Gabrielle’s mom

Beloved brothers and sisters!

Infinitely happy are those people who live under special Heavenly protection. This heavenly guard, or protection, is especially manifested on the part of the Holy Fool, Gabriel Urgebadze.

Who has not, in a moment of terrible danger or in a difficult life trial, when all human help was absent, after praying to Father Gabriel, feel the tender care and protection of the priest?! And at this moment the human heart fills to its fullness towards the great saint of God, Elder Gabriel. He is the Protector of the Christian race. As the priest himself said during his lifetime, all of Georgia and half of Russia are my cross. He covers us all, and entire countries, and peoples, and churches, and our Church, and homes, and families, and each of us who call on Him for help.
And do not say that this Cover is not visible, that It is not above us. He is! We are His children in spirit, and we live by Him, by His intercession, by mercy, by His prayers. How could we live, breathe, and pray here freely if He did not cover us and protect us?..

We are all very different. We are hot-tempered, and irritated, and angry, and proud, and cruel, and too busy with ourselves, and tired of others, and lazy, and burdened, and toiling, and cheerful, and carefree – and in this strange world we all very often experience , sometimes very acute, lack of love. And out of pride we hide this shortcoming – or rather, the fact that we suffer from it – under the guise of vanity and everyday life. But we have our beloved Elder Gabriel, in whose heart there is a place for each of us, we just have to remember and call on Him for help. And here’s what’s amazing: no matter how much we sin, no matter how worse we live, Father still covers for us and has even more pity and prays for us, His ungrateful children. Elder Gabriel is close to us, and He alone is strong enough to protect and help us, His children. He covers our sins, our unworthiness with His boundless fatherly love.
The elder was told that it was difficult to be saved, that there was no grace, no hope.

And he prayed for everyone – for his spiritual children, and for his loved ones, and for all of Georgia and Russia.
This site and our VKontakte group (link) are dedicated to Father Gabriel, as our Heavenly spiritual father. When we turn to Him in prayers, He invisibly covers us with His grace and raises our requests to the throne of the Holy Trinity. The elder, as it were, covers us with his mantle from enemies visible and invisible. The visible ones are all kinds of dangers, loneliness, or illness, or sorrows, troubles and difficulties… He protects us from all this, protects us and protects us. He especially helps where fervent prayer ascends to Him from a loving, believing heart.

Father Gabriel also protects us from invisible enemies. How often do we not notice that the enemy is ready to break into our soul, strike us, seriously wound us and destroy us. And the Lord takes this danger away from us through the prayers of Father Gabriel. By driving away our enemies, He covers and saves us. And what a shame it is that we often do not notice this Heavenly help. Not only do we not try to live constantly under the Protection of the Lord, the Mother of God, and the saints, not only do we not pray with living faith and love, we insult the Lord with our lives and our sins. So let us beg Elder Gabriel to protect us from the villain and murderer; we will also beseech Him to cover us in that terrible hour that will come for each of us – the hour of death. Then the demonic hordes will rush in to tear out the soul and drag it along with them into the dark hellish abyss. Let us pray that He will cover us, drive away these vile demons from our soul, that He will lead us by the hand, like the father of a child, to the bright palaces, so that the Lord will not deprive us there of at least the last abodes of His Paradise, to be where He Himself is, Our Savior, where is His Most Pure Mother and all the holy saints in the blessed heavenly villages.

Prayer to St. Gabriel of Samtavria (Urgebadze)

Oh, blessed Gabriel, like the ancient father and a firm confessor of faith, from his infancy he loved the Lord with all his heart and zealously followed Him! But we, like slaves of unworthiness, lacking piety and humility, but magnifying ourselves in our souls every day, condemning our neighbors, are not imams before God, by whom we can be justified! For this reason, we pray to you: pray to the Lord for us, that He may give us the mind to understand His word, that we may not only be listeners, but also zealous creators of it, and that we may understand that we can do nothing except with the help of God.
Hey, holy of God! Help us to love the Lord and to cleave to Him with all our souls, with all our hearts and thoughts, so that He may give us joy, peace, long-suffering and consolation in our sorrows according to His indescribable mercy. To Him belongs all glory, honor and power. va forever and ever. Amen.


“I saw a large cross in a completely clear sky, cutting the heavens to the very horizon. I didn’t know then, but now I know that this was my cross, which I had to shoulder and carry to my calvary…”

Elder Gabriel of Samtavria (Urgebadze)

Sanctified by the grace of the Holy Spirit, Elder Gabriel never wrote on papers; His words were inscribed in the hearts, minds and souls of men, guiding them on the path of salvation.
Goderdzi (that was the name of the future Archimandrite Gabriel) was born on August 26, 1929 in the capital of Georgia, Tiflis, in the Navtlugi district, on Tetritskaroskaya Street, 11.
God directed him to places where people were suffering or were on the verge of spiritual death. His presence always brought revitalization to society. He liked to lay out a tablecloth in the church yard or on the street, ask for wine (which he called “professor”) and gather everyone around him. He spoke to people without exalted words, sometimes even in slang, sometimes he sang, danced, blessed someone, scolded someone…

One day the neighbors were arguing, and one of them said: “You crucified me like Christ.” The boy became interested in what it means to “crucify” and who Christ is. The adults sent the child to church, where the watchman advised him to read the Gospel. He saved up money, bought the Gospel and after a few years knew the text practically by heart.

