Royal Martyrs, Passion-bearer Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his Family
Commemorated on July 17
The prophetic letter of St. Seraphim for “to the Tsar in whose reign I shall be glorified”.
From Prascovia Ivanovna they went to see Elena Ivanovna Motovilova. The Tsar knew that she was preserving a letter to give to him from N. A. Motovilov, written by St. Seraphim and addressed to Lord Emperor Nicholas II. St. Seraphim had written this letter, sealed it with soft bread, and given it to Motovilov with the words:
”You will not live that long, but your wife will live to the time when the Royal Family will come to Diveyevo, and the Tsar will come to see her. Let her give it to him.
Natalia Leonidovna Chichagova (the Metropolitan’s daughter) told me that when the Tsar received the letter, he placed it reverently in his breast pocket saying that he will read it later.
Elena Ivanovna became quite lively and spoke with him for one and a half to two hours—about what, she could not remember. Elena Ivanovna died on December 27, 1910. She was secretly tonsured.
When the Emperor read the letter, having already returned to the Abbatial quarters, he wept bitterly. His retinue tried to comfort him, saying that although Fr. Seraphim was a saint, he could also make a mistake. But the Tsar wept inconsolably. The contents of the letter remain unknown.
On the same day, July 20, they all left Diveyevo. After this the Tsar always turned to Prascovia Ivanovna with serious questions, sending the Grand Princes to her. Eudocia Ivanovna said that no sooner had one left than another came. After Mother Seraphima’s repose all questions were asked through Eudocia Ivanovna. She would transmit what Prascovia had said:
”Tsar, come down from the throne yourself!”
The blessed one died in August of 1915. Before her death she was always making prostrations before the Tsar’s portrait. When she no longer had the strength, her cell attendants lifted her up and let her down.
”Mamashenka, why are you praying to the Tsar?”
”Sillies! He will be higher than all other Tsars.”
There were two portraits of the Tsar: one with the Tsaritsa and one alone. But she bowed to the portrait of him alone. She also said of the Tsar:
”I don’t know, maybe a monk-saint, maybe a martyr.
Blessed Archbishop John Maximovitch has written: “Why was Tsar Nicholas II persecuted, slandered and killed? Because he was Tsar, Tsar by the Grace of God. He was the bearer and incarnation of the Orthodox world view that the Tsar is the servant of God, the Anointed of God, and that to Him he must give an account for the people entrusted to him by destiny…”
In Orthodox teaching, Tsar Nicholas was the last representative of lawful Christian authority in the world, the last one to restrain the mystery of iniquity (2 Thess. 2:27). (And, indeed, from the time of his martyrdom can be dated the unprecedented lawlessness, godlessness, and apostasy of this final age: the complete unleashing of the forces of darkness, which now threaten to complete ly engulf the world as a preparation for the reign of Antichrist.)
An Orthodox monarch receives his authority from God, but by what means and in what manner does it come to him? Authority to govern in the Name of God and perform the highest earthly ministry descends upon a Tsar in the Sacrament of Anointing, at the time of his coronation. After the crowning he is told that “this visible and material adornment of thy head is to thee a manifest sign that the King of Glory, Christ, invisibly crowneth thee.” The Anointing takes place after the reading of the Gospel in Divine Liturgy. The chief hierarch anoints the Tsar with Holy Chrism on the brow, eyes, nostrils, lips, ears, breast, and hands, saying each time: “The Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Thus, Nicholas II received his authority through a Sacrament. The Holy Spirit was upon him! “By rejecting the Tsar, the people blasphemed the Sacrament and trampled upon the grace of God” (Illustration History of the Russian people). http://www.roca.org/OA/14/14c.htm
Troparion Royal Martyrs, Passion-bearer Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his Family— Tone 1
Most noble and sublime was your life and death, O Sovereigns; Wise Nicholas and blest Alexandra, we praise you, Acclaiming your piety, meekness, faith, and humility, Whereby you attained to crowns of glory in Christ our God, With your five renowned and godly children of blessed fame. O passion-bearers decked in purple, intercede for us.