Saint Olga, renowned for her wisdom and sobriety, in her youth became the wife of Igor, Great Prince of Kiev, who ruled during the tenth century. After her husband’s death, she herself ruled capably, and was finally moved to accept the Faith of Christ. She traveled to Constantinople to receive Holy Baptism. The Emperor, seeing her outward beauty and inward greatness, asked her to marry him. She said she could not do this before she was baptized; she furthermore asked him to be her Godfather at the font, which he agreed to do. After she was baptized (receiving the name of Helen), the Emperor repeated his proposal of marriage. She answered that now he was her father, through holy Baptism, and that not even among the heathen was it heard of a man marrying his daughter. Gracefully accepting to be outwitted by her, he sent her back to her land with priests and sacred texts and holy icons. Although her son Svyatoslav remained a pagan, she planted the seed of faith in her grandson Vladimir. She reposed in peace in 969.
Feast Day: July 11
Apolytikion in the First Tone
Giving thy mind wings with the knowledge of God, thou didst soar beyond visible creatures, seeking the God and Creator of all things; and having found Him, thou didst receive rebirth by baptism. Since thou dost enjoy the Tree of Life, thou remainest incorrupt for all eternity, O ever-glorious Olga.
Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Let us offer praise to God, our Benefactor, Who hath greatly glorified divinely-wise and ven’rable and sacred Olga, that by her prayers He grant our souls the forgiveness of trespasses.