Holy Martyr Princess Ludmila
Sept. 29 (Sept.16 old calendar).
Holy Ludmila was of Serbian princely origin. After marrying prince Borivoi she moved to Czechia, still a pagan country at that time. Understanding the supremacy of the Christian faith the spouses Borivoi and Ludmila got baptized by the prelate Methodius, who enlightened Slavs. They built the first church in Bohemia (Near Prague)and some other churches and also invited priests from Bulgaria to edify their subjects. When prince Borivoi died at the age of 36, he left behind three sons and one daughter.
The widowed Ludmila began giving out her property to the poor and lived a strictly righteous life, which appealed to the Czech people. During all the 33 years of her son Rostislav's (Bratislav) reign, Saint Ludmila was strengthening Christianity in Czechia.
After Rostoslav's death the throne was inherited by his 18 year old son Viacheslav who was brought up in the spirit of Christianity by princess Ludmila. Dragomira, Viacheslav's mother tried to revert the Czechs back to paganism and started persecution of Christians. She hated Ludmila, and took advantage of Vacheslav's youth, she began to oppress Ludmila so much that Ludmila had to leave Prague for Techino. Dragomira sent two boyars to Techino ordering them to kill Ludmila. One Saturday night the boyars, assisted by the local miscreants broke into the palace where Saint Ludmila was sleeping and strangled her with a rope. This occurred in the year 928, Ludmila was 61 years of age.
The Holy martyr was buried in Techino near the city wall. Every night since the burial, burning candles started appearing over the place of her burial. A local blind man regained sight when he touched the soil of her grave. Having heard of the wonders that are witnessed at the grave of his Saint grandmother, Prince Viacheslav ordered that the imperishable relics of Saint Ludmila be reburied with ceremonies in Prague and placed in the church of Great Martyr George. Several years later prince Viacheslav also suffered the death of a martyr. (See below).
Holy Ludmila is considered to be a protectress of Czechia, and wonders are still worked by her coffin.
Troparion: O Jesus! Thy lamb Ludmila is calling out in a loud voice: "I love Thee, my bridegroom, seeking Thee I suffer and join Thee in Thy crucifixion and burial to be blessed by you. I am tormented for Thee as I reign in Thy name, and I am dying for Thee as I live with Thee; accept me as a virgin sacrifice made with love to Thee. Through prayers, as Thou art merciful, save our souls.
Troparion, Tone 6
O Ludmila, when godly fear entered thy heart,/ thou didst abandon the glory of the world,/ and hasten to God the Word./ Thou didst take His yoke on thy flesh,/ and shed thy blood in a contest surpassing nature./ O glorious Martyr, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.
Kontakion, Tone 3
Like a fragrant rose of asceticism/ thou didst breathe forth the myrrh of Christ./ Wherefore He has glorified thee as a righteous martyr, O Ludmila./ Intercede with Him for those who cry:/ Rejoice, noble and blessed Martyr.
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church
2049 Argyle Ave. Los Angeles, California 90068