Pilgrims Pray for the Intercession
of the Royal Martyrs in Ekaterinburg

Source: Вести.Ru. Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes and 48 seconds

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Source: Телекомпания НТВ. Language: Russian. Duration: 3 minutes and 16 seconds

In Russia, July 17th is the day that Orthodox Christians and monarchists remember the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II and his family. It was 93 years ago they were murdered in the basement of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg. Every year thousands of faithful make the journey to Ekaterinburg in increasing numbers from all across Russia to commemorate the tragic events of July 1918.

This year, starting at 4:00 am, a “human sea” of tens of thousands made their way from the Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land in the center of Ekaterinburg to the Ganina Yama Monastery some 20 miles away. The four and a half hour procession was led by priests from Ganina Yama. They were followed by the young, the old, and families with children.

The religious procession is a reenactment of the route, that 93 years ago, the murdered bodies of Emperor Nicholas II and his family were taken to the Ganina Pit [Four Brothers Mine]. Here they were doused with acid and thrown into the pit. A cross and an obelisk now mark the final point of the procession in the name of the Holy Royal Martyrs.

At Ganina Yama, prayers were held throughout the day. The seven churches could barely accommodate all the faithful.

"It was the holy family, who lived in the love of God and neighbor, to the Orthodox faith. And no difficulties could not separate them" - said Vincent, Archbishop of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye.

Nicholas II and his family were arrested on March 2, 1917. For the first five months they were kept under guard at Tsarskoe Selo, then in August, they were taken to Tobolsk, and later to Ekaterinburg, where they were shot without trial in the basement of the house of Ipatiev.

Worship dedicated to the memory of the imperial family, have been held in Ekaterinburg and the Sverdlovsk region since 1991. In August 2000 the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the Imperial family as Passion Bearers [The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia canonized Nicholas II and his family as new martyrs in 1981]. The procession from the Church on the Blood to Ganina Yama is the most important, and certainly the most popular event surrounding the celebrations.

Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
31 July, 2011