While traveling in Georgia in June, 2007, I visited the Alaverdi Cathedral, near Telavi. The church was founded in the 6th-century, by St. Joseph, one of the 13 Syrian Fathers. We drove in from Sighnaghi that Sunday morning and attended Divine Liturgy. My short time there was a highlight of my Georgian experience.
I was excited to discover this fascinating documentary from 2006. The feast day for St. Joseph is celebrated in September. From time immemorial, pilgrims have come to Alaverdi for the feast. In time, a festival grew up around the observance. During the years of Communist control, the festival continued and grew, though without any religious connotation.
I found the documentary to be absolutely incredible, and quite moving. Now it seems there exists something of a tension between those who come for the feast of the Church, and those who still hold to the habits and patterns of life learned under 3 generations of Communism.
I believe the narrator at the first of the film is Bishop David of Alaverdi, whom I had the honor of meeting in Sighnaghi.
The documentary is in 2 sections--be sure to watch each of them.