CHERNIHIV, THE PRINCELY CITY OF UKRAINE
HISTORY
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A brief outline on Chernihiv's history

Saint Mykhailo

Prince Mstyslav

SAINT MYKHAILO

Saints Mykhailo and Fedir

Chernihiv's Prince Mykhailo Vsevolodovych went to the Hungarian king for military support when the Southern Russian lands were threatened to be captured by Batu Khan's hordes, but his hopes for avoiding capture were dashed. Upon arrival in Chernihiv in 1245, which had been ruined by the Mongols, Mykhilo began rebuilding the city. Up until that time, the Russian lands had come under vassalage of the Golden Horde and Russian princes received yarlyks (edicts) from Batu for the right of ruling them.

In 1246 Mykhailo was also called to the horde. He went with his grandson, Boris, to secure his right for the Chernihiv or Kyiv lands. When the delegation arrived at the Khan's residence, Batu demanded that Mykhailo "bow southwards to Genghis Khan" and walk through the holy fire. Despite the persuasions of seven-year-old Boris, the prince resolutely refused to fulfil the Mongol customs, and consequently he was tortured to death, along with his favorite boyar, Fedir.

Prince Mykhailo has become a model of Christian steadfastness and Russian patriotism, and later, he and Fedir were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1572, during the period when the Chernihiv lands were under the power of the Muscovite State, the remains of the Chernihiv saints were brought over to Moscow with magnificient honors by order of Czar Ivan the Terrible. Thus, the first Russian czar strengthened the authority of his capital as "the Third Rome". At present, these sacred relics are kept in the Archangel's cathedral of the Kremlin in Moscow. The saints left additional impressions in Moscow; a small memorial church, built in memory of Mykhailo and Fedir, stands in Moscow today, and one of the side streets bears the name "Chernigovskiy" (of Chernihiv). The Order of Saint Prince Mykhailo was also created in Moscow. The order aims to popularize the historical and spiritual heritage of Slavonic people and to assist in preserving Ukrainian culture. St.Mykhailo's Order should unite all those whose fate is, in one way or another, connected with Chernihiv as well as those who simply want to render aid to the city.

Edited by Elaine Kornbau

 

MAIN PAGE GENERAL INFO HISTORY MAIN SIGHTS MUSIC MAIN SIGHTS ABOUT THE SITE ON THE FENCE
© Sergie & Elena Kolesnyk, Alex Liubenko, Svetlana Kokorina
July, 2002