Royal Martyr Crown
Prince Alexis (middle)
Royal Martyr Family
The Holy Royal Martyr Crown-Prince Alexis, and Grand Duke of Russia
Fr. Demetrios Serfes
The Holy Royal Martyr Crown-Prince Tsarevich Alexis, was the son of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia. The Tsarevich Alexis is considered the first "Child-Martyr" of Russia, since he and his beloved family where martyred on the eve of the 16th and 17th of July 1918. The Tsarevich Alexis can be well described by one of his teachers who wrote:"Crown Prince Alexis was a boy of forteen, clever, observant, receptive, affectionate, full of joie de vivre. He was inclined to be lazy and not particularly like reading. He took after both his parents: he had inherited his father's simplicity and was a stranger to arrogrance, but he had a will of his own and would only obey his father. His mother wanted but was unable to be strick with him...Undoubtedly, his illness left its mark in shaping his character. He disliked court etiquette. He liked being with the soldiers and even learnt their language, using pure folk expressions in his diary which he had picked up from them. In his inclination to stringiness, he resembled his mother; he disliked spending his own money and collected discared nails, grey paper, string..."(This text is from: "Nicholas And Alexandra The Family Albums", text and captions by Prince Michael of Greece, Tauris Parke Books, London., 1992., P.232).
The Tsarevich Alexis had suffered from haemophilia, an incurable condition which prevents the blood from coagulating.This illness remained with the young Crown-Prince all during his young life, even up until his holy Martyrdom on the 17th of July, 1918. The Royal Martyr Tsar Nichoals II when awoken on the eve of the 16th of July had to carry his son (of 80 pounds) downstairs in the Ipatiev house in Ekaterinburg, and sadly enough his beloved Father was unaware where he was carrying his beloved son. Although spiritually speaking Tsar Martyr Nicholas carried his son to the Kingdom with him and all his family. Here we have a innocent child-martyr, here we have a child-martyr who himself was at most of his life in pain and most uncomfortable, but from the many photos we noticed as well as from several videos, we note an active and cheerful as well as a kind child, who lived a pure life, filled with love and smiles even for the guards in the end, in spite of the fact they kept stealing his personal items, and where rude to him and to the whole family! The young child-martyr Alexis was very religious and often had his mother the Tsarina Alexandra read to him from the lives of the saints, and holy scripture when he was gravely ill.
The child-martyr Alexis also kept a diary, and we really get to know who he is after reading excerpts from his diary. Long after his holy martyrdom we have discovered prayer books that belonged to the Tsarevich., as well as many icons. In looking and observing his room from the many photographs of his room or any room while he was ill he had many icons and where all over the walls, it was said that all his rooms where like a Church, no matter where he stayed, and at what palace, even up until his last days at the Ipatiev house. He especially loved St. Seraphim of Sarov, whom this Crown-Prince was born as to the results of the intercessions of this saint in whom all the family reverently loved and prayed to very often. It was said that the Tsarina Martyr Alexandra read the life of St. Seraphim to the children not to many hours before their holy martyrdom. He loved to gaze upon the holy icons, and they where a means of great spiritual strength to him. Many of these holy icons where giving to him as gifts and he loved to receive them. He was very particular about his language, as he loved only to speak Russian with his family and those whom he knew well, even although he knew how to speak English. We as often note that he loved to go to Church, and we can see several photographs of him attending Church with his family. He was as it seems both on video and by the photographs seemed so proud to be with his Father Tsar Nicholas, when especially when they viewed the troops, or attended an important ceremony. Nothing occupied the family of Tsar Nicholas, the Tsarina, and his four sisters then the concern and care for the delighted happy child the Crown-Prince Alexis whether during his grave illness or when he was not ill. This well-behaved, affectionate and endearing boy found spiritual beauty all due to the fact of his complete devotion to God and his family, and his love for Russia and it's people. He was especially well loved the troops and soldiers whom he enjoyed talking too on many occasions. When this loving child Alexis was gravely ill, so wasn't those who surrounded him, as all the family loved him most dearly, and where quite devoted to him. I remember once reading that when the Tsarevich was so ill the whole household were deeply effected, sorrow could be seeen and felt by everyone. However, we must highly keep in mind his beloved Mother the Tsarina Alexandra was very compassionate, and caring for her beloved ill son, and not only for her illed son, but also she was known as a great 'friend of the sick and the poor'. In her life time the Tsarina always had her door open to the most deprived people, however the pain she suffered was the most was for her beloved son the Crown-Prince Tsarevich Alexis, and one can surely note the affection of the son for the Mother, and vice versa, as we note the many photographs we now have available.
