Topic: Elizabeth Feodorovna GD
The Russian Orthodox Church is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the canonization of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna Romanova. She was renowned during her lifetime for her missionary, educational and charitable work. The Martha and Mary Convent of Mercy which she created with her own funds continues to this day to assist the needy, Vesti reports.
Grand Duchess Elizabeth was the widow of Grand Duke Sergeii Alexandrovich, who had been assassinated by terrorists in 1905. After her husband's death, she gave away her magnificent collection of jewels, including her wedding ring, and sold her other possessions. With the proceeds, she opened the convent and became its abbess. Her vision was to begin a religious community, made up of women from all social strata, that would merge the ideals of saints Martha and Mary, dedicated both to prayer and to serving the needs of the poor.
St. Elizabeth’s death was that of a martyr. Arrested on Lenin’s order, she was thrown into a mine and peppered with grenades, dying a slow and painful death.
Elizabeth was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 1981, and in 1992 by the Moscow Patriarchate as New Martyr Elizabeth. Her principal shrines are the convent she founded in Moscow, and the St. Mary Magdalene Convent on the Mount of Olives, which she and her husband helped build, and where her relics (along with the Nun Barbara) are enshrined. She is one of the ten 20th-century martyrs from across the world who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, London, England.
A statue of Elizabeth was erected in the garden of her convent after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its inscription reads: "To the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna: With Repentance."
© Russkiy Mir Foundation. 02 April, 2012