Ekaterinburg, July 17, 2019
The holy Royal Martyrs are among the most beloved of Russian saints today, and the annual Royal Days celebrations in their honor always draw a large number of pilgrims from throughout Russia and abroad.
This year, 60,000 Orthodox faithful gathered for the nighttime Liturgy at Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg, built on the site where the Royal Family and their faithful servants were brutally slain, and the following procession to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers in Ganina Yama, built on the site where their holy bodies were discarded, on the night of July 16-17, reports the Ekaterinburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated on the square in front of the Church of All Saints of Russia (the Church on the Blood) by His Eminence Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye, His Eminence Metropolitan Gregory of Chelyabinsk and Miass, His Grace Bishop Innocent of Magnitorsk and Verkhneuralsk, His Grace Bishop Methodios of Kamensk and Kamishlov, His Grace Bishop Vladimir of Shadrinsk and Dalmatovo, His Grace Bishop Eugene of Nizhny Tagil and Nevyansk, His Grace Bishop Vikenty of Zlatoust and Satka, His Grace Bishop Alexei of Serov and Krasnoturinsk, and His Grace Bishop Leonid of Alapaevsk and Irbit.
Among the notable guests at the Liturgy were Olga Nikolaevna Kulikoskaya-Romanova, the widow of the blood nephew of Tsar Nicholas II Tikhon Nikolaevich Kulikovsky-Romanov, and Peter Valentinovich Multatuli, the great grandson of the Royal Family’s chef who was also murdered with them Ivan Kharitonov.
Following the Divine Liturgy, the faithful began a prayer procession along the route that the martyred members of the Royal Family were taken in 1918. The procession was headed by Met. Kirill, Met. Vikenty of Tashkent, Bp. Alexei, Bp. Vladimir, Bp. Eugene, and Bp. Methodios.
Earlier in the day on the 16th, 5,000 people also participated in a smaller procession that followed the path of the arrival of the Royal Martyrs to Ekaterinburg, from the train station to the Church on the Blood.
The nighttime procession was accompanied throughout by 15 mobile aid groups from an Orthodox relief service and volunteers for the Royal Days celebrations, providing comprehensive assistance to pilgrims. Volunteers from the Nika charity foundation also provided water and the Sisters of Mercy provided first aid.
Met. Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan processed, despite having to use crutches:
The procession reached the Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers at about 6 in the morning, where the clergy and pilgrims were met by the festive ringing of the monastery bells. Upon arrival, a moleben to the Royal Passion-Bearers was served.
The Royal Days celebrations will continue until Sunday, July 21.
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