Please Remember in Your Prayers

Schema-Archimandrite Joachim; Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Deacon Michael Bishop; Mat. Myra Kovalak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz, Michael Stanka; Bernadine Borawick; Julia Aymold; Mary Johnson; Olga Chanat; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Matushka Marianne Lobalbo; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Constantine; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Maria and Alexander Lozada; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr Borodkin; Anthony and John Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Mat. Galina, Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Maksim Krayushkin; Valentina; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina, Nina, and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; Marian, Irena and Isabella; Kateryna Koshlaba; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger.

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Bulletin

7th Sunday after Pentecost

Tone 6

 

July 10/23, 2017

 

The Placing of the Precious Robe of the Lord in Moscow (1625); Holy 45 Martyrs at Nicopolis in Armenia, including Leontius, Maurice, Daniel, Anthony, Alexander, Anicetus, Sisinius, Meneus, Belerad (Verelad) and others (319); Venerable Anthony of the Kiev Caves Monastery and Founder of Russian Monasticism (1073); Venerable Silouan of the Far Caves in Kiev (13th-l4th c.); Martyr Apollonius of Sardis (3rd c.); Martyrs Bianor and Silvanus of Pisidia (4th c.); Venerable Fathers of the desert and caves of Scetis martyred by the impious Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria (398); Venerable Eumenius (1920) and Parfenius (1905) of Gortinsk; Hieromartyrs Peter and Stephen, Priests, and Gregory and Nestor, Deacons (1918). Icon of the Mother of God: "Konevits" Icon.

 

 

Today’s Scriptural Readings:      

Romans 15: 1-7   /  Matthew 9: 27-35

1 Corinthians 1: 18-24  /  Mark 15: 16-32

Fr. John’s Sermons (Video): Click here  

 

 

 

This  Week’s  Liturgical  Calendar

Wednesday, July 26th – 7:00 PM

Akathist to the All Holy Spirit – in Church

* Order of Confession *

Saturday, July 29th – 6:00 PM

Vigil Service in the Chapel

Sunday, July 30th – 10:00 AM

Divine Liturgy in Church

 

 

Divine Services at Holy Trinity are now live-streamed at

https://www.youtube.com/user/HolyTrinitySermons

 

 

Please Join us for Coffee Hour – Today after Services

Today’s sponsors: Dr. Pat and Russ Disharoon

 

Last Sunday’s Picnic – Thank you very much!

All of us offer our thanks to Vadim Radchenko and Albert Blaszak for coordinating last week’s Shashlik Picnic at Cathedral Gardens and to everyone who generously donated all kinds of dishes. We genuinely appreciate everyone who helped with cooking, serving and cleaning up…and of course everyone who attended. Because of all of you, the day was very enjoyable and the food was great. More than 80 people attended. Thank you.

 

Brotherhood Crab Fest – Friday, July 28th – 6:30 PM

The St. Alexander Nevsky Brotherhood will sponsor a Crab Fest on Friday, July 28th beginning at 6:30 PM at Cathedral Gardens Ray Zaitin Pavilion. All-you-can-eat fresh steamed crabs, corn on the cob and soft drinks will be served. Reservations are strongly recommended. Price: $30/person if RSVP by Wednesday, July 26th;  Price at the door: $45/person. Make your reservations early to get the lower price. For reservations/information, call Albert Blaszak: 410-799-3226 or alb42@verizon.net.

 

Special Parish Meeting – July 30

This is an official announcement of a Special Parish Meeting scheduled for Sunday, July 30 after Divine Liturgy. The purpose of the meeting is to decide on continuing the restoration work of the church interior. We will review proposals for repair of the plaster, restoration of icons, general painting, and iconography for the ceiling. All parishioners are urged to attend this very important and historic meeting. Please see Michael Mickel or Vadim Radchenko to obtain copies of the proposals for review. 

 

Russian Festival Meeting – August 2

The Russian Festival Committee will meet on August 2nd at 7:00 PM.

The agenda is filled with many important items that need to be addressed.

The meeting is open to everyone. We really need your help.

 

Parish Picnics at ‘Cathedral Gardens’ / Ray Zaitin Pavilion

On Sunday, August 20th the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at Sts. Peter & Paul Chapel located at Cathedral Gardens, our parish cemetery. Afterwards, we will conduct a picnic at the Ray Zaitin Pavilion. We need your help, please contact Natalie Burbelo, Albert Blaszak or Vadim Radchenko.

