“Volodymyr the Great – Saint, Baptizer and Enlightener” – Bishop Bohdan (Dzyurakh)

Saturday, 30 July 2011, 22:33
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church commemorated the baptizer of Rus’-Ukraine, Prince Volodymyr the Great, with a Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv. According to an UNIAN journalist, Bishop Bohdan, who presided at the Liturgy in concelebration with Bishop Mykhail (Koltun), called in his sermon Prince Volodymyr the spiritual father of the Ukrainian nation. 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.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church commemorated the baptizer of Rus’-Ukraine, Prince Volodymyr the Great, with a Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv. According to an UNIAN journalist, Bishop Bohdan, who presided at the Liturgy in concelebration with Bishop Mykhail (Koltun), called in his sermon Prince Volodymyr the spiritual father of the Ukrainian nation. 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 Bishop Bohdan, 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 baptism that he undertook the path which ended up with his glorification in Heaven as he became a saint,” reminded Bishop Bohdan. In his address to the faithful, he said that the top statesman “also reached the top of the Christian perfection, the unity with God. This, on one hand, shows that holiness is possible for each person regardless of his/her 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 convicted Christians and who attest their Christianity with deeds and actions,” summed up the Secretary of the Synod of Bishops. “We call St. Volodymyr the Baptizer of our nation, which means that after his own baptism, he wished to share the light of faith with his neighbours. Each of us can become a kind of a baptizer if we point to the person of Jesus Christ before our neighbours with our conduct and acts,” said Bishop Bohdan. The third title of the Prince is the Enlightener. According to His Excellency Bohdan, “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. After the Liturgy, near the Patriarchal Cathedral took place the rite of blessing of water carried out by Bishop Mykhail. Addressing the faithful, the Bishop stressed out “the blessed action of the Holy Spirit over the Dnipro river who imparted to the water the blessed strength which renews us even today”. At the end of the celebrations, Bishop Mykhail sprinkled the faithful with the blessed water. The Kyiv Archeparchy of the UGCC will officially celebrate the 1023rd anniversary of Baptism of Rus-Ukraine on July 31. The Pontifical Divine Liturgy at 11 am will be presided at by the Head of UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, in concelebration with the Most Rev. Josyf Milan. The programme of the celebrations also includes the rite of “renewal of baptismal vows”, blessing of the water and spiritual-artistic programme. www.unian.net/ukr/news/news-448330.html
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