July 15 – St. Vladimir, first Christian ruler of Russia – 980-1015
After his conquest of Kherson in the Crimea in 988, he became impressed by the progress of Christianity and approached Eastern Emperor Basil II about marrying the emperor’s daughter Ann. He was converted, reformed his life and married Anne. On his return to Kiev, he invited Greek missionaries to Russia, let his people to Christianity, borrowed canonical features from the West and built schools and churches. He is patron of the Russian Catholics.
Image: Baptism of Vladimir