Memorial Chapel in Memory of the Crowned Martyrs at Harbin, China Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
The Memorial Chapel in Memory of the Crowned Martyrs was erected in 1936 at Harbin, China. It was designed by the architect M. Oskolkova on the initiative of Archbishop Nestor (1885-1962) in honour of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and King Alexander I of Yugoslavia.
Tsar Nicholas II was murdered at Ekaterinburg on July 17th, 1918, and King Alexander I was murdered on October 9th, 1934 at Marseilles, France.
Alexander is remembered for offering a safe refuge for tens of thousands of White Russians who fled their homeland after the Bolshevik Revolution. The town of Sremski Karlovci became the seat of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and served as the spiritual center for Russian emigrants for many years.
Each year up until 1945, Archbishop Nestor would hold a secret liturgy in the chapel in memory of the members of the Imperial family who were murdered at Ekaterinburg, Alapayevsk and Perm.
With the establishment of the Communist Regime in China, many Russians left the country. The chapel was desecrated by local Communists and fell into disrepair. During the 1950s "cultural revolution" it was destroyed and replaced with an apartment block.
Remains of Alexei and Maria to be Buried in 2013 Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
The remains of the Tsesarevich Alexei Nicholayevich and the Geand Duchess Maria Nicholayevna may be buried in the summer of 2013, ITAR-TASS reports.
The announcement was made on November 16th by Sergei Mironenko, Director of the State Archives of the Russian Federation (GARF) in Moscow, where the remains are currently in temporary storage.
According to Mironenko the remains were transferred to GARF at the suggestion of the committee responsible for conducting tests on the authenticity of the remains. He went on to confirm that he believes the remains are authentic based on genetic examination carried out by scientists.
Mironenko pointed out that the decision to bury the royal remains has been resisted by "certain circles.""It is very important that a decision on the authenticity of the remains by the Moscow Patriarchate be made," he said, then noting that the position of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was "more progressive."
"When we opened the exhibition on the century long investigation into the murders of the Imperial family in the summer of 2012 at GARF in Moscow, comparing the investigations of Sokolov and Solovyov, Metropolitan Hillarion participated, and I must say that it was quite a challenge to prove to the Metropolitan that we were right after all."
In the meantime, the Moscow Patriarchate has never made an official final judgement on the issue regarding the authenticity of the remains. In early November, the Russian Orthodox Church stated that the identity of the remains found near Ekaterinburg in 1991 and 2007 remains an open question pending further historical and genetic research.
Synod of Bishops of the ROCOR Issues Statement on Royal Remains Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
During its regular session on June 14, 2012, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia deliberated on the matter of the discovery of the remains and other possessions relating to the martyrdom of the Royal Family which had been hidden in the walls of the stavropighial Memorial Church in Brussels.
During renovations on St Job the Much-Suffering Church, which is also dedicated to the memory of Holy Royal Martyr Nicholas II, the Royal Family and all those martyred during that time of troubles, a sealed lead cylinder was discovered along with a glass tube with a handwritten document containing an inventory of the contents of the cylinder.
The fact that the Memorial Church was in possession of these remains and other objects connected with the brutal murder of the Royal Family in Ekaterinburg had been known to the Synod of Bishops. It was also known that they were handed over by the investigator of the murder of the Royal Family, Nikolai A. Sokolov, before his death (November 23, 1924), to Prince Alexei Alexandrovich Shirinsky-Shikhmatov, and in 1940 were given to Metropolitan Seraphim (Lukianov), who at the time headed the Western European Diocese, and that further, on October 1, 1950, when the Memorial Church was consecrated by Metropolitan Anastassy, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, they were inserted into a sealed lead cylinder and built into the walls of the church.
The Synod of Bishops did not deem it proper to organize a search for the sealed capsule following the death of all the living witnesses, though naturally, over the recent two decades, many people exhibited an active interest in its existence.
Now, after its discovery, in light of the fact that the important question of the remains of the Royal Family is coming to a final conclusion based on new evidence and serious scientific research, and since controversy yet remains, the Synod of Bishops expresses its willingness to cooperate in the further study of this matter on the basis of the discovery together with the Church in Russia. An absolute condition of such research will be a pious attitude towards everything relating to the martyric end of the Royal Family and its faithful servants.
The Synod of Bishops believes and hopes that this will help achieve the final answer to this matter, which is so important to the Russian Orthodox Church.
