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St. Queen Ketevan’s Relics: Georgia

  • 15 Jul 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, India has gifted one part of the holy relics of 17th century St. Queen Ketevan to the Georgian government.

  • These relics were gifted on the first ever visit of India’s External Affairs Minister to independent Georgia.
  • Georgia is a strategically important country situated at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Queen Ketevan was from Kakheti, a kingdom in eastern Georgia.
    • It is believed that, she was killed in 1624 in Shiraz (modern day Iran) for not converting to Islam.
    • The parts of her remains were brought to Goa by Augustinian monks in 1627.
    • The relics of the martyred Queen Ketevan were found by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 2005 in the ruins of the Church of St. Augustine in Goa.
    • Many historical, religious and spiritual sentiments of the Georgian people are attached to St. Queen Ketevan.

Church of St. Augustine

  • Church of St. Augustine is a ruined church complex located in Goa.
  • The church was completed in 1602 by Augustinian monks who landed in Goa in 1587.
  • The church was abandoned in 1835 after the Portuguese government of Goa began evicting many religious orders in Goa under its new repressive policies.
  • The subsequent neglect caused the vault of the church to collapse in 1842.
  • It is a part of the Churches and convents of Goa, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • India-Georgia Relations:
    • Historical Background: Fables from India’s Panchtantra are believed to have influenced the Georgian folk legends.
      • Those links were further strengthened in medieval ages by missionaries, travelers, and traders.
    • Recent Visit: India was willing to do more in terms of investment in Georgia, which ranks highly in the ease of doing business index.
      • Georgia has also applied for EU (European Union) membership, which, if accepted, would give India another gateway to Europe, and a foothold in the Caucasus.
      • There is also a political significance of this visit, given the hostile relations between Russia and Georgia.
        • India has given clear signals to Russia that it was not happy with the recent visit of Russia’s foreign minister to Pakistan.

Caucasus

  • Mountain system and region lying between the Black Sea (west) and the Caspian Sea (east) and occupied by Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.

Source: TH

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