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Jan 24th, 2018: Saint Olga of Kiev

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   xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jan 24 12:34 AM

Jan 24th, 2018: Saint Olga of Kiev

The Drevlian people of medieval Ukraine were happy and optimistic. They had just murdered Prince Igor of Kiev, regent of one of their enemies, the Kievan Rus, and had done so in grand fashion — by ripping him in half while still alive. The technique? Bend two birch trees to the ground, tie the victim’s legs to the trunks and then release the trees, which spring back to their original positions.
The Drevlians knew that Igor’s son, born just three years earlier, in 942, was too young to take the crown and that his beautiful mother, Princess Olga, was a demure noblewoman who would gladly marry their Prince Mal, thus expanding Drevlian territory.

Nope, Olga was a Varyag… aka Viking.

20 Drevlian negotiators boated down the Dnieper River to Kiev and appeared to seal the deal in their Sunday finery.
Olga had them thrown in a pit and buried alive.

Then she sent word to Price Mal to send a company of his best men to escort her to him.
She locked them in a bath house and burned it down.

Next she went to Dereva’s capital and threw a lavish banquet for the Drevlian soldiers.
When they were all drunk she had her men kill 5,000 of them.

For the coup de grace, she laid siege to the Capitol starving them into surrender.
Then demanded each household in the city bring three sparrows and three pigeons and had her men tie burning wicks to the birds legs.
The freaked birds flew home and burned down the whole damn city.
And I thought the WW II incendiary bats was original.

So how did she become a saint?

Twelve years later, in 957, Olga visited Emperor Constantine VII in Constantinople, today’s Istanbul and then the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Smitten, Constantine asked her to convert to Christianity and rule with him as his queen. Olga agreed to convert, but apparently she wasn’t that into Constantine and resorted to her old wiles, asking him to stand as her godfather in baptism, which made the marriage indecent and therefore null and void.

Once home, Olga tried to convert her son, who was now king of Kievan Rus, but he refused. However, he agreed not to persecute those in his kingdom who did convert, which marked a crucial turning point for Christianity in Russia and its neighboring lands.
Women be tricksy, be careful out there.


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