Once again we find ourselves at that intriguing letter of “V.” Today’s saint meets the alphabetical requirements, as well as a request or two for a more “controversial” saint. The saint for today is St. Vladimir the Great:
Vladimir Sviatoslavich the Great (Old East Slavic: Володимѣръ Свѧтославичь Volodimærù Svętoslavičì, Old Norse as Valdamarr Sveinaldsson, Russian: Влади́мир, Vladimir, Ukrainian: Володимир, Volodymyr, Belarusian: Уладзiмiр, Uladzimir; c. 958 – 15 July 1015, Berestove) was a prince of Novgorod, grand prince of Kiev, and ruler of Kievan Rus’ from 980 to 1015.
Vladimir’s father was prince Sviatoslav of the Rurik dynasty. After the death of his father in 972, Vladimir, who was then prince of Novgorod, was forced to flee to Scandinavia in 976 after his brother Yaropolk had murdered his other brother Oleg and conquered Rus’. In Sweden, with the help from his relative Ladejarl Håkon Sigurdsson, ruler of Norway, he assembled a Varangian army and reconquered Novgorod from Yaropolk. By 980 Vladimir had consolidated the Kievan realm from modern-day Ukraine to the Baltic Sea and had solidified the frontiers against incursions of Bulgarian, Baltic, and Eastern nomads. Originally a follower of Slavic paganism, Vladimir converted to Christianity in 988 and Christianized the Kievan Rus’.
More, and by more I mean a lot more, can be learned about St. Vladimir at his wiki.