East Cowes, Isle of Wight, July 9, 2018
Photo: twitter.com As the 100th anniversary of the July 17, 1918 martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas II and his family and their faithful servants draws near, their holy memory is being honored throughout Russia, and in other Orthodox countries such as Serbia.
Their memory was also honored in England over the weekend, when a memorial cross dedicated to the last Russian imperial family, along with St. Elizabeth the Grand Duchess and sister to the last Tsarina Alexandra was unveiled on Saturday in the town of East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, reports RIA-Novosti.
The monument was opened by the Deputy Chairman of the Romanov Family Association Prince Rostislav Romanov. The ceremony was attended by Lord Lieutenant (the official representative of the British crown) of the Isle of Wight Major General Martin White and Russia’s permanent representative to the International Maritime Organization Yuri Melenas.
Following the opening of the monument, His Grace Bishop Irenei (Steenberg) of Sacramento offered some words of reflection on the holy Royal Martyrs:
The reason that we have a blessing for a monument is to remind ourselves that these individuals whom we are commemorating were not just political figures, not just members of a monarchy, but above all, in the Orthodox world we commemorate them as saints and martyrs, and that these events of 100 years ago were not just of an execution, but of a martyrdom of a pious family who led their people and their nation, and by their example the whole world into a life of faith that surmounted times of incredible trial, and by their intercession and prayers the peoples of Russia were maintained, sustained over a dreadful century and brought finally into freedom, and the ability once again to worship the God Who was so beloved of the Tsar-Martyr and of his family.
The blessing service was then celebrated by Fr. Andrew Phillips from Colchester, England. The choir of the Convent of St. Elisabeth in Minsk, Belarus flew in especially for the festive event.
The opening of the monument was timed to coincide with the opening of the “Romanov’s Cross” exhibition dedicated to the last days of the life of Nicholas II and the Royal Family, as well as to their familial relations with the Windsor Dynasty and their mutual visits. The exhibition is being held at the Barton Manor, where the Romanovs visited in 1909, and presents a number of personal items and photographs related to the Russian royal family. Many of the items are kept in private collections around the world and are rarely exhibited.
The exhibition was organized by the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Romanov Society.
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