Ekaterinburg, November 9, 2018
A pocket watch that belonged to St. Eugene Botkin, the personal doctor of the last Royal Family of Russia and who was martyred with them, was solemnly gifted recently to the St. Alexander Nevsky Novo-Tikhvin Convent in Ekaterinburg.
The watch was given to the monastery sisterhood for a future exhibition by Igor Alexandrovich Svalov, a resident of the Ural city of Revda, reports the site of the Ekaterinburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.
According to Svalov, the watch was kept in his family for many years. During the Royal Family’s imprisonment in the Ipatiev House in 1918, St. Eugene gave the watch to one of the guards in exchange for food. Many years later, the former guard handed the watch over to a relative with the words, “Take them, they crush me.” That relative was Igor Svalov’s father, who then received the watch from his father.
He decided to hand the watch over to the monastery because it was the Novo-Tikhvin sisters who helped the Royal Martyrs in 1918, bringing them milk and bread and other food to the Ipatiev House. And in our days, the sisters of the monastery prepared documents for the canonization of St. Eugene and published a large, full-color books of his life.
St. Eugene was also canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia along with the Royal Martyrs in 1981. The Royal Family was canonized by the Moscow Patriarchate in 2000, though St. Eugene was not canonized at that time.
“We deeply revere the holy Passion-bearer Eugene,” the sisters say. “He was a generous and noble man, loyally serving the Tsar and his family for ten years, voluntarily going into exile with them and sharing in their death. And we are sincerely grateful to Igor Alexandrovich for giving the watch to us; it is sacred for us.”
The watch will be exhibited in the monastery museum which is currently being designed.
A moleben to the holy Passion-Bearer Dr. Eugene Botkin was served before the transfer of the watch in St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, followed by an anointing. The ceremony of the handing over of the precious object took place in the presence of Svalov’s relatives and friends and was followed by a tour of the monastery.
Great love for St. Eugene has been shown since his 2016 consecration. Already two churches are being built in his honor in the Ekaterinburg Diocese and there will be a boulevard named for him in Ekaterinburg.
Follow us on Facebook!