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Royal Martyr Czar St. Nicholas II
Royal Martyr Czar St. Nicholas II the Passion Bearer

1868 1918

Last czar of Russia (18941917), son of Alexander III and Maria Feodorovna.

Nicholas was educated by private tutors and the reactionary Pobyedonostzev. Alexander III gave his son little training in affairs of state, and Nicholas proved to be a charming but ineffective and easily influenced ruler. In 1894 he married Princess Alix of Hesse (Alexandra Feodorovna).

Soon after his accession Nicholas stated that he intended to maintain the autocratic system. He continued the suppression of opposition, the persecution of religious minorities, and the Russification of the borderlands. Revolutionary movements were growing rapidly. The Social Democratic Labor party (later split into Bolshevism and Menshevism) was founded in 1898; the Socialist Revolutionary party was formed in 1901; the liberals pressed for constitutional government. In foreign affairs, Nicholas initiated the first of the Hague Conferences and supported an aggressive policy in East Asia.

The humiliating outcome of the Russo-Japanese War (19041905) resulted in the peasant revolts, industrial strikes, and violent outbreaks known as the Revolution of 1905. In January, 1905, a crowd of workers who had come peaceably to petition the czar were fired upon in front of the Winter Palace; the government's action on that "Bloody Sunday" proved fateful. After the general strike of October, 1905, Count Witte, who soon became premier, induced Nicholas to sign a manifesto promising representative government and basic civil liberties. An elected duma and an upper chamber were set up, but neither the extreme revolutionaries nor the czar were disposed to support the parliament.

Nicholas soon curtailed the Duma and dismissed Witte in 1906, replacing him with I. A. Goremykin and then with P. A. Stolypin. The outbreak in 1914 of World War I briefly swept aside internal conflicts. In 1915, Nicholas took over the command of the army from Grand Duke Nicholas, leaving the czarina in virtual control at home. This act led to a constant stream of resignations from the ministers; their posts were filled by the sycophants of Alexandra, who was completely dominated by Rasputin until his murder in 1916.

Discontent at home grew, the army tired of war, the food situation deteriorated, the government tottered, and in March, 1917, Nicholas was forced to abdicate. He was held first in the Czarskoye Selo palace, then near Tobolsk. The advance, in July, 1918, of counterrevolutionary forces caused the soviet of Yekaterinburg to fear that Nicholas might be liberated; after a secret meeting a death sentence was passed on the czar and his family, who were shot along with their remaining servants in a cellar at Yekaterinburg on the night of July 16. Their bodies were buried or burned in a nearby forest.

Discovered in 1979, the remains of the czar and the others who had been buried were unearthed in 1991 and reburied in St. Petersburg in 1998. In 2000 the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the czar and the members of his immediate family.





Akathist to the Royal Martyr Czar St. Nicholas II


Kontakion 1


O passion bearer chosen from birth and incarnation of the love of Christ, we sing thee praises as one who did love all the fatherland. As thou hast boldness before the Lord, enlighten our darkened minds and hearts that we may cry to thee:

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.


Ikos 1


The Creator of angels did send thee to the Russian land as an angel of meekness and instructor to thy people, as He did choose thee after the example of His Only Begotten Son to be a sacrifice of redemption for the sins of the people. And we, marveling at the Providence of the Almighty towards thee, cry out with contrition:

Rejoice, O likeness of Christ.

Rejoice, sacrifice of whole burnt offering.

Rejoice, adornment of the Tsar's of Russia.

Rejoice, thou who gavest an example of meekness and forgiveness to all.

Rejoice, true hope of the offended.

Rejoice, unshakable foundation of faith.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.


Kontakion 2


The All good Mother of God, seeing her chosen place, the Russian land, defiled by the abomination of corruption, chose thee from thy birth as a most pure one who would be for the cleansing of Russia, that all might as a funeral lamentation make a hymn to thee: Alleluia.


Ikos 2


The pre-eternal Mind did fore know thy salvation and thy life, prefigured by Job the Much Suffering, joining thy birth and the memory of the righteous one. And we, recalling our sins and lawless deeds, with trembling of heart and contrition of soul cry out to thee thus:

Rejoice, thou who didst endure abuse and trials from thine own people.

Rejoice, thou who didst preserve the Faith to the end.

Rejoice, example of meekness.

Rejoice, guardian of the worship of God.

Rejoice, rule of humility.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.


Kontakion 3


The power of the Most High did overshadow thee, O God crowned Nicholas, who didst fight back to enlighten the West in its false wisdom, that the world might cry out to God: Alleluia.


Ikos 3


Having fervor for the enlightenment of those gone astray, thou, O right believing Tsar, was zealous for the erection of churches, the glorification of the relics of the Saints who pleased God, the planting of Christian enlightenment, and the protection of the unfortunate against violence, and so the Christian world cried out to thee thus:

Rejoice, namesake of St. Nicholas upon the earth.

Rejoice, fellow intercessor with St. Seraphim in Heaven.

