|Georgian National Museum transfers ancient relic to the Patriarchy|
|April 11, 2008|
The Holy Cross of Tkhota is an ancient relic that dates back to the first half of the IV century A.D. According to a legend, the cross of Tkhota is one of the holy, miraculous crosses of Saint Nino, who arrived in Georgia from Cappadocia during this period. Saint Nino was the first woman who introduced Christianity to this country. She was miraculously healing people and converted the people into Christian religion; she converted the Georgian Queen Nana to Christianity, after which her husband King Mirian declared Christianity an official religion of Georgia in the year 327 and let Saint Nino implement her missionary activities throughout the country. Nino continued spreading Christianity until her death. She is buried in the Bodbe Monastery, in Kakheti region. Her tomb is still famous for its healing ability, which is why thousands of people visit her tomb every year. Saint Nino’s attribute, grapevine cross, which she always carried, is perceived as a symbol of Georgian Christianity.
As for the Holy Cross of Tkhota, it is known that Saint Nino raised this cross in the Mount Tkhota Church and in Udjarma (Kakheti Region). For several centuries the cross was kept in the Kartli Region, Kvemo Chala Church. In XI-XII centuries, the cross was incrusted. In 1937, scientific studies showed that the incrustation was unique and very precious. At present, the Holy Cross of Tkhota is in Tbilisi, Sameba Church.
David Lordkipanidze, the director of the Georgian National Museum, told Georgia Today: “We are happy that the National Museum transferred the Cross of Tkhota to the Patriarch of Georgia. The importance of this cross is huge, as legend tells us that Tkhota Cross may be one of the miraculous crosses of Saint Nino, the one who brought Christianity to Georgia.”
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