New Romanov Evidence Can be Studied Without Reopening Investigation Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
The Russian Investigations Committee currently does not see any reason to resume the investigation into the murders of Nicholas II and his family based on the materials collected by White Guard investigator Nikolay Sokolov which were recently discovered in a Brussels church.
"There will probably be no initiatives from us to resume the criminal case. If the church files a request, we will decide what to do," Vladimir Solovyov, senior investigator with the Main Criminalistics Department of the Investigations Committee who investigated the case involving the killing of the tsar's family, told Interfax on Monday.
"We don't know for sure yet what has been found in Brussels," Solovyov said.
"We have no position that a criminal case will not be opened. Everything depends on what has been found. However, it's no longer 1992, when we did not have any evidence. Since then a lot of tests have been performed, so any new evidence which will prove that the remains are those of the tsar's family are unlikely to provide us with anything new," Solovyov said.
"We have no doubt that the remains are those of the tsar's family. As to the materials found in Brussels, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia have not asked the Investigations Committee to perform additional studies. Such studies can be performed without opening a criminal case," Solovyov said.
According to earlier reports, materials by investigator Sokolov, who investigated the killing of Russia's last Tsar Nicholas II and his family on the orders of Admiral Kolchak in 1919, were found during the reconstruction of the Church of Job the Long-Suffering in Brussels.
Representatives of the Romanov family said a study of the Brussels materials is likely to yield evidence on the issue of the authenticity of the tsar's family remains.
In January 2011, the Investigations Committee completed the investigation into the criminal case involving the killing of Nicholas II's family, recognizing the remains found near Yekaterinburg as those of the tsar's family.
The Russian Orthodox Church and the Romanov family have not recognized the remains as those of the tsar's family.
In late July 2012, it became known that the Moscow patriarchate may reconsider its stance on the "Yekaterinburg remains." Patriarch Krill told the Holy Synod in Kyiv that important information on the circumstances of the death of the tsar's family had been received from New York, where the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia is located.
The Romanov family said it will accept the position of the Russian Orthodox Church on the issue of the remains of Russia's last emperor.
ROCOR Refuses Research on Royal Remains Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) has categorically refused to hand over the recently-found fragments of the remains of the tsar family for laboratory research.
The remains were found not long ago during restoration at the St. Job's Russian Church in Brussels.
"The remains must on no account be subject to any manipulation. They are only for reverential prayers by the faithful," ROCOR, the Western European diocese of Russian Orthodox Church, said in a statement that reached Interfax-Religion.
During a session of the Holy Synod in Kiev in late July, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said that important news had come from New York, ROCOR's spiritual center, which had to do with the circumstances surrounding the death of the tsar and his family.
"These circumstances will, I believe, help us define our position on the issue of the so-called 'Yekaterinburg remains'", the Patriarch said.
Later, Alexander Zakatov, Director of the Chancellery of the House of Romanov, announced that lead cylinders containing earth from the Ganina Yama pit, where the bodies of the tsar and his family had been burnt, mixed with lipids excreted during the burning. There was an explanatory note in one of the cylinders.
"This is genetic material for new research," Zakatov said.
ROCOR said that the above remains, a small part of those discovered immediately after the beastly execution in Yekaterinburg, had been handed over by investigator Nikolay Sokolov to Prince Shirinsky-Shikhmatov in 1920. Two decades later, they were solemnly handed over to ROCOR head Metropolitan Serafim and in 1950 were transferred to St. Job's Church.
"We declare with all our responsibility that the document found during the restoration work is not new to us. There is a photo copy of it in the church's archives. Our church hierarchs have long been familiar with it Its contents have repeatedly been published," ROCOR said.
The cylinders, intact, were re-immured in the church along with the note which was enclosed into a new glass tube.
Russian Orthodox Church To Clarify Stance on Tsar Family Remains Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
The Russian Orthodox Church is planning to clarify its position regarding the recognition of the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family members who were murdered by the Bolsheviks shortly after the Russian Revolution, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said on Thursday.
Addressing members of the Holy Synod in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, the patriarch said he had received “very important information” from New York about the circumstances of the tsar family’s murder in July 1918.
“I suppose these circumstances will help us define our position, including that related to the so-called ‘Yekaterinburg remains,'” the patriarch said, without specifying what kind of information he had obtained.
He said he intended to share the materials with members of the Holy Synod and work out a unified position on the issue.