However both the Tsar and Tsarina, as well as the daughters where devoted to the care of the Crown-Prince, not only in his grave hours of his illness, but also when he was well. Sadly enough we can notice in some photographs, and in some videos of the Crown-Prince limping as he walked, but he always tried to walk in a honorable way as a Crown-Prince was expected. The Royal Martyrs of Russia where very proud of their son, and lived as a family who cared for one another, and lived out their lives simply enjoying the fruits of their many blessings, but also during the most tragic hours of their lives, God had giving all of the family a greater strength and endurance, as well as the patience of the holy Prophet Job. The young innocent Child-Martyr Crown-Prince Tsarevich Alexis knew well the days ahead and what would eventually become of him and his family, but this gentle child was well prepared spiritually and mentally who gave his fate to God! The great sacrifice had been made at the hour when thy young Child-Martyr was giving a chair to sit next to his beloved Father and Mother, at the hour of the execution at the house in Ekaterinburg in the cellar during the early morning hours of the 17th of July 1918. During that final hour of horror, the shots rang out and all of the Royal Martyred Family where shot to death, as well as those with them... We have horrific reports that the Crown-Prince was shot again and again as he laid on the floor in pain, and then we have reports that he was kicked in the head by his brutal killers, and the sweet soul lived no more, but gave up his loving soul to our God with great love and devotion along with his family, and as well as with his friends.
Sadly enough too, even his dog "Joy" was killed. The Holy Royal Martyr Crown-Prince Tsarevich Alexis, can be considered in the holy Orthodox Church as the first "Child-Martyr", for whom all children can be assured of his intercessions even up to this very hour! The young Child-Martyr was now carried in the arms of his Father into the Kingdom of our Gracious loving-God. For the Crown-Prince Tsarevich suffered no more, as his purity and love for God Shines in the Kingdom of our God with his beloved Father Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, his loving Mother Tsarina-Martyr Alexandra, and his devoted sisters the Martyred Grand Duchess Olga, the Martyred Grand Duchess Tatiana, the Martyred Grand Duchess Marie, and the Martyred Grand Duchess Anastasia...as well as those with them...
The above humble presentation has been printed in honor of the Birthday of the
Child-Martyr Crown-Prince Alexis,
born on 30 July 1904,
and in commemoration of his
holy martyrdom 17 July 1918,
and dedicated to all Children!
A Prayer On Behalf Of The Child-Martyr Crown Prince Alexis of Russia
Father Nektarios Serfes
LET US PRAY, TO THE LORD:Out of the depths of my heart I cried unto Thee, O Lord,
Who came into to the World to save us,
Be ever-merciful until us all,
Look at us not in judgement,
At the killing and persecution of Thy amiable and innocent Child-Martyr Alexis,
Who truly agonized in illness, and who loved all and cared for all,
Who was pure, and lifted up his sweet innocent soul to Thee in prayer,
Forgive us, who has been patient with all our sins,
to grant merciful peace to us all, and to all those who love Thee -Forgiveness!
Rejoice, O' Child-Martyr Alexis, we who cry unto thee,
to pray for us poor sinners, and all children!
Editors notes: For all of my life, I have collected many photographs of the Royal Martyrs of Russia, including the Child-Martyr Crown Prince Tsarevich Alexis, and on the 17th of July 1997, in commemoration of his holy martyrdom, I have published a photograoh book in his honor, and in his memory: "A PHOTOGRPAH BOOK OF THE HOLY ROYAL MARTYR CROWN-PRINCE ALEXIS", and this book can be obtained for $20.00 plus 15% for p.& h., please kindly write me to obtain a copy:Father Nektarios Serfes
2618 West Bannock Street
Boise, Idaho 83702
Holy Child-Martyr Alexis,
Pray Unto God For Us!
Glory Be To God For All Things!
b a c k - t o p e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org. 11-21-1998