Antiochian Patriarch congratulates UOC on the Feast of Holy Prince Vladimir
The Primate of the Antiochian Church called the Dnieper as the Kyiv Jordan, and Kyiv as the new Jerusalem.
On July 28, 2021, Patriarch John X of Antioch and All East congratulated the UOC on the Day of Remembrance of Saint and Grand Prince Vladimir, according to the Information and Educational Department of the UOC.
The congratulation, which was read by Bishop Ephraim of Seleucia on behalf of Patriarch John, says that despite the fact that the path of the Ukrainian people to Orthodoxy began during the time of Princess Olga, "Christianization of Rus began in 988, when the Grand Prince of Kyiv Vladimir, who had shortly before been baptized in the Crimean Chersonesos, returned to Kiev and ordered his subordinates, his advisers and all the inhabitants of the capital to be baptized in the Dnieper River, which symbolically became the Kiev Jordan.”
The Patriarch noted that by adopting Christianity, Prince Vladimir brought many benefits to his people. “And this new faith positively influenced the entire people, modernizing and uniting them, as well as alienating them from pagan rituals and illuminating them with the all-good light of God,” said the Primate of the Church of Antioch.
He stressed that "we should not consider Prince Vladimir to be only a great ruler, but also a saint equal to the apostles, as our Orthodox tradition called him."
“With this Baptism, Ancient Rus' with its center in Kiev, like the new Jerusalem, got in touch with the heritage of Ecumenical Orthodoxy and started to enrich itself from it, as well as enrich it reciprocally,” wrote Patriarch John.
According to him, "it is this adoption of Christianity that we have come to celebrate today and draw on the grandeur and wealth of Slavic Orthodoxy."
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that a member of the Synod of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Metropolitan Mikhail of Prague, said that the faith of true Christians is being tempered in the trials that befell the UOC.