Igor II Olgovich Rurik, Prince of Novgorod-Seversky Grand Prince of Kiev, was born 1095 to Oleg I Svyatoslavich of Chernigov (c1053-1115) and Theophano Mouzalonissa (c1075-c1105) and died 19 September 1147 Kiev, Ukraine of unspecified causes.

Igor Olgovich (baptized: George, name in monasticism: Gavril (Gabriel) [1], in schema - Ignatius [2]. Son of Oleg Svyatoslavich of Chernigov . The Holy Russian Orthodox Church commemorates him on June 18 (June 5 o.s.) (transfer of relics) and on October 2 (September 19 o.s.).Prince of Novgorod-Seversky (1139-1146), Grand Prince of Kiev (1146) )[3].

Igor's rule in Kiev

On August 1, 1146, Prince Vsevolod, Igor's brother, died. Though his brother had extracted promises of loyalty from his Kievan subjects, Igor and his family, the Olgovichi, were unpopular and there was resistance against his accession. Aparently, the dislike of Vsevolod served to incite hatred for his brother Igor and all Olgovichi. The Kievans accused Igor of being dishonest, greedy, scheming, and violent. He had reigned less than two weeks before the Kievans invited his cousin and rival, Izyaslav Mstislavich, to be their prince. Reneging on a promise he had made not to seek power, Izyaslav attacked Igor who was supported by his brother Svyatoslav. A battle took place near Kiev, on the banks of Lake Nadove between the troops of Prince Igor and those of Izyaslav Mstislavich. During the battle, the Kievan troops moved to the side of Izyaslav. Svyatoslav escaped, but Igor Olgovich got bogged down for four days in swamps near Kiev, before being caught on August 13, 1146; he was brought to Kiev and incarcerated in a "chop" (a cold log cabin , without windows and doors) [4][5][6]. He languished in the pit until autumn 1146, when, desperately ill, he requested permission to become a monk. Izyaslav released him, but Igor was so weak he had to be carried from the pit and nearly died of illness. He became a monk at the Saint Theodore Monastery in Kiev under the name Ignati. But the prince recovered, remaining a monk of the monastery.

In 1147, the Kiev veche, wishing to take revenge on the Olhovichi family, attacked Igor, under the mistaken impression that he intended to usurp Izyaslav Mstislavich throne. The metropolitan and clergy, as well as Vladimir Mstislavich. the Grand Prince's brother, tried to stop the senseless bloodshed. The rebels broke into the church during the Liturgy, seized the Igor praying in front of the Holy Virgin's icon. Vladimir Mstislavich managed to save Igor from the enraged absolutely uncontrollable crowd and bring to his mother's court, but the people of Kiev broke the gate, wrested Igor from the hands of the defenders, killed him, and the corpse tied a rope to the corpse's leg, dragged the corpse behind a cart and exhibited it in a market before it could be recovered by Vladimir. The next morning the prince was buried in the monastery of St. Simeon, on the outskirts of Kiev [7][8][9][10][11].

The Transfiguration Cathedral in Chernigov , in which relics of St. Igor rest


In the opinion of B.A. Rybakov , the murder of Prince Igor, in addition to the general dislike of a great part of Kiev population towards the Olgovichi, was also due to the fact that even as a monk, he represented a real danger for the new Grand Prince Izyaslav Mstislavich. Half a century later, Izyaslav's nephew Ryurik Rostislavich was tonsured as a monk by his son-in-law Roman Mstislavich, but at the turn of fate gave up monasticism and became a prince again. Igor also went through all the coronation formalities and even concluded an agreement with the people of Kiev; even in the monastery he was still a prince and had his own grand-princely seal,which on one side had a representation of Saint George, Igor's patron, and on the other, Saint Sofia, the patroness of Kiev [10]..

According to I Ya. Froyanov the assassination had social reasons and should not be treated as a political assassination. It also had a magical character, corresponding to the pagan consciousness of the population. The murder of Igor had "a magical signification of suppressing any attempts of the Olgovichi to sit on the Kievan throne [12]

In 1150 Svyatoslav Olgovich transferred the relics of his brother to Chernigov and put it in the Transfiguration Cathedral.

During the Mongol-Tatar invasion of Rus' (1237-1240), Prince Igor's relics were hidden by the inhabitants of Chernigov under the foundation of the cathedral, where they are still today [13]. All attempts to raise the casket with relics were unsuccessful result due to the danger of collapse of the bearing wall of the cathedral.

He did not have any children.

The name of Igor was given to Igor Svyatoslavich, the future hero of the monument of literature of Ancient Rus "The Tale of Igor's Campaign", who, like his holy uncle, was buried in the Transfiguration Cathedral ​​of Chernigov.

Veneration in Orthodoxy

Murder of Igor Olgovich. Illustration of the Radziwill Chronicle


Prince Igor is revered as Orthodox in the image of the faithful, as well as the passion-bearer.

Days of Memory

Igor is commemorated on: ( October 2 (September 19 o.s.) the day of martyrdom of the holy and blessed Grand Duke Igor of Chernigov and Kiev (1147)

  • June 18( (June 5 o.s.8) day of the transfer of the relics of the holy and blessed Grand Duke Igor of Chernigov and Kiev (1150).[14]
  • October 5 (September 22 o.s.) - in the Cathedral of the Tula Saints (since 1987) [15] Day of the assembly of the Saint of Tula.

Prince Igor is also revered by the Catholic church, which reveres him under the name of Saint Igor II, Prince of Moscow [16][17].

