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St. Vladimir

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Feastday: July 15
Birth: 980
Death: 1015

St. Vladimir I, 956-1015, Grandson of St. Olga and illegitimate son of Sviastoslav, grand duke of Kiev, and his mistress, Malushka, he was given Novgorod to rule by his father. Civil war broke out between his half-brothers Yaropolk and Oleg; Yaropolk made himself ruler by defeating and killing Oleg, and when he captured Novgorod, Vladimirwas forced to flee to Scandinavia in 977. Vladimir returned with an army and captured Novgorod and defeated and slew Yaropolk at Rodno in 980; Vladimir was now sole ruler of Russia, notorious for his barbarism and immorality. After his conquest of Kherson in the Crimea in 988, he became impressed by the progrerss of Christianity and approached Eastern Emperor Basil II about marrying the emperor's daughter Ann. He was converted, reformed his life and married Anne. On his return to Kiev, he invited Greek missionaries to Russia, let his people to Christianity, borrowed canonical feacures from the West and built schools and churches. His later years were troubled by rebellions led by the sons of his first marriages, although two sons by Anne, SS Romanus and David became martyrs. In 1014 he was obliged to march against his rebellious son Yaroslav in Novgorod, fell ill on the way and died at Beresyx, Russia. He is patron of the Russian Catholics. Feastday July 15.


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