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St. Tsar Martyr Nicholas II of Russia said: I have an unshakable faith that the fate of Russia, my own fate and the fate of my family are in the Lord’s hands, Who has placed me where I am. Whatever happens, I will bow to His will.

Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_святого страстотерпца Николай II_Coronation of Tsar St. Nicholas II Romanov (Holy Communion)St. Tsar Martyr Nicholas II of Russia And His Family, his wife Tsarina Alexandra, and their five children Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Grand Duke Tsarevich Alexei

Commemorated on July 17

Saints Grand Duchess Elizabeth, Nun-Martyr Barbara and the other New Martyrs of Alapayevsk

Commemorated on July 18

Everything is in the Hands of God

An incident from the life of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II.

The Revolution of 1905-1906 was a warning to the Russians that, if they did not return to Christ as a nation, and if they continued to work and fight against their anointed ruler, they could lose God’s blessing. As St. John of Kronstadt said in 1905: “Our Tsar is a man of righteous and pious life. God sent him a heavy cross of sufferings, as to His chosen one and beloved child, as is said by the seer of the mysteries of God’s judgment: As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten (Rev. 3:19). If the Russian people do not have repentance, the end of the world will be near. God will take the pious Tsar from them and will send a scourge in the persons of impious, cruel, self-proclaimed rulers, who will inundated the whole land with blood and tears.” It is to the great credit of Tsar Nicholas that he was able to keep this from happening for more than ten years.

A great insight into Tsar Nicholas’ character can be gained from the following incident, which occurred during one of the most violent moments of the aforementioned revolution. At the imperial residence at Peterhof, near the naval base of Kronstadt, which was under siege by insurrectionists, artillery shelling could be heard. Nicholas’ foreign minister, Alexander Izvolsky, was giving a report to the Tsar at the time, and later recalled the following:

“He listened attentively, and, as was his habit, asked questions now and then, showing his interest in the smallest detail of my report. Glance as I would in his direction, I could not detect the slightest trace of emotion in his countenance, although he knew well that it was his crown that was at stake at that moment, only a few leagues away…. When my report was finished, the Emperor remained a few moments looking calmly out at the open window at the line of the horizon. For my part, I was oppressed by profound emotion, and could not refrain, even at the risk of infringing the rules of etiquette, from expressing my surprise at seeing him so unmoved. The Emperor did not apparently resent my observation, for he turned to me with a look which has so often been described as one of extraordinary gentleness, and replied in these few words, deeply engraved in my memory:

‘If you see me calm, it is because I have the firm, the absolute conviction that the fate of Russia, my own fate, and that of my family is in the hands of God, Who has placed me where I am. Whatever happens, I will bow to His will, conscious of never having had a thought other than that of serving the country that He confided to me.’”
From: The Royal Passion-bearers of Russia, Their Life and Service. St. Herman Press, p. 13.Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_ Tsar Nicholas II of Russia_ святого страстотерпца Николай II_85a19c7ba4e43dde

The last Russian Tsar had been born on the day of the Church’s commemoration of the Prophet Job the Much-Suffering, and thereby through God’s providence sensed that his life would likewise know profound suffering—a suffering which he dutifully embraced: “Perhaps an expiatory sacrifice is needed for Russia’s salvation. I will be that sacrifice. May God’s will be done!

And recalling the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, the younger sister of Tsar Nicholas, the coronation of Sts. Nicholas and Alexandra the Grand Duchess further stated:
From that very moment Nicky’s responsibility was to God only. I admit that the very idea may sound unreal today, when the absolute power of sovereigns has been so discredited. Yet it will always retain its place in history. The coronation of a Tsar of Russia was a most solemn and binding contract between God and the sovereign, His servant.

She recalled her brother approaching her on the verandah, putting his arms around her and sobbing: “Even Alicky [the Empress Alexandra] could not help him. He was in despair. He kept saying that he did not know what would become of us all, that he was wholly unfit to reign. Even at that time I felt instinctively that sensitivity and kindness on their own were not enough for a sovereign to have. And yet Nicky’s unfitness was by no means his fault.” Recalling some of the Sovereign’s finer qualities she noted, “He had intelligence, he had faith and courage” and yet “he was wholly ignorant about governmental matters.” Her brother had been trained as a soldier but insufficiently as a statesman.

Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_ Tsar Nicholas II of Russia_ святого страстотерпца Николай II_9-sf-mc-tarul-nicolae-1918-1The Tsar was always a man of such deep feeling, but it seems this went largely unknown in his own lifetime. His calm and reserved public appearance left the lasting impression that he was cold and aloof, but he did not want to reveal with what depth he felt every twist and turn of his rule, and the people could not see their Tsar break down in public.

A story persisted that when the Tsar learned by telegram of the decimation of the Russian navy at Tsusima in May 1905 he crumpled up the telegram and callously returned to his game of tennis. Vorres questioned his royal neighbor on the veracity of this story: “It is a lie – on par with thousands of others!” she cried; “And I know because I was at the palace when the telegram arrived. Both Alicky and I were with him in the room. He turned ashen pale, he trembled and clutched at a chair for support. Alicky broke down and sobbed. The whole palace was plunged into mourning that day.

Throughout his reign the Tsar remained no stranger to generosity, and even austerity. He was strict with his own expenses but liberal elsewise.

The Tsar was undoubtedly a man of deep faith. As we have seen he was keenly sensitive to the lives of his people, and especially in times of disaster and suffering his first instinct was to find solace in the stillness of a monastery. His was the role of the “first Orthodox layman” and he fulfilled it well.

Our Lord taught us saying This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (Jn. 15:12-13). Tsar Nicholas and his family would be called upon to show forth this love, and they answered to the call. Although he had an opportunity to flee Russia with his family in the time of the revolution, he chose to stay amongst his people and face whatever awaited him. The time of Russia’s expiatory sacrifice was upon them.

St. Seraphim of Sarov, whose glorification had been realized in 1903 with the help of the Tsar, had prophesied that God would allow for the overthrow of the Tsar that the people might understand the difference between rule by God’s anointed and rule by lawless men. He wrote a letter to be delivered to the Tsar himself on the day of his canonization, and it was widely believed that this letter foretold of the bloodshed coming to Russia.

***

Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_ Tsar Nicholas II of Russia_ святого страстотерпца Николай II_unnamed (16)Upon the Cross our Lord called out Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Lk. 23:34). From house arrest in Tobolsk in 1918, Grand Duchess Olga, the daughter of the Tsar, passed along the words of her father:
Father asks to have it passed on to all who have remained loyal to him and to those on whom they might have influence, that they not avenge him; he has forgiven and prays for everyone; and not to avenge themselves, but to remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love.

The deep faith of the God-crowned Emperor was instilled as well in his family. Such grace-filled words of the Tsar are echoed in his daughter Olga’s own words. A poem copied into one of her notebooks during the family’s time of captivity reads:
Send us, Lord, the patience, in this year of stormy, gloom-filled days, to suffer popular oppression, and the tortures of our hangmen. Give us strength, oh Lord of justice, Our neighbor’s evil to forgive, And the Cross so heavy and bloody, with Your humility to meet, In days when enemies rob us, To bear the shame and humiliation, Christ our Savior, help us. Ruler of the world, God of the universe, Bless us with prayer and give our humble soul rest in this unbearable, dreadful hour. At the threshold of the grave, breathe into the lips of Your slaves inhuman strength—to pray meekly for our enemies.

Nicholas, so unjustly styled the “bloody,” ruled with the gentlest hand of all the sovereigns of the great Romanov dynasty.

Grounded in her Orthodox faith, the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna regarded her brother as God’s anointed Sovereign on earth. His power was not of men, but of God. On one occasion Vorres asked her if she ever prayed for him. She gave the only reply a faithful Orthodox Christian can give:
“Not for him—but to him. He is a martyr.”