 

Sunday, August 20  – Liturgy at the Chapel (10:00 AM) and our Annual ‘Spas’ Fish Fry – 

An expanded menu of various grilled fish and fish kabobs will be offered. More information to come… 

 

Vigil Candles: On the Altar and near St. Barbara

July 23-29:  Candles offered by the Disharoon Family for the repose of the souls of the departed servants of God: +Jane Hedtmann and +Mary Omlaten. A $15 donation will keep all three candles lit for one week. Schedule your candle offering with Vadim Radchenko 410-465-6172. Thank you.

 

Birthday / Anniversary Celebrations:  July 16-22

We offer our best wishes and birthday congratulations to Anastasia Blaszak (7/25) and Drew Pastor (7/27), Angel Day congratulations to Veronica Burbelo (7/25) and Wedding Anniversary congratulations to Donald-John & Yulia-Ksenia Griffith (07/24). May God bless them with health, prosperity and many years. To include your birthday /anniversary in the bulletin please call Fr. John.

 

 

Icon Restoration

The cleaning and restoration of the Pentecost icon on the south wall of the church has been completed. Over the course of seven days, Katerina Spilio of Byzantium Art Studio Decorative and Conservation Arts (http://www.byzantiumarts.com/) and her fellow artist cleaned and enhanced the  beauty of the icon. The aim was to create a transitional style that was neither austerely Byzantine, but no longer classic, either. Katerina made some corrections to the scale, perspective, shading and light. She tried to get this icon of Pentecost closer in style to the icons on the iconostasis. This will make the entire church more harmonious in style. At the general parish meeting on July 30, we will discuss the approval of continuing this work on all of the other icons that are on canvas. Katerina Spilio is planning to attend the meeting to discuss the rest of the restoration work and plans for new icons to the ceiling and walls.

 

Important Decisions

Next Sunday we will decide on how to beautify the church interior. This work will have an impact on the life of our parish for generations to come. For this it is so important for us to seek and understand the Will of God. And so, let us prayerfully prepare for this historic meeting. On Wednesday, July 26th, we will sing the Akathist Hymn to the All-Holy Spirit, followed by the order of Confession. This will help us all to prepare for Holy Communion on Sunday, the day of the meeting. The more we pray the more we open our hearts and minds to the Will of God.

 

 

Water Park Trip – Thank you!

Yesterday more than 30 youth and parents attended our annual trip to Guppy Gulch, a water park in Delta, PA. Everyone really enjoyed the warm, clear water and the many inflatable attractions on the lake. We offer our thanks to Olga Hansen for coordinating the trip and to all the parents who helped make this trip another success. If you have never been on this trip, you should seriously consider joining us next year. We all have a good time.

 

 

Bans of Marriage Announced

We are happy to announce the approaching marriage of Kaela Elizabeth MacNeil and Richard Anthony Merkle, who will be crowned in marriage in our church on Sunday, August 6, 2017.  We pray that our Lord will bless their union with peace, love and oneness of mind. God grant them many years.

 

Engagements

We are very happy to announce engagements and approaching marriages for the following couples in our parish:

Brian-Seraphim Cardell & Katerine Page announce their engagement and upcoming marriage on Nov. 19, 2017.

Anysia Materewicz & Shane Sierakowski, who are engaged, announce their upcoming marriage on June 2, 2018.

Rusana Rassokhina & Daniel Lacher announce their engagement and upcoming marriage in the summer of 2018.

 

PaTRAM Institute presents the Annual Labor Day Conductors' & Singers' Workshop

The Annual Labor Day Conductors' and Singers' Workshop (Sept. 1-4) at Holy Trinity Monastery/Seminary in Jordanville, NY gives the aspiring church musician-whether just starting out or with moderate musical skills- a chance to grow as a singer or choir conductor! Strengthen your abilities under the direction of acclaimed conductor and mentor Dr. Peter Jermihov and esteemed faculty, Fr. Ephraim Willmarth, Laryssa Doohovskoy and Dr. Irina Riazanova. For more information visit: https://www.smore.com/yntsx-my-smore-flyer?ref=email 

 

Cleaning Group – Group #2 /  Join a Group – Help your brothers and sisters

Group #2 will clean this week July 24-29: Natallia Makarava (captain),

Mikhail Merzliakov, Catalin Frujinoiu and Anca Frujinoiu. 

