Eastern Orthodox Spirituality

Eagle Emblem of Royal Family Introduction To
The Royal Martyrs
Of Russia

(.....Continued)

by
Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes

Upon the holy Martyrdom of these Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia, we had the first known Proto-martyr of Russia, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev. After him, countless additional Metropolitans of the Russian Orthodox Church were martyred. Soon the Bishops assigned throughout all of Russia began disappearing, to the point that you could count the number of Russian Orthodox Bishops remaining on two hands. It should be noted that all of these Bishops were killed with prayer and praise for God on their lips at the time of their martydom. Since the year 1925,there have been only six Russian Orthodox Bishops in existance for all of Russia. The list of those martyred has continued to grow steadily onward throughout this century. It should be noted that religion is being some what tolerated in the 90's, in Russia, however, we are unsure how long Christianity will be tolerated. Let us pray that God will preserve and protect them who love Him and the Holy Orthodox Faith.

St. Tikhon the Confessor, the Patriarch of Moscow and All of Russia was poisoned on 25 March, 1925. This holy Patriarch was in a local hospital in poor health and exhausted. Every day, on the hour, a civil authority named Tuchkov of the new governement demanded a letter of betrayal from the holy Patriarch which he never signed, but is said to have been forged. There have been countless other holy martyrs of Russia within the Orthodox Church, since the Russian Revolution of 1917,Archimandrites, Priests, Deacons, Sub-Deacons, Readers, Monks, and Nuns. But bear with me humbly, these holy martyrdoms continued, parents, children,relatives, sisters, and brothers, as well as friends in Christ, all martyred before the closed eyes of the western world. It should be understood that the communist regime hid these martyrdoms from their own people as well as from the free world.

Slave camps came into existance and psychiatric hospitals were filled to overfilling with Orthodox Christians. Jews and other Christian religions were also victims of this massive state of persecution in the"New Regime" in the Soviet Union. No one could hardly believe this happened or was happening in Russia! The western world did not appeal for the concerns of those who suffered from martyrdom or starvation in what was soon to become the Soviet Union. Only in the last decade has the western world finally admitted that more then 70 million people persished since the 1917 Russian Revolution.

Now let me humbly return to THE HOLY ROYAL MARTYRS OF RUSSIA. So much material is being presented to us in regards to the holy Royal Martyrs of Russia. What is far more important to us is to consider that God in His own way will sanctify these Royal Martyrs and the new martyrs of Russia, as they all themselves sanctified their lives in Christ our Lord, and in His Chruch the holy Orthodox Wedding of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia Faith in which they loved and lived on a daily basis. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither anything hid, that shall not be known and come abroad (St. Luke 8:17). A horror of misunderstandings and non-support of Royalty in general, has caused several historians to distort, in an unfavourable way, the lives of the holy Royal Martyrs of Russia. These historians, who at times did not fully understand the teaching's of the holy Orthodox Faith have distorted the history of the Russian Holy Royal Martyrs.The forced atheistic beliefs of the Soviet Union's Government Policy also made it much more difficult for the Russian Orthodox Christians. As the Soviet Union gave slander and false reports about the Royal Martyrs of Russia, and the New Martyrs of Russia. It shoud be noted that the famous Russian Historian Alexander Solzhenitsyn has giving us a more sincere understanding of the sufferings of the Russian people since the Russian revolution of 1917.

Both the western world, and the peoples of Russia should spiritually now search more deeply into their souls, and to learn more about the truth at hand, in regards to the Tsar Martyr Nicholas II, and his family, as well as their piety, devotion, faith,love, and their hopes fot it's people, and their family ties. One must seriously consider have we really seen all the achieves in Russia, and have we been told the truth about THE HOLY ROYAL MARTYRS AND THE NEW MARTYRS OF RUSSIA since 1917? The new Russia needs to acknowledge the wrong that was done the Royal Martyrs and the new martyrs of that country, and make what amends can be offered at this stage. This should include a request for forgivness and proper burial for the Royal Martyrs and a show of respect and piety for the family, along with respect and acknowlegement of the millions and millions who make up the new martyrs of Russia (since 1917). We can no longer pretend that THE HOLY ROYAL MARTYRS OF RUSSIA were a soap opera. The Tsar Martyr Nicholas II lived for his family, and for his people, and they existed for the sake of Christ our true God and for all of His creation! More saints were canonized during the reign of the Royal Tsar Martyr Nicholas II than any Tsar of any century. The holy Royal Tsar Martyr Nicholas II, along with his family, and Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II & Tsarina Alexandra of Russiarelatives carried their heavy Crosses for the sake of the country's Orthodox people in Russia, and for the free world. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (St. John 15:13). We must spiritually consider that THE HOLY ROYAL MARTYRS OF RUSSIA lived with love and for the truth which was constantly attacked by those who desired earthly power and honor for their own sake. THE HOLY ROYAL MARTYRS OF RUSSIA did not run from their fate, and were not deeply concerned with leaving the peoples of Russia, therefore they did not flee to England or anywhere else in the world although it was suggested that they do so. This included the Holy Royal Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth. Perhaps some of those concerned for the Tsar and his family wrote to King George V of England, but perhaps not with the approval of Royal Tsar Martyr Nicholas II and his family. This also applies to the Holy Royal Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth, who also refused to leave Russia out of love for it's people, and her holy Convent.

Let me now humbly present to you:

The Abdication Manifesto of Nicholas II
of March 2, 1917.

