Father Nektarios Serfes - Royal Martyrs Of Russia
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Tsar Nicholas II
Tsar Nicholas II
80th Anniversary Of The Martyrdom Of Tsar Nicholas II And Family
1918-1998

by
Father Nektarios Serfes
Boise, Idaho U.S.A.


May 1998

Let the last soldier of Christ our Lord, and his family be buried on July 17, 1998 will mark the occasions of the Holy Martyrdom of His Imperial Majesty Tsar Nicholas II, Her Imperial Majesty, Tsarina Alexandra, His Imperial Majesty Grand Duke Tsarevich Alexis, and Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Olga, Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Tatiana, Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Marie, and Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Anastasia. The 80th anniversary of perhaps the most  horrific martyrdom of this century will not just be "another day" for  many people across this nation, and other countries, who love this royal  family who not only deeply loved each other, but also loved Russia and it's people, and above all loved  our Lord God.

His Imperial Majesty Tsar Nicholas II, Emperor of Russia, and His wife, Her Imperial Majesty Empress Tsarina Alexandra where consecrated Sovereigns of the great Russian Empire. During their lifetime God and the people of the Empire were dear to them everyday. In addition their children where their joy and their peace. However, during their lifetime, revolution was at their doorstep, nothing or anything could of stopped this violent revolution against God and the Tsar of Russia, and his family, who became innocent, slaughtered lambs. To speak of this Imperial Romanov Family is like speaking of a family who lived their lives with great fortitude, and  who at the end became a great, living example of a good and loving Christian family, an example also reflected in their everyday activities, which were touched with holiness and goodness...

We may learn about this quality of  holiness from Saint John (Maximovitch) of San Francisco, who himself was born in village of Adamovks in the province of Kharkov in southern Russia. He often wrote about the Royal Martyrs Tsar Nicholas and his family with great devotion and with love. In reflecting on the  holiness of the Royal Martyrs, St. John wrote humbly in this manner:

"Holiness is not simply righteousness, for which the righteous merit the enjoyment of blessedness in the Kingdom of God, but rather such a height of righteousness that men are filled with the grace of God to the extent that it flows from them upon those who associate with them. Great is their blessedness; it proceeds from personal experience of the Glory of God. Being filled also with love for men, which proceeds from love of God, they are responsive to men's needs, and upon their supplication they appear also as intercessors and defenders from them before God." (Orthodox Word, Vol. 2, No. 5 (11) November-December, 1966., inside cover).

The pursuit of holiness and righteousness, as well as love for God, was the main part of the daily life of the Royal Martyrs of Russia. This pursuit took on an enhanced quality and importance once the Tsar, his beloved family, and friends were placed under house arrest first in Tsarskoye Selo, then in Tobolsk, and finally in Ykaterinburg. In reflecting on this period of house arrest, we begin to see a heightened spirituality in their actions and in their letters sent to family members and friends. Even the young, innocent, Heir to the throne, Tsarevich Alexis expresses great humility, endurance, patience and love to those who persecute him and his beloved family. Grand Duchess Olga expressed the need for love for all on behalf of her father the Tsar. The Empress Alexandra encouraged faith and prayer, in the recipients of her  correspondence.

While under house arrest, as everything was  taken away from them, it is clear that  materialism meant  nothing to this devoted family. We find that all the palaces and all the riches that go with a monarchy meant to them a means of loving and supporting one another, loving God - and even loving their enemies. Every member of this family knew that spiritually it was not going to be  long before they would have to face an evil attack and a evil end; this was apparent in the way each one was treated on a daily basis while under house arrest. Often those who where in charge during this time had to be relieved of their posts because they themselves found this family to be most honorable, meek, innocent, kind, righteous, and loving. The Bolshevik authorities had to bring in the cruelest men to guard them, men who had no love for this family or indeed anyone else. Such men where not hard to find as Russia and it's people began to turn away from the love of their own Tsar and from God, as well as from one another!

The question was, how to  get rid of this family?  It has been recently reported that several ideas have come to light showing how the authorities debated this issue. One was that they should blow up the Ipatiev House; another was that they could poison the family. Finally it was decided to simply shoot all the members of the Royal Family and also those devoted servants who had voluntarily gone with them into captivity, not wanting to leave them at this time of trial. No one was to escape, and not one was to live! Love was to be destroyed! Love for God, love for one another, love for country had now a different meaning! A new type of internal power was being created, and those who sought this power turned away from God, and in the end even away from their own people.

This 80th anniversary cannot be just be forgotten or be overlooked, because God in His great Love has not allowed this righteous family not  to be forgotten, even among those who continue to persecute the Royal Family by their words and in the continuing assertion that this family was the reason for the fall of Russia.

I shall present in another web site the reason why the monarchy in Russia fell, and who was  to blame I believe it was not just one issue, or one individual who brought the down fall of the Imperial Romanov family, but that it was a combination of many historical factors, as well as serious decline in the spirituality of the Russian people. One cannot blame just the Tsar, the Tsarina, the Tsarevich, or the Grand Duchesses, or any other influences, because we have to look at the whole picture and contemporary accounts of the times. Too many false accounts were presented by the Bolshevik Government and then the communist party. The media did not help either, nor those who betrayed the Imperial Romanov Family, nor those who were hungry for power and domination. Those who finally did take complete control of the government and Russian people did not believe in God; they were motivated by different, materialistic principles. Sadly enough, since the fall of communism in Russia, we still encounter those who have not let go of such ideals and beliefs. This is apparent  among some members of the Duma, and in a certain percentage of the  general population. We still have those who say that they would refuse to celebrate this anniversary of the martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, and that they would rather have  July 17 pass as quickly as possible.

