June 4 - Martyr John Vladimir, the Right-Believing Prince of Serbia

By the request of the daughter of Tsar Samuel, the prince was freed and married his rescuer. They lived chastely and in unity, loved God, and ruled their people in the fear of God . . .

Martyr John Vladimir, the Right-Believing Prince of Serbia

Prince John Vladimir lived in the tenth century, and ruled such lands as Illyria and Dalmatia. Having been raised up in piety, the prince was a wise, merciful, meek, chaste, and courageous ruler. He prayed fervently, and was a pious builder and caretaker of churches and monasteries.

Saint John Vladimir also guarded the purity of the Christian faith. He struggled against the Arians and Bogomils within his kingdom, and the invaders from without.

When the right-believing prince had surrendered to the Bulgarian Prince Samuel, in order to save his whole army from death, an angel of God appeared to him in prison. He strengthened his spirit and foretold that he would be freed, and afterwards would receive a martyr's crown.

And so it happened. By the request of Kosara, the daughter of Tsar Samuel, the prince was freed and married his rescuer. They lived chastely and in unity, loved God, and ruled their people in the fear of God.

But soon the angel's prophecy came to pass. The cruel and selfish Vladislav, the new prince of Bulgaria, tricked Prince John Vladimir to come to him under the pretext of negotiations. He himself beheaded the right-believing prince, right before the doors of the church. There is a tradition that the holy martyr picked up his head, rode a horse to the church and said: 

"Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit."

The relics of the holy prince are famous for their incorruption and miracles.

The fourth of June is the feast day of the Holy Martyr John Vladimir, the Right-Believing Prince of Serbia.

MORE:Saints
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