Sainted Michael, the first Metropolitan of Kiev
Commemorated on September 30 and June 15
Sainted Michael, the first Metropolitan of Kiev, according to the Joakimov chronicle was a Syrian by birth, but according to the account of other chronicles – he was a Bulgarian or Serb. In the year 989 he arrived at Korsun together with other clergy for holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir (Comm. 15 July), not long after Vladimir's acceptance of Baptism (988). To the lot of the first metropolitan of the Russian Church felt a difficult, but graced service. He zealously made the rounds of the newly-enlightened Russian Land, preaching the Holy Gospel, baptising and teaching the newly-illumined people, founding the first churches and religious schools. In Rostov he established the first wooden church in honour of the Uspenie-Dormition of the MostHoly Mother of God and installed there as bishop Theodore the Greek. Saint Michael was a wise and gentle, but also strict hierarch. The Russian Church has preserved the memory of the meritorious deeds of the saint: in the synodikon-lists of the Novgorod and Kiev Sophia cathedrals he is rightfully called the initiator.
Saint Michael died in the year 992 and was buried in the Desyatin-Tithe church of the MostHoly Mother of God in Kiev. In about the year 1103, under the hegumen Saint Theoktist (afterwards Bishop of Chernigov, Comm. 5 August), his relics were transferred to the Antoniev Cave, and on 1 October 1730 into the Pechersk Great Church (Uspenie temple). In connection with this his memory was established under 30 September, and also 15 July – the day of his repose. Earlier, his memory was noted also under 2 September, together with the Monks Antonii and Theodosii of Pechersk. Evidence for this is contained in the service to him: in the 2nd verse of the "Praises" about Saint Michael it speaks thus: "The first passages of the new year having begun, we do offer unto thee first songs, O blessed one, for having been the first beginning of the hierarchy in the Russian land".
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.