TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president on Monday posthumously honored priest Ilia Kartozia, 27, for his bravery rescuing people in the Norman Atlantic ferry disaster.
The fire on Norman Atlantic started on December 28. There were eight Georgians aboard, all of whom survived except Kartozia. The ones who survived described his heroic actions.
The body of Kartozia arrived in Tbilisi on Sunday. A crowd of people was waiting at the airport as the coffin arrived, including clerics and relatives, and a choir performed. The body was brought to Sameba Cathedral in Tbilisi.
Patriarch Ilia II conducted the funeral, which was attended by government officials, including the finance minister and the Tbilisi mayor, as well as the US Ambassador to Georgia.
President Margvelashvili awarded the deceased with the Order of Honor, which is given to persons who have displayed heroism in different fields.
On Tuesday, the body will be moved to Davit Aghmashenebeli Monastery in Mtskheta, the place of his service, where it will be buried in the yard.
Kartozia was on his way to visit the grave crypt of Saint Nicholas in Bari, Italy. He had with him a backpack full of icons which he said he would always carry with him.