Celebrating the 1,000 Year Legacy of St. Vladimir

Source: St. Vladimir's Seminary

November 4, 2015

O marvelous depth of wonders!
Those who were hard-hearted in understanding and wandering in vain,   
rejoice now in the holy Church,
for this is the day of Vladimir.
Christ our God reigns, and has found another Paul,
setting him as faithful prince in his land,
for by holy baptism he has enlightened his people.
—Aposticha for the Feast of St. Vladimir


In November 2013, a delegation from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, led by His Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan Philip, archbishop of Poltava and Myrhorod, presented the community with the relics of St. Vladimir and a rare Book of Gospels. The precious gifts were presented on behalf of His Beatitude Vladimir (Volodymyr), metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, who reposed in 2014.

“When St. Vladimir’s Seminary was founded in 1938, the decision was made to give our seminary a missionary saint as its patron,” said seminary Chancellor/CEO the Very Reverend Dr. Chad Hatfield. “The presence of St. Vladimir’s relics are a constant reminder that we too are called to carry out the Great Commission.”

Vladimir Sviatoslavich the Great was the prince of Novgorod, the grand prince of Kiev and ruler of Kievan Rus’ from 980 to July 15, 1015. St. Vladimir introduced Orthodox Christianity to the Kievan Rus’ in the year 988. Orthodox Christians around the world have organized events in 2015 to commemorate the 1,000th year anniversary of the blessed saint’s repose.

“It is a great blessing to have relics of our patron saint, and the ‘transfer’ of the relics has given us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this feast annually and combine it with an early Thanksgiving community meal, remarked seminary Dean the Very Reverend Dr. John Behr. “The presence of St. Vladimir amongst us constantly reminds us of the missionary purpose and character of all that we do together, on behalf of the Church and for the Church.”

The weekend’s events began with a beautiful vigil on Saturday evening, sung antiphonally by the St. Damascene and St. Cassia chapel choirs. His Beatitude the Most Blessed Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and president of the seminary, presided at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. Concelebrating were His Grace Bishop Alexander, bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese of the OCA, and His Grace Bishop John, bishop of Naro-Fominsk and administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA (Moscow Patriarchate).

“St. Vladimir’s Seminary was always intended to have a missionary focus, and this is why St. Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, was chosen as its heavenly patron,” commented His Beatitude in his Sunday morning homily. “As the seminary has evolved and changed, it has always kept this missionary focus. It has always remained an apostolic seminary.”

The community continued its joyous celebration that evening with a cherished—and delicious—St. Vladimir’s tradition: a pre-Nativity Fast Thanksgiving dinner. Seminarians, faculty, and staff, and their families, enjoyed a delightful feast prepared by Chef Nat Fasciani.

St. Vladimir's Seminary


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