St Vladimir, Great Prince of Russia.

Commemorated July 15 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

Vladimir was the son of Prince Svyatoslav, and grandson of Igor and Olga, and was at first completely pagan in faith and life. Learning of the existence of various faiths, he began to examine them, to decide which was best. He therefore sent envoys to Constantinople. When they returned, they told the Prince that they had been at a service in the Orthodox Church of St Sophia, and that they had been 'out of ourselves, not knowing if we were on earth or in heaven'. This inspired Vladimir to be badtised, receiving the name Vasilii, and to baptise his people. The chief idol, Perun, was dragged off the hill of Kiev and thrown into the Dnieper. Embracing the Christian faith, Vladimir utterly changed his way of life and devoted all his labour to the perfect fulfilling of the demands of his faith. He decreed that churches be built throughout the land on the places where the idols had been pulled down, and himself built a beautiful church in Kiev to the most holy Mother of God. This church was built on the selfsame spot where St Theodore and his son John suffered martyrdom for Christ (see July 12th). With the same irresistible force with which Vladimir earlier upheld idolatry, he now spread Christianity. He entered into rest in the Lord in 1015.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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