Georgia: Tbilisi residents commemorate sacrifice of Hundred Thousand Martyrs

Hundreds of people flooded the streets of Tbilisi on Friday to commemorate the sacrifice of the Hundred Thousand Martyrs who defended the Orthodox faith in 1226. Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia and the spiritual leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church Ilia II attended the ceremony. According to the Georgian 'Chronicle of a Hundred Years,' in 1226 the conqueror of Tbilisi Khwarezmid sultan Jalal ad-Din put to death everyone who refused to accept Islam and renounce Christ. At his command, two Orthodox icons were placed at the centre of the bridge across the Mtkvari River. The invaders goaded the people to the bridge, ordering them to cross it and spit on the holy icons. Those who betrayed the Christian Faith and mocked the icons were spared their lives, while the Orthodox confessors were beheaded. A reported hundred thousand Georgians sacrificed their lives to venerate the holy icons. The hundreds of thousands of severed heads and decapitated bodies were carried by the bloody current down the Mtkvari River.