+ Olga was born in Russia and, in 903, she married Duke Igor of Kiev.
+ After her husband’s assassination, Olga ruled the country herself and was ruthless in pursuit of her husband’s murders and their followers, many hundreds of whom she had killed.
+ Although she proved to be a just and able administrator (after her fury subsided), she never succeeded in bringing stability to the Russian State.
+ In 957, Olga embraced Christianity and was baptized in Constantinople. Although she initially accepted Christianity for political gain, her conversion proved true and she devoted the remainder of her life to the spread of the Faith, although her efforts met with little success. It would be her grandson, Saint Vladmir, who would evangelize the Russian people.
+ Saint Olga died in Kiev in 969 and devotion to her spread quickly throughout Russia. Saint Olga was granted the equivalence of canonization by the Russian Council in 1574 and her memory is honored in both the Eastern and Western Churches.
On this day the Church also remembers Saints Victoria and Anatolia, two Roman sisters who were martyred for their faith around the year 250.
“The just will rejoice in the Lord and hope in him, and all upright hearts will be praised.”—Psalm 64:11
O God, who gladden us each year with the feast day of blessed Olga, grant, we pray, that we, who are called to honor her, may also follow her example of holy living. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For a Holy Woman)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.