Prelate Michael of Kiev
Oct. 13 and June 28 (old calendar Sept. 30 and June 15).
After being baptized in Korsun (Hersones) in 988, Great Prince Vladimir invited Bulgarian and Greek priests to promote Orthodox faith in Russia. The Constantinople Patriarch Nicholas the 2nd also known as Chrisoverg, sent Metropolital Michael and many other priests and clergymen to Kiev. Prelate Michael was apparently a Bulagrian. He brought icons, books for church services in Slavonic language, church furnishings and Saints’ relics with him to Kiev. After baptizing the 12 sons of Prince Vladimir and the people of Kiev who came to the Dniepr River, Prelate began his work aimed at eradication of pagan superstitions.
Many churches were built and several monasteries founded during the years of Prelate Michael’s work in Russia. The biggest of the churches built in Kiev is the one built in the name of our most Holy Mother of God. It was called Desiatinny (one tenth’s) as Saint Vladimir was allocating one tenth of his income to run the church. The coffin with great princess Olga was transferred to that church. There were Orthodox churches also built in Pereyaslavl, Chernigov, Belgorod, Vladimir-of-Volyn, Novgorod, Rostov the great and other towns.
A historian of those times wrote that under Saint Michael “the Orthodox faith flourished and radiated light like the sun.” Prelate Michael was exceptionally modest, humble and unceasingly hard working; he was a true father of his parish. He was a wise and strict hierarch. He appointed presbyters and chose experienced tutors to educate and bring children up in the fear of God and the spirit of virtue. While he was a Metropolitan four Bulgarian princes and one Prcheneg khan adopted Christianity and were baptized. We also know that he sent the monk named Mark to preach Christianity to Moslem Bulgarians living along the Volga River. Metropolitan Michael entered into rest in 992. His body was buried in the Desiatinnaya church. In the synodic books of the St. Sofia churches in Kiev and Novgorod he is called “The First Head” of the Russian church.
Troparion, Tone 4
The prophecy of the first-called Apostle has been fulfilled today:/ grace has illumined these hills,/ the faith is increased,/ and those who were not a people are now the people of God, a holy nation,/ a flock of Christ of which thou, O Michael, art first shepherd,/ and thou dost serve it by giving it baptism./ O Hierarch standing before God, pray that all may be saved.
Kontakion, Tone 2
Thou didst appear as a second Moses/ bringing the vine from Egyptian idolatry into the land of promise./ And thou didst say of it: Faith shall be established in this land,/ and fruit to nourish the world shall flourish on the summits of Kiev/ more than on the heights of Lebanon./ Having this fruit we bless thee,/ O Hierarch Michael.
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church
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