These groups need more members.

 


Volunteers Needed

We are forming a schedule of volunteers who will stand at the back of the church to greet people as they come into church, to answer their questions and to sell candles. This is a very important responsibility that more of our parishioners should share. Please contact Natalie Burbelo for more information.

 

Cathedraticum Offering

Our box of offering envelopes has a variety of additional envelopes for special collections.  One asks for donations for the Cathedraticum.  Please note that this offering is in addition to your pledge. The Cathedraticum is what each and every one of our Patriarchal Parishes offers in support of our diocese and our St. Nicholas Cathedral in NYC.  Every individual adult is expected to offer $50.00 to support our cathedral and bishop, as per the Operating Budget of the Patriarchal Parishes. Single pledging adult = $50; Married couple under one family pledge = $100…etc. Submit your Cathedraticum Offering to the Parish Treasurer, Albert Blaszak. Write “Cathedraticum” on the memo line of your check or in a specially marked envelope. Thank you for your commitment to our Church.

 

Submit your 2017 Pledge

Please be generous as the Lord is generous to you.

Our church cannot operate without your financial contributions.

Our parish will grow only through your prayers, work and generous sacrifice.

 

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.   (2 Corinthians 9:6)

 

Please Remember in Your Prayers…

Schema-Archimandrite Joachim; Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Deacon Michael Bishop; Mat. Myra Kovalak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz, Michael Stanka; Bernadine Borawick; Julia Aymold; Mary Johnson; Olga Chanat; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Matushka Marianne Lobalbo; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Constantine; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Maria and Alexander Lozada; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr Borodkin; Anthony and John Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Mat. Galina, Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Maksim Krayushkin; Valentina; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina, Nina, and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; Marian, Irena and Isabella; Kateryna Koshlaba; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger.

 

Next Council Meeting: Thursday, August 17th – 7:00 PM in the Church Hall

 

Fr. John Vass, Pastor  410-997-0802

Fr. Deacon Michael Bishop:                       410-563-0472

Victor Marinich, Council President:          443-512-0985

Vadim Radchenko, Vice President:              410-465-6172

Andrei Burbelo,  Recording Secretary:    443-567-6031

Albert Blaszak, Treasurer:                             410-799-3226

Monika Handley, Stewardship Chair:      410-263-5758

Anna-Zumrat Shkurba, Member-At-Large: 443-857-8541

Natalie Burbelo, Sisterhood President:   443-567-6031

Michael Mickel, Cemetery Manager:             410-666-2870

 

 

Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir

Friday, July 15/28

 

Few names in the annals of history can compare in significance with the name of holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Vladimir, the Baptiser of Rus', who stands forever at the onset of the foreordained spiritual destiny of the Russian Church and the Russian Orthodox people. Vladimir was the grandson of holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Olga, and he was the son of Svyatoslav (+ 972). His mother, Malusha (+ 1001) – was the daughter of Malk Liubechanin, whom historians identify with Mal, prince of the Drevlyani. Having subdued an uprising of the Drevlyani and conquered their cities, Princess Olga gave orders to execute prince Mal, for his attempt to marry her after his murder of her husband Igor, and she took to herself the children of Mal, Dobrynya and Malusha. Dobrynya grew up to be a valiant brave warrior, endowed with a mind for state affairs, and he was later on an excellent help to his nephew Vladimir in matters of military and state administration.

 

The "capable girl" Malusha became a Christian (together with Great Princess Olga at Tsar'grad), but she preserved in herself a bit of the mysterious darkness of the pagan Drevlyani forests. And thus she fell in love with the austere warrior Svyatoslav, who against the will of his mother Olga made her his wife. The enraged Olga, reckoning as unseemly the marriage of her "housekeeper" and captive servant with her son Svyatoslav, heir to the Great Kiev principality, sent Malusha away to her own native region not far off from Vybut'. And there in about the year 960 was born the boy, called with the Russian pagan name – Volodimir, meaning peaceful ruler, ruling with a special talent for peace.

