Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Remembered the Baptizer of Rus, Prince Volodymyr
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church remembered the baptizer of Rus, Prince Volodymyr the Great, with a Divine Service at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv.
According to UNIAN.net, Bishop Bohdan (Dziurakh) who led the service in concelebration with Bishop Mykhailo (Koltun) called Prince Volodymyr the spiritual father of the Ukrainian nation in his sermon.
The bishop concentrated on three titles of the holy prince as a Christian leader of the nation according to the Christian tradition: Saint, Baptizer and Enlightener.
According to him, for Prince Volodymyr, “the life of a Christian did not mean something superficial or purely ritualistic but an internal change of one’s life. It was after his own baptism that he took the path which ended with his glorification in Heaven as he became a saint,” reminded Bishop Bohdan.
In his address to the believers, he said that the top statesman “also reached the top of the Christian perfection, the unification with God. This, on one hand, shows that holiness is possible for each person regardless of their position or social status. On the other hand, it shows that at the current stage of development of Ukraine, we necessarily need Christian statesmen who are Christians according to their belief and prove their Christianity in deed, in their decisions,” said the bishop.
“We call St. Volodymyr the baptizer of our nation, which means that upon his own baptism, he wished to share the light of faith with his neighbors. Each of us can become a kind of a baptizer if we point to the person of Jesus Christ before our neighbors with our conduct and acts,” he said.
The third title of the prince is the enlightener. According to the bishop, “we remember him as the father of our nation not because he elevated Kyivan Rus to the heights of the economic development but because he enlightened our nation with the light of Christ’s Gospel,” said the bishop.
The Kyiv Archeparchy of the UGCC will officially celebrate the 1023rd anniversary of Baptism of Rus-Ukraine on July 31. The hierarchical Divine Service will be led by the head of UGCC, Patriarch Sviatoslav.