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The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility goes before honour. Proverbs 15:33 (NRSV)

Kuksha (1113)
Preached to Pagans

Kuksha was a monk but he left his monastery in Kiev (in modern day Ukraine) to begin teaching and preaching to his own Vyatichi people – a group related to the Polish – in present-day Russia. The leading Vyatichi families had set up home in towns where the Russian and Vyatichi lands met under Grand Prince Vladimir of Kiev.

Many of the people Kuksha spoke to about the Christian faith were pagans and his successful missionary activities upset the local pagan priests. They began to incite hatred toward Kuksha until eventually he was taken prisoner, tortured and beheaded on 27 August 1113.

I am not brave.

I am not the stuff
that martyrs are made of
I would rather not hear, not see.

I would rather turn away.

I would like an undisturbed life, but there is no escape
for I cannot love you and be totally silent.

Frank Topping (1909-1997), The Words of Christ