 

In the year 970 Svyatoslav set out on a campaign from which he was fated not to return. He had divided the Russian Land amongst his three sons. At Kiev Yaropolk was prince; at Ovrucha, the centre of the Drevlyani lands, there was Oleg; at Novgorod there was Vladimir. His first years as prince we see Vladimir as a fierce pagan. He heads a campaign, in which the whole of pagan Rus' is sympathetic to him, against Yaropolk the Christian, or in any case, according to the chronicles, "having given great freedom to the Christians", on 11 July 978 he enters into Kiev, having become the "sole ruler" of the Kiev realm, "having subdued the surrounding lands, some – by peaceful means, and the unsubmissive ones – by the sword".

 

Young Vladimir indulged himself in a wild sensuous life, though far from being the libertine that they sometimes portray him. He "shepherded his land with truth, valor and reason", as a good and diligent master, of necessity he extended and defended its boundaries by force of arms, and in returning from military campaign, he made for his companions and for all Kiev liberal and merry feastings.

 

But the Lord prepared him for another task. Where sin increases, there – in the words of the Apostle, – grace abounds. "And upon him did come visitation of the Most High, and the All-Merciful eye of the Good God didst gaze upon him, and shine forth the thought in his heart, of understanding the vanity of idolous delusion, and of appealing to the One God, Creator of all things both visible and invisible". The matter of the acceptance of Baptism was facilitated through external circumstances. The Byzantine empire was in upheaval under the blows of the mutinous regiments of Bardas Skliros and Bardas Phokas, each of which sought to gain the imperial throne. In these difficult circumstances the emperors – the co-regent brothers Basil the Bulgar-Slayer and Constantine, turned for help to Vladimir.

 

Events unfolded quickly. In August 987 Bardas Phokas proclaimed himself emperor and moved against Constantinople, and in Autumn of that same year the emissaries of emperor Basil were at Kiev. "And having exhausted his (Basil's) wealth, it compelled him to enter into an alliance with the emperor of the Russes. They were his enemies, but he besought their help, – writes one of the Arab chronicles of events in the 980's. – And the emperor of the Russes did consent to this, and did make common cause with him".

 

In reward for his military help, Vladimir besought the hand of the emperors' sister Anna, which for the Byzantines was an unheard of audacity. Princesses of the imperial lineage did not go off to marry "barbarian" rulers, even though they be Christian. At this same time the emperor Otto the Great was seeking the hand of this Anna for his son, and he was refused, but herein regarding Vladimir Constantinople was obliged to consent.

 

An agreement was concluded, according to which Vladimir had to send in aid to the emperors six thousand Varangians, to accept holy Baptism, and under these conditions he would receive the hand of the imperial daughter Anna. Thus in the strife of human events the will of God directed the entering of Rus' into the graced bosom of the Ecumenical Church. Great Prince Vladimir accepted Baptism and dispatched the military assistance to Byzantium. With the aid of the Russians, the mutineers were destroyed and Bardas Phokas killed. But the Greeks, gladdened by their unexpected deliverance, were in no hurry to fulfill their part of the agreement.

 

Vexed at the Greek duplicity, Prince Vladimir "hastened to collect his forces" and he moved "against Korsun, the Greek city", the ancient Chersonessus. The "impenetrable" rampart of the Byzantine realm on the Black Sea fell, and it was one of the vitally important hubs of the economic and mercantile links of the empire. This blow was so much felt, that its echo resounded throughout all the regions of Byzantium.

 

Vladimir again had the upper hand. His emissaries, the voevoda-commanders Oleg and Sjbern soon arrived in Tsar'grad for the imperial daughter. Eight days passed in Anna's preparation, during which time her brothers consoled her, stressing the significance of the opportunity before her: to enable the enlightening of the Russian realm and its lands, and to make them forever friends of the Romanoi-Byzantine realm. At Taurida Saint Vladimir awaited her, and to his titles there was added a new one – Caesar (tsar', emperor). It required the haughty rulers of Constantinople to accede also in this – to bestow upon their new brother-in-law the Caesar (i.e. imperial) insignia. In certain of the Greek historians, Saint Vladimir is termed from these times as a "mighty basileios-king", he coins money in the Byzantine style and is depicted on it with the symbols of imperial might: in imperial attire, and on his head – the imperial crown, and in his right hand – the sceptre with cross.