The Romanov family – the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, his German-born wife Alexandra, their four daughters and son – and several servants, were shot dead by the Bolsheviks in a basement in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg in the early hours of July 17, 1918.
The remains of most of the murdered tsar family members and their servants were discovered outside Yekaterinburg in July 1991 and buried in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg in the summer of 1998.
In 2007, seven years after the murdered Romanovs were canonized in 2000, two bodies that had been missing - the daughter and son of tsar Nicholas II - were discovered near Yekaterinburg.
DNA tests confirmed that the discovered remains were authentic, but the Church has so far refused to recognize their authenticity. It instead favors the version put forward by the original investigator, Nikolai Sokolov, who argued back in 1919 that the Romanov family’s remains had been completely destroyed.
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Tsarskoye Selo Commemorates the Royal Martyrs Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
The Holy Royal Martyrs were commemorated at Tsarskoye Selo today, in services at both the Alexander Palace and the nearby Feodorovsky Cathedral.
A prayer service was held in the Semi-Circular Hall of the Alexander Palace. It was through the doors of this room of the palace that the Imperial Family left the palace for the last time on August 1, 1917.
In the nearby Feodorovsky Cathedral a night liturgy was held in memory of the Holy Royal Martyrs. The service was led by Bishop Markell of the Peterhof Cathedral. The liturgy has been held every year since 2000 and is attended by hundreds of Orthodox faithful who live in Pushkin and the surrounding towns and villages.
"Forgive us, our Sovereign" Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
A series of billboards bearing the image of Tsar Martyr Nicholas and his family are appearing in towns and cities all across Russia.
The wording of the billboards vary, but the message is the same: "Forgive us, our Sovereign."
On July 17th Russia will mark the 94th anniversary of the murders of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra Feodorovna, their four daughters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and their son and heir-apparent, Alexis.
The Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 28 minutes, 16 seconds. Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
The Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land was built in 2000-2003 on the site of the former Ipatiev House at Ekaterinburg. It was here in the early morning hours of July 17th, 1918 that the former Emperor Nicholas II, his wife Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, their five children, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastastia, and their son and Heir-Apparent Tsesearevich Alexei, along with four faithful retainers were brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks. This beautiful Russian Orthodox Church commemorates their sainthood.
The Ipatiev House, built in the 1880s, was a spacious and modern residence owned by Nicholas Ipatiev, a local military engineer. In April 1918, the Ural Soviet gave him two days notice to vacate the house in order to house the former Imperial family. Once the building was vacated, the Soviets built high wooden walls around the house. The Romanovs would be held prisoner in their final residence for 78 days. In 1974, the mansion was designated a "national monument" but, to the embarrassment of the government, it was steadily becoming a place of pilgrimage for those who wished to honour the memory of the Imperial family. As a result, on September 22, 1977, under orders from the Soviet government a team, under the direction of Boris Yeltsin, demolished the house.
On September 20th, 1990, the local Sverdlovsk Soviet handed the vacant plot of land over to the Russian Orthodox Church for the construction of a memorial chapel. After the former Tsar and his family’s canonisation as Passion Bearers (the family was canonized in 1981 as new martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad), the Church planned to build an impressive memorial complex dedicated to the Imperial family. A state commission was gathered and architectural as well as funding plans were developed. Construction began in 2000.
The completed complex comprises two churches, a belfry, a patriarchal annex and chapel, and a museum dedicated to the former imperial family. The altar of the main church was built directly over the site of the basement room where the Imperial family was murdered. On June 16th, 85 years after their murders, the main church was consecrated by Metropolitan Yuvenaly, delegated by Patriarch Alexei II who was ill at the time, assisted by Russian Orthodox clergy from all over the Russian Federation.
Today, the church is a major place of pilgrimage for those faithful to the Russian Orthodox Church and monarchists, who travel from every corner of Russia to pray and remember the tragic events of July 17th, 1918. Every year on the night of the anniversary of the murders, the church holds a memorial service which attracts thousands of people. From here, they form a river of human souls as they walk the route from the church to Ganina Yama, situated about 15 km north of Ekaterinburg.
As I review this documentary which was created for Russian television, I find it hard to believe that it was only a few weeks ago that I was able to visit this Holy site. For me personally it was such a privilege and an honour to finally be given an opportunity to pray at the spot where this remarkable family was brutally murdered.