The holy and righteous Saint John Maximovitch wrote in July, 1963: “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, for all his deeds and actions, not only those done personally, but also as Tsar…. he viewed his bearing of the Imperial crown as a service to God. He kept this in mind during all his important decisions, during all the responsible questions that arose. This is why he was so firm and unwavering in those questions about which he was convinced that such was the will of God; he stood firmly for that which seemed to him necessary for the good of the realm of which he was head… he was the bearer of the consciousness that the Supreme authority should be obedient to God, should receive sanctification and strength from Him to follow God’s commandments. He was a living incarnation of faith in the Divine Providence that works in the destinies of nations and peoples and directs Rulers faithful to God into good and useful actions. Therefore he was intolerable for the enemies of faith and for those who strive to place human reason and human faculties above everything.”Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_ Tsar Nicholas II of Russia_ святого страстотерпца Николай II_tsar_family-06

The St. Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II Birthday. ‘’I was born on 6 May, on the feast-day of St Job the Long-suffering. I am ready to accept my fate”.
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/23529/

The meeting of the Tsar Nicholas II with the Blessed Pasha (Parasceva) the Fool-for-Christ
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/the-meeting-of-the-tsar-nicholas-ii-with-the-blessed-pasha-parasceva-the-fool-for-christ/

The destiny of a true Orthodox ruler, St. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/the-destiny-of-a-true-orthodox-ruler-st-tsar-nicholas-ii-of-russia/

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.

Tropar-Dismissal Hymn of the Martyrs Elizabeth and Barbara. Plagal of First Tone

Emulating the Lord’s self-abasement on the earth, * thou didst forsake royal mansions to serve the poor and disdained, * overflowing with compassion for the suffering. * And taking up a martyr’s cross, * thou in meekness didst perfect the Saviour’s image within thee, * Wherefore, with Barbara, entreat Him to save us all, O wise Elizabeth.

Kontakion of the Royal Martyrs. Second Tone

Royalty and martyrdom were joined together, O blest ones, * in your death for righteousness and right belief, O wise Sovereigns, * Nicholas and Alexandra, * with your five children. *Hence, Christ our God hath deemed you worthy of thrones in Heaven; * and with twofold crowns of glory, * ye reign for ever, * adorned with grace divine.

Kontakion of the Martyrs Elizabeth and Barbara. Third Tone

In the midst of worldliness, * thy mournful heart dwelt in Heaven; * in barbaric godlessness, * thy valiant soul was not troubled; * thou didst long to meet thy Bridegroom * as a confessor, * and He found thee worthy of thy martyric purpose. * O Elizabeth, with Barbara, * thy brave companion, * pray to thy Bridegroom for us.

Canon To The Cry Of The Tsar Martyr Nicholas II
Tone 2,  Song 1

Holy Grand-Martyr, Tsar Nicholas, plead God for us!

The martyr’s crown that had been prophesied by many saints – predicted from the times of old – you laid down your soul for the Holy Russia and for your people, holy Tsar. Thereby you stand in glory in the heaven before the Throne of the King of glory with faithful Prince Vladimir: intercede for us together with him.

To The Virgin:

The wrathful judgment came upon us and the joy of Your people was scattered, Virgin; we all weep and wail and cry out thus: “O, the sword of God! How long before you retreat? Withdraw now, have mercy upon us and we all sing “Power” to our Lady! May she be gloriously exalted.

Song 3

Holy Grand-Martyr, Tsar Nicholas, plead God for us!

In the day of much-afflicted Job you were born; much distress you endured: disdain, treachery, expulsion, brutal murder, and after-after the death-slander against your honest name; yet you received your reward not from the men, but from the Lord. Thereby, intercede for the salvation on behalf of the sons of Russia.

Song 5

Holy Grand-Martyr, Tsar Nicholas, plead God for us!

Modifying the proverb of the Venerable Serafim: “The king who glorified me, I will glorify” -his relics you have brought out of the ground and set them for the observation of the whole Russia, Nicholas, full of God’s wisdom; by Seraphim’s prayers we are strengthened-a glorious feat you completed. (Canon To The Cry Of The Tsar Martyr Nicholas II, Tone 2)

Song 9

Holy Grand-Martyr, Tsar Nicholas, plead God for us!

You commanded us, Holy Tsar, not to avenge your murder, saying: “Lest evil be multiplied in the land of Russia, for evil will not defeat evil, but only love will.” Therefore, pray that we will amass love for God and our neighbors.

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