December 21, 2012

Elder Gabriel Urgebadze Has Been Canonized

Archimandrite Gabriel (Urgebadze) (26 August, 1929 Tbilisi – 2 November 1995, Mtskheta, Georgia) was canonized on December 20, 2012 by the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church. His feastday will be celebrated on November 2nd, the day of his repose.

Elder Gabriel opposed the communist regime in Soviet Georgia (former republic of the USSR) and was persecuted by the government for many years. He built a four-cupola church in his yard single-handedly. Monk Gabriel was arrested by Soviet police after he burnt down a huge portrait of Lenin during the parade in Tbilisi, 1965. Tortured by KGB for several months monk Gabriel was eventually released from prison.

He was a well-known spiritual guide and wonderworker in Georgia, with many spiritual gifts. During his last years he lived in Samtavro Convent (city of Mtskheta) in the King Mirian’ Tower (built in the fourth century). He was visited by hundreds of pilgrims per day from around the world (mainly from Georgia), and was reputed to have the ability to answer his guests' questions before they could ask. Archimandrite Gabriel was extraordinarily harsh to himself, but was too kind and gentle toward others. He is buried in the yard of Samtavro Transfiguration Orthodox Church.

According to thousands of witnesses the oil from the vigil lamp which constantly burns at the grave of Saint Gabriel has a healing powers (the church often receives letters/reports from the people being healed from disease like cancer, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, etc.). The blood of Saint Gabriel is still incorrupt (photo above).

A website dedicate to Elder Gabriel can be viewed here, and below is footage from the canonization.