July 15

From the Prologue

At baptism Vladimir was called Basil and was the son of Prince Svyatoslav, and the grandson of Igor and Olga. In the beginning Vladimir was a total pagan both in his belief and in his lifestyle. Learning that other faiths exist, he carefully began to inquire as to which of them was the very best. For this reason he sent emissaries to Constantinople. When the emissaries returned they informed the prince that they attended a service in the Orthodox Church of the Divine Wisdom and that they were "outside themselves, not knowing whether they were on earth or in heaven." This inspired Vladimir to be baptized and to baptize his people. The main idol, Perun, was removed from the hill of Kiev and hurled into the Dnieper river. After embracing the Christian Faith, Vladimir completely changed his life and exerted all of his efforts to correctly fulfill all the rules of this Faith. In place of the destroyed idols, Vladimir ordered churches to be built throughout his state and he built a beautiful church to the All-Holy Mother of God in Kiev. This church was built on the same spot where St. Theodore and his son, John, earlier suffered martyrdom for Christ (July 12). With that same irresistible effort with which Vladimir earlier protected idolatry, he now spread Christianity. He found repose in the Lord in the year 1015 A.D.



The rage of idolatry, when it ruled the world,

Julitta, with the child Cyriacus suffered,

Two innocent victims, two neo-symbols,

Of the Incarnate Word, two living witnesses.

Of all earthly riches, more precious is truth,

Neither for herself nor for her son did the mother grieve,

Over youth, wealth nor strength, did not grieve,

Follows in Christ's footsteps, without turning back

Who, the truth recognizes, is born again,

To peace and freedom, truth leads him.

Blessed Julitta, the truth sensed

When with the Cross she was baptized and with the Faith illumined.

Full of God's peace and true freedom

Without screams and fear, she saw her son dead

Without screams and fear, her head she placed under the sword

By a martyr's death, she glorified the Truth.

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