The Holy Martyr John Vladimir, King of Serbia
He came of a princely family from Zahumlje. His grandfather was named Hvalimir and his father Petrislav. He was a wise ruler; merciful, meek, chaste and courageous. He was fervent in prayer and a devoted builder and benefactor of churches. But he had major battles to fight, both inside and outside his realm; internally with heretics and Bogomils, and externally with invaders, with King Samuel and the Emperor Basil. Samuel captured him by guile and threw him into prison. While he was in prison, an angel of God appeared to him and foretold that he would soon be released from prison, but that he would die a martyr's death. Getting to know Vladimir better, Samuel became attached to him and gave him his daughter Kosara in marriage. When Samuel died, his son Radomir became king, but his twin brother Radislav killed him and then summoned Vladimir on some pretext and beheaded him as well, in 1015. The relics of this holy martyr-king are preserved uncorrupt in his monastery near Elbasan, and numerous wonders have been worked over them through the ages and to this day. In 1925, a church was built to this royal martyr near the monastery of St Naum, which famous monastery he founded.
* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
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