Mesa Potamos, Cyprus, May 23, 2018
The book was originally published in Greek in January and it has been received with great enthusiasm. Following multiple requests from English-speaking readers, the book will be published in English in early 2019 by St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press.
Based strictly on primary sources, the book offers previously unpublished texts in English, such as excerpts from the testimonies of the Novo-Tikhvin nuns, who were taking provisions to the Imperial Family at the Ipatiev house, and from the testimonies of Ipatiev guards, as well as other important materials.
Among the historians who worked together with the fathers on the project are Nicholas B.A. Nicholson, Helen Azar, and Helen Rappaport, all noted specialists in Romanov history.
The monastery writes of the Royal Martyrs and the book:
“The Orthodox Church has never claimed infallibility for any of its saints. On the contrary, sanctity, according to Orthodox doctrine is a dynamic procedure, in the course of which those who struggle spiritually do fall repeatedly, only to time and again rise to their feet and continue their journey in repentance and humility, acquired through the realization of their human weaknesses. That then becomes unfailing trust in God’s will, a spiritual property of the most noble spirits, which is in the sight of God of great price.
The book, “approaches the life of the Royal Martyrs through an Orthodox prism, presenting to the readers a hagiographical work, set in the context of modern writing, while preserving utter respect to true historical facts. It also sheds light on distorted chapters from the life of the Royal Martyrs, such as the events of Bloody Sunday 1905, which have sadly managed to be established as true historical facts in their distorted form. Finally, the book includes an abundance of original writings by the Royal Martyrs, taken from their diaries and correspondences, offering to the readers the experience of an immediate encounter with the Martyrs themselves, and thus, helping them acquire a personal understanding of their spiritual values.”
The book also features a full-color photo insert, including high-quality colorized pictures of the Royal Martyrs, published for the first time in printed form. The colorization was made by the acclaimed Russian artist Olga Shirnina.
The Monastery of St. John the Forerunner in Mesa Potamos dates back to the Byzantine period, and more precisely to the 12th century. Its long journey took a significant pause after 1821 due to the massacres and persecutions during the Greek War of Independence. The monastery was restored in 2003 under the guidance of His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, who is also the elder of the monastery. The holy habitation follows the Athonite typikon.
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