THE STORY and LIFE OF ST. VLADIMIR
St. Vladimir was a devout pagan in his early life. He was a great conqueror who had many wives and erected many pagan statues in the lands that he ruled over.
Upon finding out that other faiths existed beyond his own paganism, he decided to send his envoys out into the world to find out what was true faith on earth.
His envoys met with Muslims, but felt that there was no joy among them, and that their faith was very mechanical. The envoys also met with Jews and Catholics, but were still unimpressed.
Everything changed, however, when the envoys arrived in Constantinople. Upon attending Divine Liturgy in Hagia Sophia, the envoys said, "We no longer knew whether we were in heaven or on earth."
Taking the word of his envoys, St. Vladimir had himself and his nation baptized into the Orthodox Church.
St. Vladimir changed completely after his baptism. He destroyed all the pagan statues that stood in Kievan Rus', and replaced them with churches. He also attempted to live in peace as much as possible with his neighbors and had only one wife.
The holy and right-believing Vladimir (Svyatoslavich), Baptizer of Kievan Rus' (958-1015) was the Grand Prince of Kiev when Orthodoxy was introduced into present day Russia and Ukraine. He is also the grandson of St. Olga, and the father of Sts. Boris and Gleb the Passion-Bearers (and the first saints of the Russian lands). He is commemorated by the Church on July 15.
Holy Prince Vladimir,
you were like a merchant in search of fine pearls.
By sending servants to Constantinople for the Orthodox Faith, you :found Christ, the priceless pearl.
He appointed you to be another Paul,
washing away in baptism your physical and spiritual blindness.
We celebrate your memory,
asking you to pray for all Orthodox Christians and for us, your :spiritual children.
Most glorious Vladimir, in your old age you imitated the great apostle Paul:
he abandoned childish things, while you forsook the idolatry of your youth.
Together with him you reached the fullness of divine wisdom:
You were adorned with the purity of holy baptism.
Now as you stand before Christ our Savior, pray that all Orthodox Christians may be saved.
THE HISTORY OF ST. VLADIMIR ORTHODOX CHURCH, TRENTON, NJ
The founding of St Vladimir's parish began in October, 1915, when a group of approximately 30 Russian immigrants met and decided to organize a Russian Orthodox parish. At first the Divine Liturgy was served in a vacant church, but as the congregation grew the parishioners decided to build a church of their own using traditional Orthodox architecture. They bought a parcel of land near the vacant church they had been using, and, to save money, the parishioners dug out the land for the basement and foundation with their own hands. In 1917 the church building was completed and consecrated and in 1918 the parish was incorporated in the state of New Jersey. During that same year, another tract of land was purchased to serve as the parish cemetery. Firmly established, the parish continued to grow and prosper despite the strife and political changes in Russia that continued to affect the lives and morale of the parishioners.
In 1926 Fr Vladimir Lilikovich became pastor and during his five years of service the parish took on new life. A parochial school was established and in 1927 the Sisterhood of the Assumption of the Theotokos was organized. In 1932 Fr Stakhy Borichevsky became pastor, an office he held until 1949 when he was succeeded by Fr Paul Shafran. Fr Paul served until 2002, when he was granted retirement and named Pastor Emeritus. Fr. Martin Krause served the parish from 2002-2007. In the fall of 2007, Archpriest Eugene Vansuch served the parish until his unexpected falling asleep in the Lord on March 23, 2008. May his memory be eternal. His son, Fr. Jason Vansuch is now the current parish priest. He was assigned on January 1, 2009.
In 1942 the parish built a two-story rectory and in 1947 additional land was purchased to expand the cemetery and another two lots were bought adjoining the rectory on Grand St. In 1951, the growing parish made it necessary to enlarge the church building. After the enlargement was completed a new iconostasis was installed and the interior of the building was renovated. A decision was made to adorn the interior walls with Byzantine iconography and Mr Pimen Sofronov was hired to design and execute the frescoes. After completing his work at SS Peter and Paul Church in Syracuse, NY, Mr Sofronov arrived in Trenton in 1954 and began his work with the Icon of Christ for the Iconostasis. After working day and night for two years, Mr Sophronov completed the magnificent frescoes in 1956.
As the parish continued to thrive and grow it became clear that a church hall was needed to accommodate its educational and social activities. In 1959 Mr Feodor Bonderchuk donated a corner plot of land next to the church in memory of his daughter, Daria. A few years later, a building fund drive was held and the hall was built. Daria Hall was dedicated on November 22, 1964. Another large and unexpected gift of land was received in 1965 when Mr Pater Taskewicz donated more than ten acres of land in Hamilton Sqquare to be used as a recreation area in memory of his wife, Nadja. Several men of the parish, led by Mr John Chanchevsky, built a large picnic pavilion of steel. In 1997 the picnic grounds were the site of the parish's first carnival, held on May 21-24.
As Orthodox Christians, the main aspect of our life is to live and proclaim the Gospel of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. For by living a Christian life according to the teachings of Our Lord and by allowing Christ to be the center of our lives, we will not only continue to build up our parish of St. Vladimir but more so we will be able to bring Christ to others and thereby be witnesses to our Orthodox Faith.
St. Vladimir Orthodox Church continues to grow. It continues to grow in faith and in love. It continues to live and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ not only within the Trenton Area but also throughout The New Jersey/Pennsylvania area. As a growing parish within the Trenton Community, we welcome everyone to join us in prayer and in fellowship as we continue to support the growth of our Beautiful Trenton Community.
May GOD continue to bless and guide all of us with many more blessed years of good health and happiness.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
St. Vladimir Orthodox Church offers a framework for a grace-filled life in Christ through beautiful worship, spiritual education, programs for youth, and social fellowship. Our faith combines traditional values and beliefs with the needs of living in a modern society. Our mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of people around us. We are a place of welcome where the practical needs of every day are guided by God’s love and teachings.
COME GROW WITH US! COME PRAY WITH US!