However those who continue to love God, one another, and the Royal Martyrs of Russia, will, as they reflect on the importance of this day, gain much spiritual insight. Think about what each member of the family said and went through for the sake of all Russia and its people they loved dearly. As I have stated earlier, this spiritual heightening becomes quite apparent once the Imperial Romanov family were placed under house arrest in Tobolsk and then in Ykaterinburg. Please note that the family's actions were motivated by the greatest Christian principles, and they were a good example of the faith they loved and believed. In the end it became their strength, their hope, their joy, and their peace.

It would be a great spiritual comfort and a great hope, that Russia will put the past behind them by offering an act of "forgiveness," and giving a hope that the holy burial and holy canonization of this righteous Imperial Romanov family will not be celebrated, but highly regarded as an act of love, as an act of repentance, and finally as a time for internal renewal. By this great offering, a new life begins for all of mankind. Hope and love prevails in a society that cares for one another and loves one another. Our Gracious God too, at the same time, will bestow blessings upon those who love Him and one another.

Now to the burial of these Royal Martyrs! This is expected to take place on July 17, 1998; however some tensions have now recently arisen within the Patriarchate of the Synod of Bishops in Moscow, even although earlier (on January 28, 1998) it had been agreed to participate in the funeral. The Patriarchate is having problems with the scientific studies, and does not want to be responsible if these are shown to be not the bones of the Imperial Romanov Family at some later date.

Grand Duchess Leonida, Father Nektarios Serfes, & Grand Duke Vladimir,
Grand Duchess Leonida, Father Nektarios Serfes, & Grand Duke Vladimir, 1988
Thanks be to God however, Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna Romanov has recently made an earnest appeal that the Tsar and his beloved family's remains be buried on the 80th anniversary, in spite of the reservations recently expressed by the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow.

In  spite of the fact that two DNA test which were done on the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family concluded that these are the bones of the Royal family, Grand Duchess Leonida has expressed the opinion that  "any Christian has the right to be duly buried."  and that "despite the doubts, a speedy burial must go ahead".

In conclusion Grand Duchess Leonida said, after the funeral, the remains "will be accessible to believers, prayers will be constantly said near them, and then probably spiritual proof of their authenticity will emerge - which is much more important than the results of scientific studies."  These feelings and expressions by Grand Duchess Leonida are honorable and respectful to the relatives of her late husband, who was laid to rest in St. Petersburg at the Cathedral of the Apostles Peter and Paul, in April 1992. The Grand Duchess is also the mother of Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria, herself the mother of the His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Georgy who is considered by most monarchists to be the heir to the Romanov throne.

Grand Duchess Maria, once the bones were identified, wrote to President Boris Yelstin and expressed the family's desire that Nicholas' wishes be respected. "The Russian imperial house feels strongly that the burial of the royal martyrs is not just a family issue but a national issue, and must take place through a joint decision of the government, the Orthodox church, the people and the dynasty," she wrote in the letter, whose text was published in the daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta. The Grand Duchess Maria also desires that the bodies of the Royal Family be buried as the Tsar had earlier requested. He even had an extra royal vault made in 1911 in St. Petersburg at the church of Ss. Peter and Paul. This is the church where the Royal Martyrs Tsar Nicholas II and his family are expected to be buried.

His Royal Highness Prince Nicholas Romanov, a cousin to the Tsar Nicholas II, has as well expressed his joy that the funeral will take place this July.

President Boris Yeltsin of Russia just recently met with Patriarch Alexy on  May 11, and a discussion was held with regard to the burial of the Imperial Romanov Family. It was expressed that "the Kremlin wants the burial, due to take place on July 17, 1998 in St. Petersburg, to be a symbolic gesture of repentance, hoping it will bring peace and stability to the society" it was reported. President Yeltsin may try to convince the church head to take part in the funeral, because of their reservations recently in regards to the authenticity of the bones. It has also been reported: "However, the decision is not final and the patriarch still may participate."Cathedral of Ss. Peter & Paul, St. Petersburg
Cathedral of Ss. Peter & Paul, St. Petersburg

On July 16 the bones will be transported to St. Petersburg by plane after a ceremony in Yekaterinburg. The following day the bones will be buried after a service in the presence of relatives and official delegates, Aksyuchits said, adding that "nothing but a flood" could stop the ceremony for taking place.

Let me humbly close with these words quoted by St. John (Maximovitch) of San Francisco: "Tsar Nicholas II was a servant of God by his inner world-outlook, by conviction, by his actions; and he was thus in the eyes of the whole Orthodox Russian people. The battle against him was closely bound up with the battle against God and faith. In a word, he became a Martyr with his family, have remained faithful to the Ruler of those who rule, and accepted death in the same as the martyrs accepted it". The voices of the Royal Martyrs Tsar Nicholas II and his Family are now crying before the Throne of our Gracious God who loves us when we love Him and one another.

For further up to date reports please visit Bob Atichison web site: "Alexander Palace Time Machine" under News: http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/index.html  Also please visit my web site in regards to the The Royal Martyr Burial in Russia".

I would like to humbly thank John Wilson Smith for his kind assistance in the presentation of this web site.

Thanks to Raso Zeljko from Herceg Novi for sending me the "Portrait of Tsar Nicholas II", and to Linda S. DeLaine for her kind assistance in obtaining the photo of Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg.  For further viewing of the Church and Interior of this Cathedral http://www.unilib.nera.ru/city/churches/church0Ia.htm


Holy Royal Martyrs Tsar Nicholas

and Family

Pray Unto God For Us!

Glory Be To GOD For All Things!
father@serfes.org

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