George (Saint), Surnamed Mthatsmidel

George (Saint), Surnamed Mthatsmidel abbot of Mtha-Tsminda, was born in Thrialet about 1014. He was at the age of seven years consecrated to the monastic life. Carried to Constantinople by the Greeks, who took him prisoner in 1021, he remained there twelve years, and obtained a thorough knowledge of the sciences and the Greek language. Returning to Georgian he entered a monastery, from which he went forth privately to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and afterwards to Mt. Athos, where in seven years he translated a large part of the Bible into the Georgian language. The remainder of his life was spent in analogous occupation. He composed a life of St. Euthymius, some theological treatises, and translated a large number of works of the Greek fathers. About 1051 he became abbot of the Georgian convent of Mt. Athos, called Mtha-Tsminda; which he repaired with the funds furnished by the emperor Constantine Monomachus. King Bagrad IV offered him the bishopric of Mingrelia, but he declined, and even abandoned the office of abbot, retiring to a monastery in Taurus. In 1059, king Bagrad put him in charge of the education of his son, George II. St. George died about 1072. His festival is celebrated June 28 or 29. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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