicos Petre led the
After the repose of Catholicos Petre, Samoel succeeded him, and King Dachi “bestowed upon him the city of
What we know of St. Samoel's activity paints him as a pastor who demonstrated great foresight and cared deeply about his flock. He was also a close acquaintance of the holy martyr Queen Shushanik.
St. Samoel faithfully served the Autocephalous Church of Georgia and labored to strengthen the Christian Faith of the Georgian people to the end of his days.
The Holy Synod of the Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church canonized the holy catholicos Petre and the holy catholicos Samoel on
O Holy Petre, first catholicos of Kartli, and Blessed Samoel, heirs of the disciples and wise shepherds of the
For further information on the book THE LIVES OF THE GEORGIAN SAINTS by Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze contact St. Herman Press:
St. Herman Press, P.O. Box 70, Platina, CA 96076
20 / 12 / 2007
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