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WASHINGTON, DC: February 13, 2008
Metropolitan David of Alaverdi Prays in the ROCOR Cathedral in Washington

On Sunday evening, February 10, a hierarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, His Eminence David (Makharadze), Metropolitan of Alaverdi, visited the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Washington, DC. Accompanying him were Abbess Ioanna, Prioress of Shuamta Monastery, and Mother Thecla, a nun of that monastery. The clergy and parishioners of the Cathedral greeted His Eminence with the pealing of bells. After Archpriest Victor Potapov, parish rector, extended a warm welcome to His Eminence on behalf of the entire community, Metropolitan David served a moleben to St John the Great Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptizer of our Lord; it was served in Georgian, Slavonic and English. At the conclusion of the service, Metropolitan David gave a short homily, in the course of which he relayed the blessing of Most Holy Iliya II, Patriarch-Catholicos of all Georgia. He distributed to the gathered faithful icons of St John the Baptist from a monastic skete in his diocese which is dedicated to the Feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist.

At the evening meal prepared by the parish Sisterhood, Vladyka Metropolitan showed a documentary film about the holy places in his diocese, and spoke of the revival of monasticism and church life both in Eastern Georgia and throughout the country.

Vladyka intends to visit a number of monasteries in the USA and to venerate the most-precious relics of Holy Hierarch St John of Shanghai and San Francisco.