Melchizedek III (Pkhaladze) of Georgia

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His Holiness and Beatitude Melchizedek III (Pkhaladze) of Georgia was Archbishop of Mtsheta and Tbilisi and Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia from 1952 to 1960. While he was Catholicos-Patriarch, he was successful in reopening churches in Bodbe, Motsameta, and Ilori in the face of anti-religious pressure from the government of the Soviet Union.


Mikheil Pkhaladze (Georgian: მიხეილ ფხალაძე) was born in the Tiflis Governorate of the Russian Empire during 1872, Mikheil attended the Tiflis Theological Seminary before enrolling at the Kazan Theological Academy. After his graduation, he taught at a number seminaries throughout Russia and Georgia.

Mikheil entered the Holy Orders and was ordained a priest in 1915. After the Russian 1917 February revolution, the Church of Georgia declared its autocephaly. With the restoration of autocephaly in late 1917, Fr. Mikheil returned to Georgia. In 1922, Fr. Mikheil was appointed priest at Sioni Cathedral in Tbilisi. Later he moved to the Anchiskhati Basilica of St. Mary.

In 1925, Fr. Mikheil was tonsured a monk with the name Melchizedek. Following his tonsure he was then consecrated a bishop at the Monastery of Alaverdi where he remained until 1927. In 1927, he was raised to the dignity of archbishop and appointed Archbishop of Sukhumi in Abkhazia. In 1928, Abp. Melchizedek was transferred to head the Church of the Transfiguration in Tbilisi. In 1943, he was appointed Metropolitan of Sukhumi and Abkhazia, and then in 1944, he was given a position at Didube Church in Tbilisi.

On April 5, 1952, Abp. Melchizedek was elected Catholicos-Patriarch of the All Georgia after the reposed on February 3, 1952 of Catholicos-Patriarch Callistratus (Tsintsadze). Although under constant Soviet pressure, he was able to expand church activity. Catholicos-Patriarch Melchizedek reposed on January 10, 1960.

Succession box:
Melchizedek III (Pkhaladze) of Georgia
Preceded by:
Callistratus (Tsintsadze)
Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia
Succeeded by:
Ephraim II
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