Moscow, February 20, 2017
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is planning to head the commemorative events that will take place next year in the Sverdlovsk region in honor of the 100th anniversary of the assassination of the Royal Martyrs, Tsar Nicholas II and his family, reports Interfax-Religion.
Sverdlosk governor Eugene Kuivashevim noted that the main event will be on the night of July 17, 2018, and invited the patriarch to attend and lead the services, saying, “We are preparing for this event with the Ekaterinburg Diocese and, of course, we want to invite you to participate in the celebrations which will be dedicated to this tragic date.”
In return, His Holiness stated, “As next year will be the centenary, we must do everything to go on this pilgrimage, if we will be alive and healthy.” He stressed that the date is a momentous one for the Urals, for the whole Russian Church, for the people, and for history.
“I have long wanted to visit Ekaterinburg during these days, to go on the cross procession and pray with the people,” Patriarch Kirill stated.
The members of the Royal Family, along with Dr. Eugene Botkin and three servants accepted a martyr’s death in the night of July 17, 1918 in the basement of engineer Ipatiev’s house in Ekaterinburg. Since September 2012 there has been a Liturgy in the night of the seventeenth of each month in the Church-on-the-Blood built on the site where the Romanovs were martyred. Every year, following the Liturgy on the night of July 17 there is a cross procession from the church to the monastery at Ganina Yama (13 miles from Ekaterinburg), where their holy bodies were disposed of, in which tens of thousands participate.
The Royal Martyrs—Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and their five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei—and their servants were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on November 1, 1981, and the family on August 20, 2000 by the Moscow Patriarchate, with Dr. Eugene Botkin’s canonization following on February 3, 2016.