Rejoice, planter of Orthodoxy.

Rejoice, bearer of the Light of Christ.

Rejoice, teacher of Christian patience.

Rejoice, intercessor for Orthodox Christians.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.


Kontakion 4


Thou didst not fear the storm of folly and abuse, O Passion bearer Nicholas, when thou didst renounce agreement with the enemies for the destruction of the fatherland; and thou didst endure censure, imprisonment, and death, crying to the Almighty: Alleluia.


Ikos 4


Hearing of the tumults of the Russian land and beholding the destruction of Christians, thou didst unceasingly pray, that the alleged Mother of God save Orthodox Russia. Wherefore, we cry out to thee:

Rejoice, fragrant incense of prayer.

Rejoice, inextinguishable lamp of faith.

Rejoice, admonisher of the violent by the meekness.

Rejoice, consoled of the disconsolate amid sorrows.

Rejoice, lover of heavenly things.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.


Kontakion 5


Thou hast been revealed as a God-guided star for Russians in the diaspora, O Tsar Nicholas; for, gathering them together in thy name, thou dost show the path to the rebirth of the Russian land, that we may hear angels crying out: Alleluia!


Ikos 5


Seeing that thy meekness and humility accomplished nothing, thou didst place all thy hope in the Most Pure Mother of God and give thyself entirely into the hands of the Almighty, that even the senseless might be instructed to sing to thee:

Rejoice, vanquisher of pride,

Rejoice, invincible rampart of the infirm.

Rejoice, enlightenment of the proud.

Rejoice, overflowing love for thy people.

Rejoice, fervent sacrifice for the Russian land.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God-crowned Tsar and great passion- bearer.


Kontakion 6


The ends of the world preach thy glory, and thy word hath gone forth into all the earth; for there is no sacrifice thou wouldst not have offered for the good of the Russian land, thereby teaching thy people to sing in thanksgiving to God: Alleluia.


Ikos 6


Thou didst shine forth greater than the sun for the Russian land, O Tsar Nicholas, revealing thine intercession for the Orthodox people even unto death, that all might be converted to Christ and hasten to thee. Therefore we hymn thee thus:

Rejoice, O light that hath come out of the East.

Rejoice, example to Orthodox kings.

Rejoice, unquenchable shining of righteousness.

Rejoice, unsetting luminary of meekness.

Rejoice, fatherly exhortation to sinners.

Rejoice, fervent glorification of the righteous.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God-crowned Tsar and great passion-bearer.


Kontakion 7


Wishing to strengthen Orthodox Faith on earth, thou didst move thy whole kingdom to the defense of the wronged land of Serbia, that all might cry out to God: Alleluia.


Ikos 7


The Lord did manifest thee as a new Noah, a builder of salvation for the Russian people, that all, remembering thy labors, might cry out ceaselessly thus:

Rejoice, helmsman of the Russian ship.

Rejoice, consoled of the Slavs in misfortunes.

Rejoice, guide of Russians.

Rejoice, proclaimer of the love of peace.

Rejoice, planter of Christian virtues.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.


Kontakion 8


We see strange wonder in thee, O Nicholas, who many times wast saved by the right hand of the Most High and was crowned by a martyr's crown with thy children and kinsmen, that we might cry out to God the Provider of all things: Alleluia.


Ikos 8


Thou was entirely a defender for all Christians, O divinely chosen Nicholas, and didst show a double intercession for the Slavic peoples, moving them to sing to thee in praise:

Rejoice, defense of the offended.

Rejoice, exhortation to offenders.

Rejoice, refuge of the grieving.

Rejoice, intercessor for the persecuted.

Rejoice, intercessor for the persecuted.

Rejoice, peacemaker in thy life.

Rejoice, champion of Christians after thy murder.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.


Kontakion 9


By many wonders did the Lord reveal His good will to the Russian people, until they did grieve Him mightily; but being called by thee in repentance, we cry out together unto God: Alleluia.


Ikos 9


Eloquent orators, like voiceless fish, cannot express the height of thy patience; but we, beholding the abyss of our fall, cry out in contrition of spirit:

Rejoice, unvanquishable patience.

Rejoice, unwavering faithfulness of Christians.

Rejoice, wise teacher of the foolish.

Rejoice, thou who didst give an example to the faithful in thy life and martyr's death.

Rejoice, thou who didst suffer for the sins of thy people.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.


Kontakion 10


Christ the Knower of hearts, Who founded His Church on the blood of martyrs, desiring to save all men, did place thee, O Passion-bearer Nicholas, as the foundation of the new house of the Russian realm, that all within it might cry out to God: Alleluia.


Ikos 10


Thou art a rampart for all who hasten to thee with faith, and an inextinguishable protection for the Orthodox world, and thou dost teach all the faithful to glorify thee thus:

Rejoice, manifestation of heavenly things on earth.

Rejoice, new strength for those grown faint in virtues.

Rejoice, dawn that hath shone forth on the land of Russia.

