Do Not Yield Russian Land: St Sergei Radonezhsky Blessing St Dmitri Donskoi
Today, 1 June, the church honours the memory of Grand Prince St Dmitri Donskoi. He was born in 1350, brought up under the guidance of Metropolitan St Aleksei Byakont of Moscow. Prince Dmitri combined Christian piety with outstanding talents as a statesman. He dedicated himself to uniting the Russian lands and liberating them from the Tatar-Mongolian yoke. Gathering strength for a decisive battle with the Horde, St Dmitri asked the blessing of Righteous St Sergei Radonezhsky. The starets encouraged the prince, sending him the warrior-monks Aleksandr Peresvet and Andrei Oslyabya. After his victory at the Battle of the Kulikovo Polye, on the feastday of the Nativity of the Birthgiver of God, he received the honorific title “Donskoi” (“of the Don”). Prince Dmitri founded the Assumption Monastery on the Dubenke River and built the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Birthgiver of God near the graves of his fallen warriors. St Dmitri died on 19 May 1389, with burial at the Cathedral of Archangel St Michael in the Moscow Kremlin.
1 June 2016