Commemorated on July 8
King Mirdat (408–410), the son of Varaz-Bakur, was the first martyred king of Georgia. He was raised by his maternal grandfather, King Trdat.
The faithful grandfather taught the future king to love God and his nation, and the young prince mindfully preserved his grandfather’s wisdom throughout his life. Mirdat was endowed with the greatest of a nobleman’s virtues: wisdom, discretion, physical prowess, fearlessness, valor, and courage. He liberated Klarjeti from the Byzantines, abolished the tribute system (by which Georgia was required to pay taxes to Persia), and prepared for war against the Persians.
The Persian king gathered an enormous army to punish the Georgian nation, and King Mirdat courageously marched toward Gardabani (in eastern Georgia) with his much smaller army. But the selflessness and bravery of the Georgian soldiers were no match for the multitude of Persian warriors. The Georgians suffered defeat, and the Persian conquerors captured the young king.
The Persian king demanded that Mirdat renounce the Christian Faith, but he was firmly rebuffed. Neither intimidation nor fear of persecution would break the will of the king. After torturing him for his love of Christ, the Persians bound him in chains, tormented him almost to death, and cast him into prison, where he gave up his soul to the Lord.
The martyrdom of King Mirdat took place at the beginning of the 5th century, in the year 410.
© 2006 St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood.