(published April 29, 2013)
The first visit of a head of a sovereign democratic state to the Cathedral took place here on Palm Sunday evening. An overflow crow of over 250 people filled the Cathedral's Metropolitan Theophilius Pashkovsky Auditorium for a Town Hall meeting with President Mikheil Saakashvili and members of the Georgian diaspora in New York.Before addressing the assembly, the president was met in the temple by the Cathedral Dean, Archimandrite Christopher, and venerated small portion of the robe of the Holy Isapostle Nino, Enlightener of the Georgian people, enshrined in the Cathedral, which was brought to America by the last Exarch of Georgia, Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdesvensky) after the restoration of the autocephalous Georgian Patriarchate in 1917. President Saakasjvili also viewed a newly painted icon of they Mystical Supper, blessed earlier in the day by His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York/Diocese of New York and New Jersey, which was painted in the Cathedral's Dining Room (trapeza). It is a replica of an icon from one of Georgia's most ancient monasteries, and was painted by parishioner George Gogolashvili and other members of the Cathedral, and enshrined in a dais designed and built by parishioner Zurab Mosashvili. It was a joy and honor for us to host this event.
(click picture to enlarge)