Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Boris and St. Gleb

Boris and Gleb were the first Russian saints after the Christianization of the Kievan Rus' area. They were sons of Vladimir the Great, who both refused to return evil with violence during the struggle to succeed their father's throne. They are celebrated as martyrs, having peacefully given their life to the assassins of their older brother, Sviatopolk, rather than rise up against him with the aid of the army. They are often considered passion-bearers, praying for their brother's forgiveness even as his assassins came for them; Boris and Gleb are remembered by the Orthodox church for keeping civil peace and order rather than beginning a war over the succession of the throne.

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