The Baptism in the Dnepr Font (An Illustratration for “Equals-to-the-Apostles Ss Grand Prince Vladimir and Grand Princess Olga”) (Sergei Yefoshkin, 2000s)
On the final reading, the RF Gosduma passed a law establishing a new public commemoration, from now on, 28 July will be the Day of the Baptism of Rus. The law now goes to the Federation Council for their approval. According to Interfax, this date was not chosen at random, it is the Orthodox feastday of Grand Prince St Vladimir, who, according to the chronicles, ordered the baptism of his pagan Slav subjects en masse. Prior to this, there were isolated cases of people embracing Christianity, including members of the aristocracy.
The bill was drafted in response to requests from President Dmitri Medvedev on 14 August 2009 and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on 27 August 2009. In 2008, the Archpastoral Council of the MP proposed to the presidents of Russia, the Ukraine, and Byelorussia that 28 July, the feastday of St Vladimir, should be declared the Day of the Baptism of Rus, “a day on which our modern civilisation was founded, when it was baptised in the font of the Dnepr in Kiev”.
There are eight major commemorative dates in Russia:
- Day of Russian Students (25 January)
- Day of Cosmonautics (12 April)
- Day of Remembrance and Grief (22 June)
- Day of Partisans and the Underground Movement (29 June)
- Day of Solidarity against Terrorism: Beslan Memorial (3 September)
- Day of the 1917 October Revolution (7 November)
- Heroes of the Fatherland Day (9 December)
- Day of the RF Constitution (12 December)
21 May 2010
Voice of Russia World Service