Moscow, October 10, 2016
On October 8, 2016, the feast-day of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh, after the Divine Liturgy at the Dormition Cathedral of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with Prince Dimitri Romanovich Romanov, Chairman of the Romanov Family Association, at the Lavra’s patriarchal chambers, reports patriarchia.ru.
Greeting the most senior member of the Romanov family (Prince Dimitri was born in 1926 in France), the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church said he was happy to meet with the distinguished guest at the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra on the feast day of Venerable Sergius, which is a special day for the Russian Church and its faithful members who in great numbers flock to the Lavra to offer up their prayers near the saint’s relics.
Prince Dimitri Romanovich, who is a direct descendant of Emperor Nicholas I and a second cousin once removed to the koly Passion-Bearer Emperor Nicholas II, earlier sent a letter to Patriarch Kirill in which he touched upon the problem of identifying the so-called Ekaterinburg remains.
“You wanted to know our attitude towards the remains that were discovered near Ekaterinburg. We agreed with the Russian government on the necessity of new, full expert examinations because, in our view, the examinations carried out in the 1990s were done with abuses. The whole process of the expert examination must be irreproachable so that the Church can accept its results. Nobody should have any suspicions,” the head of the ROC explained.
His Holiness stated that the expert examinations which are being carried out in several laboratories abroad are nearing completion. “We do respect and trust our scientists, but we decided to walk this difficult path so as to dispel any doubts. And most who are not indifferent to this theme and who consider it important agree with this approach,” the patriarch said.
According to His Holiness, “the remains are encrypted” and none of the experts doing the tests know in which vessel the remains are located. “I have a list which was made in the presence of other people, so we are aware which vessels contain which specific remains,” His Holiness Patriarch Kirill added, noting that the measures taken will enable us “to trust this examination.”
“I thank you for your attention to this matter,” His Holiness said, addressing the guest. “Thank you for your love for our common motherland, for maintaining the wonderful traditions of the Romanov Family, and for participating in bringing the remains of both Maria Feodorovna and Nicholas Nikolaevich.”
The ashes of Empress Maria Feodorovna, spouse of Emperor Alexander III, were brought from Denmark to Russia and reburied in September 2006. The litia before the burial of the empress’ remains at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul (“Petropavlovsky”) in St. Petersburg was celebrated by the ever-memorable Patriarch Alexis II. The ceremony of reburying of the ashes of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich the Younger, grandson of Emperor Nicholas I, the Supreme Commander of all land and naval forces of the Russian Empire at the beginning of the First World War, took place on April 30, 2015, at the Common Military Cemetery of Moscow with the participation of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.
“Through your labors history is being united. In this the uniqueness of your personality and that of the House of Romanov is revealed. Those living are uniting that part of our national history which was torn apart by the tragic events early in the twentieth century in their family tradition,” His Holiness said in conclusion.
Bishop Tihon of Yegoryevsk, Chairman of the Patriarchal Council for Culture and Abbot of Moscow Sretensky Stavropegic Monastery, along with the wife of Prince Dimitri Romanovich Princess Dorrit Romanov took part in the meeting.