Transfiguration is celebrated today according to Gregorian calendar, Orthodox and Greek Catholic Churches remember Sts. Borys and Hlib
Starting from VI century, it extended throughout the Eastern Church with the name of “Transfiguration of Our Lord.”This very day the Orthodox and Greek Catholic Churches in Ukraine honor the Holy Kyivan Princes –Sts Borys and Hlib (Roman and Davidin baptism).
The Gospel events described by three evangelists: Matthew, Mark and Luke are at the heart of this great Christian feast. At the end of His earthly life, Jesus Christ revealed to His disciples that He was destinedto suffer for people,die on the cross andrise again. After that He took with Him three apostles - Peter, James and John - to the “high mountain”.
In the eyes of the apostles, Jesus was transfigured: His face shone, and his clothing became dazzling white. Beside Him, representing the law and the prophets, Moses and Elijah appeared. Light “clear” cloud enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear him.” (Mt 18: 5). A moment later, the apostles could not see anyone except Jesus.
With Transfiguration on the mount, Jesus Christ showed His disciples the glory of his divinityso they were not shaken in their faith during His further suffering and death on the cross.
To some extent, the feast of the Transfiguration is also associated with the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles. Peter offered Jesus to make three bushes (tents)on the mountain. On the feats of the Tabernacle the fruits were brought and blessed (aswe do on the feast of the Transfiguration). In the East, in early August, grain and grapes ripen and Christians bring them to the temple for blessingas an act of gratitude to God for the harvest. In the first century Christians sacrificed a part of their harvest to Church for the accomplishment of the sacrament of the Eucharist.
The Transfiguration is traditionally associated with Mount Tabor. However, in the Gospels, there is no mention of the name of the mountain where the Transfiguration took place.
As for St. Borys and Hlib, they were the sons of St. Prince Volodymyr the Great. In his lifetime, Prince Volodymyr divided his country between 12 sons. Borys got the principality in Rostov, and Hlib in Murom. Both rulers, as described in their lives, “lived a virtuous Christian life and were very compassionate to the poor and disadvantaged, widowing and orphans, so people loved them."
After the death of Prince Volodymyr in 1015, the people of Kiev called Boris, so he took the throne according to the last will of Prince Volodymyr. But one of the sons of Prince Volodymyr- Svyatopolk the Accursed - illegally occupied the princely throne in Kiev, taking advantage of Borys’ absense. Borys and Hlib did not opposetheir brother's actions,but urged him to respect Christian principles. Svyatopolk in his fury ordered the soldiers to kill the brothers: Boris was struck in the heart with a sword and Hlib was cut his throoat in 1015.