 

Together with the empress Anna, there arrived for the Russian cathedra-seat metropolitan Michael – ordained by holy Patriarch Nicholas II Chrysobergos, and he came with his retinue and clergy, and many holy relics and other holy things. In ancient Chersonessus, where each stone brings to mind Saint Andrew the First-Called, there took place the marriage-crowning of Saint Vladimir and Blessed Anna, both reminiscent and likewise affirming the oneness of the Gospel good-news of Christ in Rus' and in Byzantium. Korsun, the "empress dowry", was returned to Byzantium. In the Spring of 988 the great prince with his spouse set out through the Crimea, Taman' and the Azov lands, which had come into the complexion of his vast realm, on the trip of return to Kiev. Leading the great princely cortege with frequent moliebens and incessant priestly singing they carried crosses, icons and holy relics. It seemed, that the Ecumenical Holy Church was moving into the spacious Russian land, and renewed in the font of Baptism, Holy Rus' came forth to meet Christ and His Church.

 

There ensued the unforgettable and quite singular event in Russian history: the morning of the Baptism of the Kievans in the waters of the River Dneipr. On the evening beforehand, Saint Vladimir declared throughout the city: "If anyone on the morrow goeth not into the river – be they rich or poor, beggar or slave – that one be mine enemy". The sacred wish of the holy prince was fulfilled without a murmur: "all our land all at the same time did glorify Christ with the Father and the Holy Spirit".

It is difficult to overestimate the deep spiritual transformation – effected by the prayers of Saint Vladimir, affected within the Russian people, in all the entirety of its life and world-outlook. In the pure Kievan waters, as in a "bath of regeneration", there was realized a mysteried transfiguration of the Russian spiritual element, the spiritual birth of the nation, called by God to yet unforeseen deeds of Christian service to mankind. – "Then did the darkness of the idols begin to lift from us, and the dawn of Orthodoxy appear, and the Sun of the Gospel didst illumine our land". In memory of this sacred event, the renewal of Rus' by water and the Spirit, there was established within the Russian Church the custom of an annual church procession "to the water" on 1 August, combined afterwards with the feast day of the Bring-Forth of the Venerable Wood of the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord, in common with the Greek Church, and likewise the Russian Church feast day of the All-Merciful Savior and the Most Holy Mother of God (established by Saint Andrei Bogoliubsky in the year 1164). In this combination of feasts there is found a precise expression of the Russian theological consciousness, for which both Baptism and the Cross are inseparable.

 

Everywhere throughout Holy Rus', from the ancient cities to the far outposts, Saint Vladimir gave orders to tumble down the pagan sanctuaries, to flog the idols, and in their place to chop along the hilly woods for churches, in which to consecrate altars for the Bloodless Sacrifice. Churches of God grew up along the face of the earth, at high elevated places, and at the bends of the rivers, along the ancient trail "from the Variangians to the Greeks" – figuratively as road signs, and lamps of national holiness. As regards the famed church-building activity of holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Vladimir, the Kiev Metropolitan Saint Ilarion (author of the "Word about the Law and Grace") exclaimed: "They demolished the pagan temples, and built up churches, they destroyed the idols and produced holy icons, the demons are fled, and the Cross hath sanctified the cities". From the early centuries of Christianity it was the custom to raise up churches upon the ruins of pagan sanctuaries or upon the blood of the holy martyrs. Following this practice, Saint Vladimir built the church of Saint Basil the Great upon an hill, where a sanctuary of Perun had been located, and he situated the stone church of the Uspenie-Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God (Desyatinnaya) on the place of the martyrdom of the holy Varangian-Martyrs (Comm. 12 July). The magnificent temple intended to become the place of serving for the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus' – and hence the primal-altar of the Russian Church, was built in five years: it was richly adorned with wall-fresco painting, crosses, icons and sacred vessels, brought from Korsun. The day of the consecration of the church of the Most Holy Mother of God, 12 May (in some manuscripts 11 May), was ordered by Saint Vladimir to be inserted as an annual celebration in the Church-calendar lists. This event was tied in with other previous happenings for the celebration of 11 May, and it provided the new Church a twofold sense of succession. Under this day in the Saints is noted the churchly "renewal of Tsar'grad" – dedicated by the holy emperor Saint Constantine as the new capital of the Roman Empire, the Constantine-city Constantinople, dedicated to the MostHoly Mother of God (330). And on this same day of 11 May, under holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Olga, there had been consecrated at Kiev the church of Sophia – the Wisdom of God (in the year 960). Saint Vladimir, having had the cathedral church consecrated to the MostHoly Mother of God, followed the example of Saint Constantine in dedicating the capital city of the Russian Land, Kiev, to the Queen of Heaven.

