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The faithful Grand Duke Dimitri Donskoi, the son of Prince John of Red and Princess Alexandra, the grandson of John Kalita, was born on October 12, 1350 and was brought up in love for God and the Holy Church under the direction of St. Alexius of Moscow. In the education of the prince, St. Sergius of Radonezh contributed much to the saint. From an early age, Demetrius, listening to his father's stories about the glorious ancestors - Alexander Nevsky, Daniil Moskovsky and other pious princes, became stronger in responsibility for his origin. A nine-year-old boy after the death of his father, Dimitri went to the Horde and received permission from the khan to inherit his father's reign.
The Christian piety of Saint Prince Dimitry was combined with the talent of an outstanding statesman. Demetrius fortified Moscow, encircling the Kremlin with walls of white stone instead of oak, burned during a fire, and put guns on the walls - the latest weapons of that time. Moscow was able to withstand three sieges of a huge Lithuanian army. Demetrius devoted himself to the task of uniting the Russian lands under the rule of the Grand Dukes of Moscow and the liberation of Rus from the Tatar-Mongol yoke. The Grand Duke received the blessing of the Church for all his deeds. Collecting forces for a decisive battle with the hordes of Mamai, St. Demetrius visited the abode of the Life-Giving Trinity and told St Sergius about his doubts in view of the small number of his squads (in comparison with Mamaev's army). The Monk Prayed to God and blessed the prince, predicting victory to his Christian army. The elder encouraged the prince and his warriors, sending them to the aid of the two Troitsky schimmers - Alexander (Peresvet) and Andrew (Oslaby). Before the battle, Saint Dimitri prayed fervently to God and turned to the soldiers, saying: "Brothers, it's time for us to drink our cup, and let this place be our grave for the name of Christ!" The battle took place on the Kulikovo field, between the rivers Don and Nepryadva, on the day of the holiday Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary September 8, 1380.
Before the Russians spoke against the Tatars, the relics of the holy Prince Alexander Nevsky were discovered in Vladimir. Dimitry Ioannovich learned about this before the battle and was strengthened by invisible help from his great ancestor. The battle began with the duel of monk Alexander Peresvet, who accepted the challenge of the battle of the Tatar hero Chelubey. The soldiers collided and fell dead. The Grand Duke participated in the battle along with the simple warriors. The prophecy of St. Sergius was true: the Lord did not leave the Russian army. Many saw over the Kulikovo field of the Angels, the Archangel Michael, the passion-bearers of Boris and Gleb, the prince's patron Demetrius of Thessalonica. The entry into the battle of the ambush Russian regiment under the command of the voevoda Demetrius Bobrok and Prince Vladimir Andreevich the Brave decided the outcome of the battle. The Tatars fled, throwing carts. For this victory, Grand Duke Dimitry began to be called Donskoy.
In gratitude to God and the Most Holy Theotokos, St. Demetrius built the Assumption Monastery on the Dubenka River and created the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin on the graves of fallen soldiers. At the same time, in the Trinity Monastery, the holy prince began a nationwide commemoration of the killed soldiers (thus the birth of the Demetrius parental Saturday).
Before his death, the Grand Duke composed a spiritual testament, commanding his children to honor their mother, the Grand Duchess Evdokia (in the monasticism of Euphrosyne, July 7, 1407, ranked as saints), and the boyars live according to God's commandments, affirming peace and love. St. Demetrius reposed in the Lord on May 19, 1389 and was buried in the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The canonization of Prince Dimitry was accomplished in 1988.
The memory of the blessed Grand Duke Dimitry Donskoy is celebrated on May 19 according to the old style and June 1 on a new one.