Rejoice, river that doth nourish all her boundaries.

Rejoice, teacher of the humility of wisdom.

Rejoice, planter of faith and love.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer


Kontakion 11


Offering a hymn to the Most Holy Trinity even unto thy death, thou didst finish thy course and keep the Faith, by which thou dost move all Orthodox Christians to sing: Alleluia.


Ikos 11


Thou wast sent by the Giver of Light to the Russian land like an immaculate lamb, and thou didst lay down thy life for the redemption of our sins, that we all might ceaselessly glorify thee thus:

Rejoice, sacrifice beloved of God.

Rejoice, unquenchable abundance of love.

Rejoice, praise of the faithfulness of Christ.

Rejoice, invisible blowing of the Spirit.

Rejoice, mirror of wisdom.

Rejoice, hope of the hopeless.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.


Kontakion 12


Divine grace which health the infirm did fore know thee as an imperishable healing for thy subjects who cry out to God: Alleluia.


Ikos 12


Hymning thy sufferings, O Passion-bearer Nicholas, we bow down before thy patience, for the power of the Almighty Trinity was manifest in thee, that we might all with one accord cry out:

Rejoice, beloved child of Christ.

Rejoice, thou who didst conduct thine immaculate children and faithful servants to Christ.

Rejoice, thou who didst aid the Queen to be righteous and a martyr.

Rejoice, thou who didst truly direct thy people.

Rejoice, thou who didst not bring abuse to the honor of thy fatherland.

Rejoice, thou who didst gain the Kingdom of Heaven.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.


Kontakion 13


O most wondrous and most glorious Passion-bearer Nicholas, look down upon thy earthly kingdom and thy people, for we have no answer for our sins, and entreat the Almighty that He may not enter into judgment with us, but might vouchsafe us ceaselessly to cry out:

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


(Kontakion 13 is repeated three times followed by the repitition of Ikos 1 and Kontakion 1)


Ikos 1


The Creator of angels did send thee to the Russian land as an angel of meekness and instructor to the people, and He did choose thee after the example of His Only Begotten Son to be a sacrifice of redemption for the sins of the people. And, we, marveling at the Providence of the Almighty towards thee, cry out with contrition:

Rejoice, O likeness of Christ.

Rejoice, sacrifice of whole burnt offering.

Rejoice, adornment of the Tsars of Russia.

Rejoice, thou who gavest an example of meekness and forgiveness to all.

Rejoice, true hope of the offended.

Rejoice, unshakable foundation of faith.

Rejoice, O Nicholas, God corwned Tsar and great passion bearer.


Kontakion 1


O passion-bearer chosen from birth and incarnation of the love of Christ, we sing thee praises as one who did love above all thy fatherland. As thou hast boldness before the Lord, enlighten our darkened minds and hearts that we may cry to thee:

Rejoice, O Nicholas God crowned Tszr and great passion bearer.


A Prayer To The Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas


O holy passion-bearer Tsar Martyr Nicholas! The Lord has chosen thee as His anointed one to judge with mercy and righteousness thy people and to be the guardian of the Orthodox Kingdom.

This royal service and the care for souls thou hast completed with the fear of God. Testing thee as gold in the furnace, the Lord has allowed bitter sorrows to come upon thee, as to the much suffering Job, by depriving thee of thy royal throne and sending upon thee martyric death.

Having meekly endured all this, like a true slave of Christ, thou art partaking of the highest glory at the Throne of the God of All, together with the Holy Martyrs, the holy Tsarina Alexandra, the holy youth Crown Prince Alexis, and the holy princesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia and with the faithful servants of thine, as well as with the holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth and with all the Royal Martyrs and the Holy Martyr Barbara.

For as having great boldness before Christ King, for whose sake thou hast endured everything, pray with us, that the Lord might forgive the sin of thy people, who did not stop thy slaughter, as King and Anointed One of God, that the Lord will deliver the suffering land of Russia from the fierce and godless ones, who came upon it because of our sin and apostasy, and that He will restore the throne of Orthodox Tsars, and to us will grant forgiveness of sins and will instruct us on every good deed, that we might acquire humbleness, meekness and love, as these Martyrs have done, that we will be vouchsafed the Heavenly Kingdom, where together with thee and all the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, we might glorify Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, both now and ever and to the ages of ages.

Amen.





The Royal Martyrs and Passion Bearers
Nicholas and Alexandra






Troparion


Most noble and sublime was your life and death, O Sovereigns; wise Nicholas and blessed Alexandra, we praise you, acclaiming your piety, meekness, faith and humility, whereby you attained to crowns of glory in Christ our God, with your five renowned and godly children of blessed fame. Martyrs decked in purple, intercede for us.





A reproduction of the icon depicted on this page
Royal Martyr Czar Nicholas II
can be obtained from
St. Isaac of Syria Skete


Biographical Source:
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition
Copyright 2002
Columbia University Press


For more information on the Royal Martyrs:
The Royal Martyrs of Russia






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