Boris and Gleb | Princes of the Kievan Rus’

Boris | Roman
● Orthodox Remembrance Day: July 24, May
● Name means: the fighter (from Russian)
● Prince, Martyr
● Patron: of Russia and Moscow
● Born around 989
● Died on July 24, 1015
Boris was born into the ruling family of Russia, as the son of Vladimir I and the great-grandson
of Olga, a revered Christian saint. Tragically, Boris met a gruesome end alongside his younger
brother Gleb, as they were both murdered during a period of political turmoil and succession
disputes. Although the exact circumstances surrounding their deaths remain a mystery, their
untimely demise left an indelible mark on Russian history and culture.
According to some accounts, Boris and Gleb were killed at the hands of their half-brother
Svyatopolk, who had seized power in the wake of their father’s death. At the time, Boris was
leading a military campaign against the Pechenegs, a Turkic people who had rebelled against
Russian rule. He was widely considered to be the most capable military commander among his
siblings, which may have made him a threat in the eyes of Svyatopolk. Regardless of the motives
behind their murders, it was a shocking and cowardly act that reverberated throughout the
Despite their violent end, Boris and Gleb were eventually canonized as saints by the Russian
Orthodox Church, and their names are still revered among the faithful today. On May 2, 1072,

their bones were transferred to the newly consecrated Boris and Gleb Church in Vyshhorod,
near Kiev. This was a significant moment in the history of the Russian Church, as Boris and Gleb
were the first saints to be officially recognized.
In addition to their canonization by the Russian Orthodox Church, Boris and Gleb were also
recognized by the Catholic Church. In 1724, Pope Benedict XIII confirmed their cult, cementing
their status as revered figures in both Eastern and Western Christianity.
Overall, the story of Boris and Gleb is a tragic one, but it is also a testament to the enduring
power of faith and devotion. Their lives and deaths serve as a reminder of the sacrifices that
have been made throughout Russian history to uphold values such as justice, courage, and
Gleb | David
● Orthodox Remembrance Day: July 24
● Name means: the down-to-earth (from Latin-Russian)
● Prince, Martyr
● Born around 987
● Died on July 24, 1015
David was a member of the royal family of Russia, which was led by his father, the Grand Duke
Vladimir I. Unfortunately, after Vladimir’s death, his half-brother Svyatopolk committed a
heinous act and seized the capital city, Kiev. To further strengthen his power, Svyatopolk ordered
the killing of David’s older brothers First Boris and Gleb, as well as Sviatoslav, another of David’s
siblings. Sviatoslav had managed to flee, but ultimately met his untimely demise at the hands of
Svyatopolk’s men. Yaroslav, David’s remaining brother who was living in Nizhny Novgorod, was
the only one of the brothers to survive. He later avenged their deaths by defeating Svyatopolk’s
army in 1019 and chasing him to the Tatras, where he eventually met his own death in disgrace.
The murder of his brothers deeply affected Yaroslav, who was also known as Yaroslav the Wise.
To honor their memory, he ordered for the bones of Boris and Gleb to be transferred to the
newly consecrated Boris and Gleb Church in Vyshgorod in 1072. Another translation occurred in
1115. The names of Boris and Gleb have become synonymous with the Russian Orthodox
Church, with many churches and monasteries being named after them. Even the city of
Borissoglebsk, located near Voronezh on the Don, was named in their honor.

The significance of Boris and Gleb cannot be overstated. They are the first saints of the Russian
Church, and their impact on Russian history and culture is far-reaching. It is believed that Gleb
was canonized alongside Boris on May 2, 1071 or 1072, coinciding with the transfer of their
bones to the Boris and Gleb Church in Vyshhorod. Their legacy is one of faith, bravery, and
unwavering commitment to their beliefs, and their memory continues to be celebrated to this