UOC Primate: St. Vladimir is an example of a true Christian and patriot
On the memory day of Saint Prince Vladimir, His Beatitude Onuphry urged the faithful to live as the saint lived after Christianization to be useful to their homeland.
On July 28, 2020, on the day of memory of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir the Great and the Day of the Christianization of Rus’, the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine, led the Divine Liturgy in the square in front of the Assumption Cathedral of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and addressed the flock with the word of sermon, reports the UOC Information and Education Department.
During the festive service, the Primate was concelebrated by the abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl, the UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, a host of bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, monks and the Lavra’s guests in holy orders.
After reading Saint Evagelius, His Beatitude Vladyka addressed the faithful with a sermon, in which he explained why the Ukrainian Orthodox Church celebrates the Day of the Christianization of Rus’ so solemnly.
“All the people that were part of the then Rus’, all the people who were baptized, were enlightened by the light of Divine truth and became sons of salvation instead of the sons of perdition,” said the Primate of the UOC.
He also spoke about the amazing changes in the life of Prince Vladimir and called on the flock to live as the Faithful Saint Prince lived after Christianization to be useful for their homeland.
“Before Christianization, he was a cruel ruler, and after that he became merciful, kind, and chaste. Prince Vladimir became an example of a Christian,” His Beatitude recalled.
He noted that the example of a leader is very important for his subordinates, and the holy prince became for his people a “model of a Christian image“. He began to take care of the poor and orphans and fed the homeless. On every holiday, on Sundays, he arranged meals, gave people money and everything they needed for life. Everyone loved him – from the young to the old and called him ‘the Red Sun’”.
On this day, the Primate added, we all thank God for the fact that through the Faithful Saint Prince Vladimir the Lord gave us “such a beautiful, elevated, spiritually pure faith”, and “today we rejoice together with the heavenly Church since this day of Christianization of our land became the day when many, many people joined the ranks of the saints ”.
His Beatitude Onuphry called people who live in accordance with the faith received “People with a capital letter” – “they can be learned and common people, rich and poor, healthy and sick, but if they live according to God’s law, according to those sacred commandments that God gave us so that they consecrate us, they themselves become sacred". Such people, he added, "are like their Creator," and "God is wonderful and wise".
“If we want to be useful for our state, for our loved ones, for our relatives, we must live as St. Prince Vladimir lived after Christianization. To be guided not by human laws, which are sometimes good, and sometimes not, but by the laws of God, which are always good, positive, and useful for a person. If we live by these laws, then we really are true patriots, true citizens of our state,” stressed Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine.
After the festive service, the clergy and believers held a cross procession to the Far Caves of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, where they performed a prayer service to the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir and sprinkled the faithful with holy water.
In conclusion, a memorial service was held at the grave of the ever-remembered Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir (Sabodan), who received his monastic name precisely in honor of St. Prince Vladimir.
As reported, on July 28, 2020, celebrations to mark the Day of the Christianization of Rus’ were held at the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Ukrainian TV channels broadcasted live the festive Divine services of the UOC.