Olhovych Ihor

XII pageKyivan RusPrincely times Princes and Princesses

Ihor Olhovych (baptismal name – George, monastic name – Gabriel; birth date unknown – 19.09.1147) – Saint, Martyr, Prince of Putyvl (1127–1142), Berestia-Dorozhchyny (1142–1146), Grand Prince of Kyiv (1146), second son of the founder of the Olhovychi dynasty, Chernihiv Prince Oleh-Mykhail Sviatoslavych and his second wife, daughter of Polovtsian Khan Osoluk.

In 1140 Ihor’s brother Vsevolod Olhovych, Grand Prince of Kyiv, promised Ihor Chernihiv but did not keep his word. In 1142 Ihor became Prince of Horodets Ostersky. In 1145 he got lands along the Vyzna River.

Next year, however, Vsevolod, foreboding his impending decease, bequeathed the Kyivan throne to Ihor, from whom the Kyivan veche (popular assembly) demanded the reservation of rights of townspeople. He promised and became the Prince of Kyiv. In a few days, however, the veche’s attitude to him changed (Kyiv upsurge of 1146) and it invited Iziaslav Mstyslavych from Pereyaslav, grandson of Prince Volodymyr Monomakh, to reign. Iziaslav came to an agreement with Volodymyr Davydovych and Iziaslav Davydovych (rivals of the Olhovychi in the struggle for Kyiv and Chernihiv) and on August 13, 1146 with their assistance deposed Ihor and became the Prince of Kyiv.

Iziaslav captured Ihor. At first Ihor stayed at the Vydubytsky Monastery, later he was removed to Pereyaslav. There he fall ill and, with the consent of Iziaslav, took the monastic vows and again was moved to Kyiv, to St. Theodore’s Monastery where he got the name of Gabriel.

On September 19, 1147, an upsurge against Iziaslav Mstyslavych organized by Ihor’s brother Prince Sviatoslav Olhovych broke out in Kyiv. During the disturbances a crowd of Kyivites burst into St. Theodore’s Monastery and captured Ihor. The Metropolitan of Kyiv, Prince, and boyars dissuaded them from violence but the veche decided to kill Ihor.

Soon, having realized that a guiltless man was killed because of the hate against his kin, people began to worship him as a saint and martyr. Was canonized by the Orthodox Church. Days of commemoration of the right-believing Prince Ihor Olhovych – June 5 and September 9 (Old Style).

Buried in the burial-vault of the Sviatoslavychi at the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour in Chernihiv.