Now let me also humbly present to you a sermon by St. John Maximovitch, in regards to the Tsar Martyr Nicholas II. St. John who himself was a spiritual phenomenon, and the Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco, California. St. John was just canonized a saint 2 July 1994. This sermon by St. John Maximovitch was written 40 years after the abdication of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, which has appeared in the book "Man of God, St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco" Published by the NIKODEMOS ORTHODOX PUBLICATION SOCIETY, in Redding,California. Obtain this spiritually rewarding book to reminiscence the life of St. John, read some of his sermons and testimonies of miracles complied in this volume reflect a spiritual vitality so refreshingly different from the pallid experience of today's Christianity. Here, truly, is a man of God.

Sermon by Archbishop John Maximovitch on a Memorial Service for the Tsar-Martyr

One only has to read the diaries of the holy Royal Martyr Tsar Nicholas II, as well as his wife, and his children, who all kept diaries. These diaries expressed a deep love for one another, for their relatives, for their friends, and for their country, as well as for the holy Orthodox Faith. Tsar Martyr Nicholas II often read from the holy scriptures to his family, as well as the Tsarina Martyr Alexandra The Holy Royal Martyr Tsarina Alexandrato their children. It is also apparent that the Tsar, Tsarina, and the children knew well the lives of the saints of the Orthodox Church.

The children of Tsar Martyr Nicholas II often quoted from holy scriptures,and endured well spiritually all during their lives and in their preparations for their holy martyrdom. Both the Tsar Martyr Nicholas II and Tsarina Martyr Alexandra expressed spiritually patience, and endurance to such a high spiritual eandeavor, that it brought them to greater spiritual heights. For those who did not understand these Christian virtues, are stunned till this very day of what and how THE HOLY ROYAL MARTYRS OF RUSSIA all found their peace with our God. Then the question most asked is how did THE HOLY ROYAL MARTYRS OF RUSSIA endure during their most difficult days? They believed and trusted in Christ our God, and together with the patience of the long-suffering Job over came their sorrows, and hardships. Let us highly consider that when the Tsar Martyr Nicholas II with his family and friends were under house arrest in Tobolsk, it became for them all in the end their GETHESAME (St. Matthew26: 36-56; St. John 18: 1-12), and when they were all under house arrest in Ekaterinburg it became for them their GOLGOTHA (St. Matthew 27: 33-35). But the righteous live forever more; their reward also is with the Lord,and the care of them is with the Most High (Wisdom 5:15).

Now let us look at the many photographs now available to us. Hundreds upon thousands of photographs now exist,as Tsar Martyr Nicholas II loved this hobby of taking photographs of his family, as he seemed to be taking these photographs to show the world in the next generation, look upon us, see us, how much we love one another, our country, and our people, -as well as to share that love with you! See the "Transfiguration" of these photographs as their martyrdom becomes apparent for Tsar Martyr Nicholas II, and for his family. Note the Royal Martyr Tsarina Alexandraphotographs of the holy "Transfiguration" of the Royal Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth..., and thanks be to God we can now even see her on video, and this is quite apparent as well! Observe the simplicity of how all of THE HOLY ROYAL MARTYRS OF RUSSIA dressed! Always in white observing the Christian virtue of purity. The Martyred Tsarina Alexandra and her husband well prepared the Royal Family for their Martydom. Note the photographs of the many holy icons observed in their rooms, and in their travels to the many church's they attended, as they went to Church daily, and only began each day with prayer, again this is obvious in their diaries, as well as the abundant photographs, and again thanks be to God, we now have this on video, too! Finally note the photographs of Tsar Martyr Nicholas II, and his family as they where in capitivity -under house arrest- in both Tobolsk, and Ekaterinburg. We observe their faces full of strain,and of pain, that seem to tell us all, we endure all this for you and out of love for all those who believe in God, and that they suffer for the sake of all Russia!

Now may I humbly also present to you, "AN ADDRESS ON THE OCCASION OF THE BIRTHDAY OF TSAR-NICHOLAS II", by St. Tikhon the Confessor, Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia. This following address was delievered by then Archbishop Tikhon, in the year 1904, when St. Tikhon was bishop of the American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church (1898-1907). Archbishop Tikhon later became the Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia (1917-1925).

The address exempliefies, first of all, the kind of attitude and understanding with which Orthodox Christians should have toward Orthodox monarchs. More importantly, it illustrates St. Tikhon's profound understanding of the responsibilities and problems of the Tsar-Martyr, who at that time especially was receiving a "badpress" because of Russia's involvement in the Russian-Japanese War.

In perceiving a "mysterious coincidence" in the fact that the Emperor's birthday fell on the daywhich is consecrated to the memory of St. Job the Long-suffering, St. Tikhon was surely prophetic. He lived to see the name of the Emperor become "a byword of the people" (Job 17:6) and "a byword of the nations" (Psalm 43:15) on a scale far exceeding the distortions and slanders of 1904, and he lived to see the long-suffering of the Tsar-Martyr tried to the last extreme before his own time come to demonstrate long-suffering in the face of torment and death.

Sermon by Archbishop Tikhon on occasion of the birthday of Tsar-Martyr Nocholas II

Prayers to The Royal Martyrs

Top | Back | Main | Next

Glory Be To GOD For All Things!

Content written/compiled by Father Nektarios Serfes.
(c) Father Nektarios Serfes