MOTHER OF GOD PROTECTOR AND INTERCESSOR OF GEORGIA AND GEORGIANS' MENTALITY
Worship of the Virgin Mary holds a special place in Georgian people’s religious beliefs. She is one of the most distinguished, popular and venerated among other saints. Georgian and foreign historical sources, ecclesiastical narratives, ethnographic materials and relevant scholarly literature show how the idea of to be allocated to Virgin Mary was introduced into the national consciousness of Georgian people during centuries and what forms the worship of St. Mary acquired in Georgian people’s faith. Special patronage of the Virgin Mary for the Georgians contributed to St. Mary’s solid and one of the most distinguished places in the Georgian Christian worldview; becoming one of the most important characteristics of their collective consciousness and identity. In today’s Georgia social and political conditions have helped to advance this idea of St. Mary’s patronage. This idea is a part of the Georgians’ ethnicity, which can contribute to the consolidation of the Georgian population regardless of their faith or nationality. Thus, the newly established holiday dedicated to the Virgin Mary’s patronage, introduction of which is conditioned by the country’s socio-political circumstances, is organic for the Georgian nation and can be considered as one of the means for the consolidation of Georgian state.
The article is based on Georgian and foreign historical sources, ecclesiastical narratives, Georgian ethnographic materials and relevant scholarly literature.
Key words: the Virgin Merry, be allocated, ethnicity, identity.