SAINT MICHAEL

May 2

From the Prologue

Boris was born and educated as a pagan and was baptized under the influence of his uncle Bojan and his sister. At baptism, he was given the name Michael. Patriarch Photius sent him priests who gradually baptized all the Bulgarian people. Many Bulgarian noblemen opposed this new Faith but the new Faith conquered and the Cross glistened on many churches built by the devout Tsar Michael. The Faith among the Bulgarians, as among the Serbs, was especially established by the Five Followers, the disciples of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who preached to the people the knowledge of Christ in the vernacular: the Slavonic language.

In his old age Michael retreated to a monastery and was tonsured a monk. When his son Vladimir began to destroy his father's work and to exterminate Christianity, Michael again donned his military uniform, girded himself with a sword, ousted Vladimir from the throne and installed Simeon, his younger son, as Tsar. After that, he again clothed himself in the monastic habit and retreated in silence where, in mortification and prayer, he completed his earthly life "in the good faith; in the correct confession of our Lord Jesus Christ; great, honorable and devout," and took up habitation in the heavenly life on May 2, 906 A.D.

HYMN OF PRAISE

SAINT MICHAEL [BORIS] THE BULGARIAN

Michael the Bulgarian, the people with the Cross he baptized,

Numbered the pagans, into the flock of Christ,

And by his example, touched the hearts of men,

That the saving faith, men may love.

Built churches and paganism weeded out

And in himself, the Spirit of God glorified.

In addition, the glory and vanity of men, he abandoned,

To men, he taught truth and justice.

Did not himself, pity because of God's Name

And for the sake of the salvation of the Bulgarian people.

Wedded was he on earth with a wreath of reigning,

And in heaven, with a wreath of eternal rejoicing.





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