Topic: 400th Anniversary
HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and Patriarch Kirill I visiting the Romanov exhibit in Ekaterinburg
The Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill I, have arrived in Ekaterinburg to take part in the celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, including the 145th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Nicholas II on May 18th, 1868.
The first stop was Ganina Yama where His Holiness laid the first stone for a new church and its consecration. The original wooden Church of the Mother of God was destroyed during a fire in 2010.
This was followed by a litany, and prayer at the cross marking the spot where the bodies of the last tsar, his family and faithful retainers were dumped into the abandoned mineshaft by the Bolsheviks in the early morning hours of July 18th, 1918.
His Holiness said: "During the 300-year-reign of the Romanov dynasty, Russia was a great power stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. The country's economic, social and political development were quickly outpacing those of other nations. In modern terms, its GDP was close to the second place in the world."
Patriarch Kirill I consecrates the new Church of the Mother of God at Ganina Yama
On the last tsar, he added: "The Monastery at Ganina Yama is a holy place. It provides an opportunity to remember the spiritual heroism of Nicholas II and his family, who accepted their deaths in gentleness, peace, forgiveness of enemies, in all humility and surrendering to God's hands. It is important that in light of the fact that the gravest crimes were committed on this site, that we erected this monastery."
"Despite the fact that during Soviet times everything connected with the royal family was distorted, despite the ridicule and reproach, like a concrete slab through which grass can not grow, their memory has always been alive in the hearts of people," he said.
Several thousand faithful arrived at Ganina Yama by bus, car and on foot from Ekaterinburg, and other towns in the surrounding region of Sverdlovsk.
The next stop was Ekaterinburg, where the Patriarch and Grand Duchess Maria stopped at the Church on the Blood, built on the site of the former Ipatiev House. Together they visited the nearby Patriarchal Compound where an exhibition featuring rare archival materials related to the House of Romanov is on display. The exhibit also included a collection of watercolours and personal items of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, the youngest sister of Nicholas II.
In the evening, His Holiness held a Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Ekaterinburg.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 18 May, 2013