On that date a hundred years ago, the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, his wife the tsarina Alexandra, their five children and four retainers, were ushered into a basement in the city of Yekaterinburg in the early hours of the morning, for an execution that would mark a turning point in history.
The same God who worked in such outrageous ways through St. John and his parents continues to operate in our lives, our church, and our world. And He calls each of us to do what Zacharias originally failed to do: to believe and obey that salvation and blessing really are for us, that we have a unique role to play in how the Lord redeems and heals His good creation, here and now, today, in our generation.
Rational people cannot understand this, and our Protestants can’t make sense of it. How could it be, and why? If a person has sinned it means that legally he should be punished; that is for his own good. And suddenly the Most Holy Theotokos intercedes for the Orthodox! Well, why on earth, this is not fair, it is not legal, not correct.
Orthodox Russian people loved St. Tikhon's monastery very much and hundreds of thousands would visit it every summer. Many of our hierarchs would visit there too. In the fall of 1911 the monastery was visited by the righteous one of the twentieth century, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. Kaluga bishops visited the monastery every year on the sixteenth of June, the feast day of St. Tikhon.
Exuberant and impetuous, he was the ringleader of his childhood companions and often made his mother upset. At the same time he was unusually open to new impressions and knowledge. Here are several stories about the holy hierarch’s childhood, which we present to our readers.