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Holy righteous Prince Rostislav (Mikhail)

On March 27th (14th by the old calendar) the Church commemorates the holy righteous Prince Rostislav (Mikhail).

St. Rostislav

St. Rostislav, Prince of Kiev and Smolensk, was the third son of the Kievan Prince St. Mstislav the Great. In his youth he was known for his valor, but it was only out of obedience to his oldest brother, Prince Izyaslav II, that he took part in the internecine strife that was so abhorrent to him. Afterwards, when he himself became the ruling Prince, his primary objective was to ensure peace in the Russian land. He often handed out judgments against his own sons and for distant relatives, and all the princes honored, loved, and heeded him, because they knew that he always judged fairly. And under his rule there was no internecine strife. In Kiev the people accepted him with great joy, while he ordered the entire princely treasury to be distributed among the poor, leaving for himself only a single cross. He invited a bishop to come and live in his inherited city of Smolensk, and built many churches there. In Kiev every Saturday he invited to his house the righteous Archimandrite Polycarp and twelve elders from the Kievan Caves monastery, and had discussions with them about the salvation of the soul. He thirsted for monastic life and ordered a cell to be prepared for him in the Kievan Caves monastery. When he fell very ill in Smolensk, he ordered himself to be taken to Kiev, in order to be buried in the Fedorovsky monastery that had been built by his father, but peacefully died en route. This occurred in 1168.

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