Igor's Mother of God icon - (Игоревская икона Божией Матери). The State Tretyakov Gallery


Igor's Mother of God icon

Igor's Mother of God icon Russian: Игоревская икона Божией Матери, is the icon in front of which the holy martyr was praying in the last moments of his life on September 19, 1147). The icon was placed in the side-chapel of St. John the Theologian in the Assumption Cathedral of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. The icon has an inscription in Greek letters indication that it belonged to with the inscription on belonging to Igor Olgovich [14][18][19]..

The earliest known copies are two icons of the second half of the 16th century (both in the State Tretyakov Gallery : one comes from the collection of P.M. Tretyakov , the other came from the State Historical Museum ). Both were executed in Moscow, probably during the time of Metropolitan Makarius (1542-1563), when in his workshops repetitions of ancient honored icons were created with exact observance of their iconography and dimensions.

Churches in honor of the saint

  • Church of St. Igor of Chernigov (Novo-Peredelkino), a monument to Prince Igor of Chernigov and St. Philip
  • Church of St. Igor of Chernigov (Novo-Peredelkino)
  • Church-Chapel of the Blessed Prince Igor of Chernigov (Pushkin)
  • The Church of the holy faithful prince-sufferer Igor of Chernigov (Vladivostok)
  • The Church of the holy faithful prince-sufferer Igor of Chernigovy (Kiev)
  • The Church of the Holy Prince-Philistine Igor of Chernigov (Odessa)
  • The Church of the holy faithful prince-sufferer Igor of Chernigov (Dneprodzerzhinsk)


  1. ^ Литвина А. Ф., Успенский Ф. Б. - Выбор имени у русских князей в X-XVI вв. - pp.561—562}}
  2. ^ According to the assumption of M. N. Berezhkov and R.V. Zotov. (Зотов Р. В. - О черниговских князьях по Любецкому синодику, p. 264). The assumption was criticized by B. A, and F. B. Uspenskie. In their opinion, in Ancient Russia, it was not customary to give new names different from monastic names to those who were cut into the Small or Great Schema, and the information about the Christian names of Igor is unreliable, since they are based only on comparing the synodics of late origin.(Успенский Б.А., Успенский Ф.Б. - Экскурс III. Иноческие имена на Руси Отв. ред. Д.Г. Полонский (Архив РАН). - Moscow-Sankt Petersburg. Нестор-История, 2017. - p. 248)
  3. ^ "Игорь Ольгович. Большая биографическая энциклопедия, 2009". Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  4. ^ Собрание сочинений: В 8 тт. 2. История Российская. Ч. 2-4. Мoscow: Ладомир. 1995. p. 434. ISBN 5-86218-158-X. 
  5. ^ Соловьёв С. М. (1896). История России с древнейших времён (Изд. 2 Общественная польза ed.). Sankt Petersburg. p. 512. |website=
  6. ^ Карамзин Н. М. (2003). История государства Российского. 2. Мoscow.: АСТ. p. 879. ISBN 5-22404-058-2. 
  7. ^ Полное собрание русских летописей. 2. Ипатьевская летопись (1-е изд. ed.). Sankt Petersburg. 1843. 
  8. ^ Полное собрание русских летописей. 1. Летопись по Воскресенскому списку (1-е изд. ed.). Sankt Petersburg. 1846. 
  9. ^ Полное собрание русских летописей. 13. Летописный сборник, именуемый Патриаршею или Никоновской летописью. Ч. I (1-е изд. ed.). Sankt Petersburg. 1904. 
  10. ^ a b Рыбаков Б. А. (1991). Пётр Бориславич. Поиск автора «Слово о полку Игореве». Мoscow: Молодая гвардия. p. 286. 
  11. ^ В. В. Богуславский (2003). Славянская энциклопедия. Киевская Русь — Московия: в 2 т.. Мoscow: Олма-Пресс. p. 814. ISBN 5-224-02251-7. 
  12. ^ Фроянов И. Я. (2012). Древняя Русь IX-XIII веков. Народные движения. Княжеская и вечевая власть. Мoscow.: Русский издательский центр. p. 1088. ISBN 978-5-4249-0005-1. 
  13. ^ Поселянин Е. Н. (2003). Сказание о святых вождях Земли Русской. Мoscow: Паломник. p. 400. ISBN 5-37305-125-X. 
  15. ^ "Собор Тульских святых". 
  16. ^ Cергей Дыбов (2005-06-05). "День Святого Игоря Черниговского". 
  17. ^ "Saint Igor II" (in fr). Nominis. 
  18. ^ "Игоревская икона Божией Матери". 
  19. ^ "Игоревская икона Божией Матери" (in ru). Церковно-Научный Центр "Православная Энциклопедия". 



#g1: Offspring of Oleg I Svyatoslavich of Chernigov (c1053-1115) and Theophano Mouzalonissa (c1075-c1105)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Vsevolod II Olgovich of Kiev (1094-1146) 1094 1 August 1146 Maria Mstislavna of Kiev (c1108-c1155)
Igor II Olgovich of Kiev (c1095-1147) 1095 19 September 1147 Kiev, Ukraine
Mariya Olgovna of Kiev (c1097-1146) 1095 1147 Piotr Włostowic (c1080-1143)
Gleb Olgovich of Kursk (c1100-1138) 1100 1138 Veliky Novgorod, Novgorod Oblast, Russia Nomen nescio
#g2: Offspring of Oleg I Svyatoslavich of Chernigov (c1053-1115) and Daughter of Osaluka-Khan
Name Birth Death Joined with
Svyatoslav Olgovich of Chernigov (c1108-1164) 1108 1164 Yekaterina of Novgorod (c1115-c1170)


Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General