St. Anna of Novgorod


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Commemorated on February 10

St. Anna, Grandduchess of Novgorod and mother of St. Vladimir the Enlightener of Rus, was born and baptized in the West. She was the daughter of the Swedish King Olaf Sketktung, the “All-Christian King,” who did much to spread Orthodoxy in Scandinavia, and the pious Queen Astrida.

In Sweden, she was known as Princess Indigherd and married Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev, in 1016, taking the name Irene. She gave shelter to the outcast sons of British King Edmund, Edwin and Edward, as well as Norwegian Prince Magnus, who later returned to Norway.

She is perhaps best known as the mother of Grand Prince Vladimir, the Enlightener of Rus and Equal-to-the-Apostles, and of Vsevolod of Pereyaslavl, himself the father of Vladimir Monomakh and progenitor of the Princes of Moscow. Her daughters were Queen Anne of France, Queen Maria of Hungary, and Queen Elizabeth of Norway.

The whole family was profoundly devout and pious. In Kiev, St. Irene-Anna founded the convent of St. Irene the Great-Martyr, and ruled it.

She reposed in 1050 in the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom (St. Sophia) in Kiev, having been tonsured a monastic with the name of Anna.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)