It is not known where Saint Michael the first Metropolitan of Kiev was born. There is some evidence that he was Syrian, but according to other chronicles, he might have been Bulgarian or Serbian.
In the year 989, Saint Michael arrived at Korsun (present-day Crimea, Ukraine) with other clergy for holy Prince Vladimir, not long after Vladimir’s Baptism in 988.
As first metropolitan of the Church in Rus, his service was difficult, but grace-filled. He zealously made the rounds of the newly-enlightened Russian Land, preaching the Holy Gospel, baptizing and teaching the newly-illumined people, founding the first churches and religious schools. In Rostov he established the first wooden church in honor of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God and installed Theodore the Greek there as bishop.
Saint Michael was a wise and gentle, but also strict hierarch. The Russian Church has preserved the memory of the saint’s praiseworthy deeds. In the Synodikon 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 Tithe church of the Most Holy Mother of God in Kiev. In about the year 1103, under Saint Theoctistus, bishop of Chernigov, his relics were transferred to the Antoniev Cave, and on October 1, 1730 - into the Great Church of the Caves.
The prophecy of the first-called apostle has been fulfilled today:
Grace has illumined the hills of Kiev and the faith is increased.
Those who were not a people
are now the people of God, a holy nation,
a flock of Christ of which you, O Michael, are the first shepherd,
and you serve it by bringing baptism.
O holy Hierarch, standing before God pray that all may be saved.
You appeared as a second Moses,
bringing the vine from Egyptian idolatry into the land of promise.
You said of it, "Faith will be established in this land,
and fruit to nourish the world will flourish on the summits of Kiev,
more than on the heights of Lebanon."
Having this harvest we bless you, O holy Hierarch Michael.
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