Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Today we are praying in commemoration of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Grand Duke Volodymyr, and we mark another anniversary of the most important milestone in our history – the Baptism of Rus. This is a great landmark event that determined the course of our history and the future of our land for centuries. It also enabled Saint Volodymyr, who enlightened our ancestors with the light of Christ's truth, to become equal to the apostles and be famous for centuries.

Back then, having joined the large family of Christian nations, we became part of the great Christian civilization with its remarkable achievements of thought, high spirituality and the richest creative heritage. The Day of Baptism was even more important for us in a spiritual and moral sense. After all, the Baptism is not just a choice, it is not just a rite. This is the Sacrament of a new birth. Birth not in the flesh, but in spirit. In it, the covenant between God and man is restored. This is why today we are celebrating the Day of spiritual birth of our people.

It happened, and, as predicted by the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, the grace of God shone on our land. Since then, we are all the successors of the Dnieper River Jordan – in culture, in spirit, and in faith. Having gone through the Kyiv baptismal font, our ancestors acquired the highest freedom – the freedom to choose between Good and Evil, and the victory of Orthodoxy gave a thousand-year history to Rus. Over time, the fateful choice of one man resulted in the fruits of holiness of hundreds of thousands of people, and the spiritual heirs of Saint Volodymyr showed the world the feats of faith and piety throughout the entire space of Holy Rus and beyond.

And to this day, the Orthodox Faith safeguards and protects us. It saves us from despair, from all troubles and all disruptions, from splits and diseases, from schisms and misfortunes. So, let us ask the Lord for the power of faith and love, for strength of spirit and firmness in following His Commandments, for us to be worthy heirs and successors of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Grand Duke Volodymyr’s cause.

Peace, goodness and joy to all of us!

Happy Holiday!