Evdemoz (Diasamidze) I of Georgia

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[[Category: Catholicos-Patriarchs of Georgia]]

Revision as of 08:05, February 25, 2012

Our father among the saints Evdemoz (Diasamidze) I of Georgia was Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia from 1632 to 1642. Catholicos-Patriarch Evdemoz defended the Christian soul of the Georgian people during the time the Georgian people were oppressed by the Persian supported self-styled King Rostom-Khan. Catholicos Evdemoz is commemorated on October 4.

Life

Little is known of the early life of Evdemoz. He was the Catholicos-Patriarch during the time Rostom-Khan came to rule of the united kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti in 1682. Rostom, a Georgian convert to Islam, was placed as the Georgian viceroy (Wali) of Kartli by the Persian Shah Abbas I of Safavid. While Rostom attempted to balance the beliefs and customs of the Persian Shah and the Georgian people, it brought about the deterioration of the moral life of the country and people. Human vices became common.

Catholicos Evdemoz did not surrender to the moral decline of the people. He confronted the crisis with faith, conviction, and fearlessness. He encouraged the Georgian military leaders to rebel against the Persians. Catholicos Evdemoz resisted the Islamic custom of raising the king's heirs in the shah's court from a young age. He was never too timid to point out to the king his wrong doing and tell him that: "You are the natural father of the Muslims, but the step-father of the Christians." Evdemoz was the spiritual father of Queen Mariam, the daughter of Manuchar Dadiani, the Prince of Bamegrelo. Although married to Rostom-Khan, she remained true to her Christian faith.

Through Queen Mariam's support of Catholicos Evdemoz they were able to keep the Christian soul of the Georgian people alive. The Georgians built churches, wrote spiritual literature and regained their national consciousness. Evdemoz preached throughout the country, He developed and implemented a plan to bring back King Teimuraz, who had been driven out by Shah Abbas, to the throne.

The activities of Catholicos Evdemoz caused Rostom much unease as the Evdemoz gained a strong influence over the Georgian people. In 1642 Rostom had Catholicos Evdemoz arrested. Rostom tried to win the Catholicos over. Neither Rostom's feigned friendliness nor his threats could break the firm will of Catholicos Evdemoz's love for Christ and the motherland above all else. After his arrest, Catholicos Evdemoz criticized the king more harshly and called on the people to rise up against him. Finally Rostom ordered that Catholicos Evdemoz be strangled to death in his prison cell. As a further insult, Rostom had Evdemoz's body thrown off Nariqala Fortress, in Tbilisi, in the direction of the Turkish baths.

During the night, a group of Christians retrieved the body of hieromartyr Evdemoz and buried it in the northwest corner of Anchiskhati Church in Tbilisi.

Succession box:
Evdemoz (Diasamidze) I of Georgia
Preceded by:
Zakaria (Djordjadze)
Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia
1632-1642
Succeeded by:
Cristefore (Urdubegisdze)
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