Today, We Remember...
Most noble and sublime was your life and death, O Sovereigns; wise Nicholas and blessed Alexandra, we praise you, acclaiming your piety, meekness, faith and humility, whereby ye attained to crowns of glory in Christ our God, with your five renowned and godly children of bless fame. Martyrs decked in purple, intercede for us.
Troparion of the Imperial Martyrs Tsar Nicholas & Family
Today, we commemorate the 89th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Tsar Nicholas II and his family. In particular, I would like to remember Tsar Nicholas's youngest daughter, the Grand Duchess Anastasia, to whom I owe for bringing me into the Orthodox Church.
It was five years ago. I barely knew Orthodoxy then; and I was researching on the final days of the Russian Empire for a history project. Fascinated with all things pertaining to royalty, I delved deep into the individual lives of the last imperial family of Russia. Developing a deep fondness for Anastasia in the process, I became incredibly attached to her family as well. I wept when I read of their murder in detail. That one event affected me more than all the books on history and theology I had been reading till then. I was not compelled to convert however, but by then, I was firmly set on the path to Orthodoxy.
It comes as no surprise then, that Sydney Gibbes, the children's English tutor, who got out of Russia before the family were murdered, was so moved by his experience with them that when he returned to England he ended up a Russian Orthodox priest and monk.
Let us take time to pray to the Royal Martyrs and those with them. We will be in the end be ever comforted and blessed from these spiritually rewarding prayers.
At this time, let us follow our Christian path towards the Kingdom of our Lord God and seek to acquire the same great humility, piety, and faith. We should also offer constant forgiveness, throughout our lives as did these great Martyrs during their life time.