Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
Sverdlosk governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev meets with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill in Moscow
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is planning to head the commemorative events that will take place next year in the Sverdlovsk region in honor of the 100th anniversary of the assassination of the Royal Martyrs, Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
On 17 February, a working meeting between Sverdlosk governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, took place at the Patriarchal Compound in Moscow. Also in attendance were the head of the Archdiocese of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Metropolitan Kirill, and Bishop Savva, the first deputy governor of the Moscow Patriarchate.
It was during the meeting that Kuyvashev discussed the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the deaths of Emperor Nicholas II, his family and their retainers, to be held next year in Ekaterinburg. He noted that the main event will be on the night of July 17, 2018, and invited the patriarch to attend and lead the services, saying, “We are preparing for this event with the Ekaterinburg Diocese and, of course, we want to invite you to participate in the celebrations which will be dedicated to this tragic date.”
In return, His Holiness stated, “As next year will be the centenary, we must do everything to go on this pilgrimage, if we will be alive and healthy.” He stressed that the date is a momentous one for the Urals, for the whole Russian Church, for the people, and for history.
“I have long wanted to visit Ekaterinburg during these days, to go on the cross procession and pray with the people,” Patriarch Kirill stated.
In the ensuing conversation, they discussed the development of church life in the Urals, and church-state cooperation. Every year in July, the Royal Days is held in Ekaterinburg - a series of commemorative events dedicated to the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family. More than 100,000 Orthodox faithful are expected to take part in the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Holy Royal Martyrs on the night 16/17 July 2018.
Kuvayshev assured the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, that the authorities in the Sverlovsk Oblast are actively preparing for this date together with the Ekaterinburg for large-scale events to be held during the Royal Days from 14 to 19 July, 2018. He noted that a joint working group is actively working to develop educational programs and museum exhibits, new pilgrimage routes, as well as conferences and other events.
The members of the Imperial Family, along with Dr. Eugene Botkin and three servants: Ivan Kharitonov, Alexei Trupp, and Anna Demidova accepted a martyr’s death on the night of 16/17 July 1918 in the basement of engineer Ipatiev’s house in Ekaterinburg. Since September 2012 a Liturgy has been held on the night of the seventeenth of each month in the Church-on-the-Blood built on the site where the Romanovs were martyred. Every year, following the Liturgy on the night of 16/17 July a cross procession takes place from the church to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama (13 miles from Ekaterinburg), where their holy bodies were disposed of, in which tens of thousands come from across Russia and around the world to participate.
The Royal Martyrs—Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and their five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei—and their servants were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on November 1, 1981, and the family on August 20, 2000 by the Moscow Patriarchate, with Dr. Eugene Botkin’s canonization following on February 3, 2016.
The proposed St. Catherine's Cathedral (left) and the Church on the Blood (right)
Governor Kuyvashev also spoke with His Holiness about cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the authorities of the Sverdlovsk Oblast. According to Kuyvashev Ekaterinburg currently has 88 functioning Orthodox churches, with a further 20 to be constructed by 2020. In addition, the construction of St. Catherine's Cathedral - also known as the Church on the Water - built on an artificial island in the waters of the city pond (formed by the Iset River) is expected to be completed by 2023, the year marking the 300th anniversary of Ekaterinburg.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 20 February, 2017