 

And then there was bestowed on the Church a tithe or tenth; and since this church had become the centre of the All-Russian gathering of churchly tithes, they called it the Desyatinnaya (Tithe) church. The most ancient text of the deed-grant document, or churchly ustav-rule by holy Prince Vladimir spoke thusly: "For I do bestow this church of the Holy Mother of God a tenth of all mine principality, and likewise throughout all the Russian Land from all the princely jurisdiction a tithe of squirrel-pelts, and from the merchant – a tithe of the week, and from households each year – a tenth of every herd and every livelihood, to the wondrous Mother of God and the wondrous Savior". The ustav likewise specified "church people" as being free from the jurisdictional power of the prince and his "tiuni"-officials, and placed them under the jurisdiction of the metropolitan.

 

The chronicle has preserved a prayer of Saint Vladimir, with which he turned to the Almighty at the consecration of the Uspensky Desyatin-Tithe church: "O Lord God, look Thou down from Heaven and behold, and visit Thine vineyard, which Thy right-hand hath planted. And make this new people, whom Thou hast converted in heart and mind – to know Thee, the True God. And look down upon this Thine church, which Thy unworthy servant hath built in the name of the Mother Who hath given birth to Thee, She the Ever-Virgin Mother of God. And whosoever doth pray in this church, let his prayer then be heard, on account of the prayers to the All-Pure Mother of God".

 

In the year 1007 Saint Vladimir transferred the relics of holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Ol'ga to the Desyatin-Tithe church. And four years later, in 1011, there was also buried there his spouse and companion in many of his undertakings, the Blessed Empress Anna. After her death the prince entered into a new marriage – with the young daughter of the German Graf Kuno von Enningen, grand-daughter of the emperor Otto the Great.

 

The era of Saint Vladimir was a crucial initial period for the state formation of Orthodox Rus'. The unification of the Slavic lands and the formation of state boundaries under the domain of the Riurikovichi resulted from a strenuous spiritual and political struggle with neighboring tribes and states. The Baptism of Rus' by Orthodox Byzantium was a most important step in its state self-definition. The chief enemy of Vladimir became Boleslav the Brave, whose plans included the extensive unification of the West-Slavic and East-Slavic  tribes under the aegis of Catholic Poland. This rivalry arose still back in the times, when Vladimir was still a pagan: "In the year 6489 (981). Volodimir went against the Lakhs and took their cities, Peremyshl', Cherven', and other cities, which be under Rus'". The final years of the X Century are likewise filled with the wars of Vladimir and Boleslav.

 

The name and deeds of holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Vladimir, whom the people called the Splendid Sun, is interwoven with all the successive history of the Russian Church. "Through him we too have come to worship and to know Christ, the True Life, – testified Saint Ilarion. His deeds were continued by his sons, and grandsons and descendants – rulers of the Russian land over the course of almost six centuries: from Yaroslav the Wise with the taking of the first steps towards the independent existence of the Russian Church – down to the last of the Riurikovichi, tsar Feodor Ioannovich, under whom (in 1589) the Russian Orthodox Church became the fifth independent Patriarchate in the dyptich-lists of Orthodox Autocephalous Churches.

 

The feast day celebration to holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Vladimir was established under Saint Alexander Nevsky, in memory of the intercession of Saint Vladimir on 15 May 1240, for his help in gaining the renown victory by Nevsky over Swedish crusaders.

 

But the first reverencing of the holy prince began in Rus' rather earlier. The Metropolitan of Kiev Saint Ilarion (+ 1053), in his "Word on Law and Grace", spoken on the day of memory of Saint Vladimir at the saint's crypt in the Desyatin-Tithe church, calls him "an apostolic sovereign", "like" Saint Constantine, and he compares his apostolic evangelization of the Russian Land to that of the evangelization by the holy Apostles.  © 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos

 

O Most Holy Trinity, Our God, Glory to Thee!