The desire for monasticism arose in him in his youth. Later the elder said: “There is no greater heroism than monasticism.” And he proved this throughout his life.
He took monastic vows at the age of 26, receiving the name of St. Gabriel of Athos, an elder who walked on the water and brought the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, which had sailed across the sea, to the Athos shore. Father Gabriel especially revered the miraculous list of Iverskaya, kept in the Samtavro monastery.

In the courtyard of his house, Father Gabriel built a small seven-domed church. He built it with his own hands and finished it around 1962. Father Gabriel’s sisters recalled this period of their brother’s life this way: “I worked from morning to night, but ate almost nothing. Because of this, the mother was very worried and kept asking: “Son, you’re going to die, you work so much and don’t eat anything, is it possible to do that?” She also brought wine and asked: “Drink at least one glass, Vasiko.” You’re a man, what’s wrong with that? Here I am a woman and sometimes I drink one glass, and the priests drink, but maybe you can’t?’ He built the whole church in such a way that, except for him, no one even hammered a nail.”

The church consisted of five rooms. The first, largest, is the church-chapel where Father Gabriel performed priestly service. The second room, elongated, served as the front of the building; it was used to receive people. There was a low table where there was bread and water for the hungry and thirsty, and chairs so that those who came to confession could rest while waiting for their turn. According to Father Gabriel’s elder sister, there was a calm, homely atmosphere there. In the direction of one of the corners of the room, a grave 1 m 40 cm deep was dug, in which Father Gabriel went to sleep. But it was impossible to notice it, since it was covered with a slab of boards on which lay a carpet. The third room, without windows, measuring 1.5 × 2 m, served as Father Gabriel’s cell. In the fourth room, Elder Gabriel performed the evening and morning prayer rules, also read the writings of the holy fathers, and made frames for icons. The fifth room housed a small warehouse.

The walls of his church were completely covered with icons, this showed Father Gabriel’s ardent love for God. The monk found them in city landfills, where numerous shrines were taken along with garbage. He said that “each icon has its own angel, so they need to be revered.” In his workshop, he carefully cleaned the icons and made frames for them from various materials (including from discarded cans of canned fish). He even framed photographs and images of icons from secular magazines. Father Gabriel ordered a full-length icon of Christ the Savior from an artist he knew. While painting the image, the artist, according to the elder’s terms, had to fast and pray, and Father Gabriel was next to him every working day. When the finished icon was brought and hung in the church, all those present felt a pleasant smell, the appearance of which Father Gabriel explained as follows: “It was the Lord who deigned to come to my church.”

On May 1, 1965, during a demonstration, Hieromonk Gabriel burned a 12-meter portrait of Lenin, hung on the building of the Supreme Council of the Georgian SSR, and began to preach Christ to the gathered people. For this he was severely beaten and put in the Georgian KGB detention center. During interrogation, Father Gabriel said: he did this because “you cannot idolize a person. There, in place of the portrait of Lenin, the Crucifixion of Christ should hang. Man doesn’t need fame. We must write: “Glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.” In August 1965, Father Gabriel was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for examination. Here he was declared crazy. The elder was diagnosed: “a psychopathic personality, believes in God and angels.” He was given a “white ticket”. But then even more terrible things happened to him. Church hierarchs, to please the authorities, did not allow him to enter the church, did not allow him to attend services, and drove him away. The priest did not have the opportunity to receive communion, but he wanted this with all his soul. He could go without food for several days, without sleeping for a long time, but he could not live without church. And the elder often cried from powerlessness, opening his soul to his sisters.

Father Gabriel settled in Samtavro in the 1980s; most recently he lived in a round tower. The nuns were surprised for some time at the priest’s eccentricities, until they saw in them a special feat. At first it seemed strange to them that for some time he lived in a chicken coop, where there were large cracks, and walked barefoot in winter… The old man’s behavior did not fit into any framework, did not correlate with any human concept. But then they began to feel that extraordinary love emanated from him: he loved everyone. Often the elder shouted at the sisters, demanded obedience from them, forced them to do something, or could force them to eat from dirty dishes. But it was impossible to be offended by him – tender love shone in his eyes.

During Holy Week, constant crying was heard from his cell. Some saw how during prayer he rose 40–50 centimeters above the ground and light emanated from him. Believers revered Father Gabriel as a great ascetic; they came to him as to a living saint. When the elder received numerous guests, he always made sure that there was “professor” on the table – that’s what he called red wine. While generously treating people, he ate almost nothing himself. Father said that we must feed on Divine love, and not just food.
According to the elder’s will, his body was wrapped in a mat and interred in the place where Saint Nina labored. Father Gabriel died on November 2, 1995 from dropsy.
On December 20, 2012, Gabriel Urgebadze was canonized as a saint by decision of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Georgia.

Father Gabriel was distinguished by special grace. He saw the image of God in every person and did not single out anyone. He always sympathized with the weak and was surprisingly meek, considered himself the last sinner and called us to humility. He often taught: “Before God, all sins are like pebbles. There is no sin in the world that would exceed the mercy of the Lord.”
An ascetic, a man of prayer who has acquired in his heart all-encompassing love and the humility of Christ, St. Gabriel is known as a mentor to monastics. He is also a patron of female monasticism, since he was the spiritual mentor of many abbess and nuns, and ended his days in the Samtavro convent, which he ministered to. Under the leadership of the Monk Gabriel, his children learned to accept the will of God and show unquestioning obedience, and cultivated humility and love for God and their neighbors in their souls.

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