Today is the commemoration of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, who suffered and received crowns of martyrdom from the godless satanic authorities, which to this day [this sermon was delivered before the fall of communism in Russia.—Ed.], with the explicit support of the so-called “free world,” oppress our Russian people.
A characteristic feature of most of our New Martyrs is that their persecutors did not and do not torture them directly and openly for Christ.
If this or that persecuted person had not been a Christian, if he had not shown fortitude and courage in loyalty to Christ, there would have been no accusations. If he had renounced God and worshipped the idol of Marx and Lenin, then the accusation would have immediately disappeared.
One mighty aspiration to God, in love for the Orthodox Fatherland, was the life of our Martyr Sovereign and His August Family in captivity. Our archpastors, pastors, many, many warriors, scientists, and toilers of the earth, burned with fiery zeal for God and the Orthodox Fatherland. Millions of our New Martyrs, who suffered terrible torments, courageously confessed their faith in Christ and fidelity to Him.
In our evil time, the diabolical forces fighting against God do not dare to directly demand that modern martyrs renounce Christ. Christians are being charged with crimes of which they are not guilty. Thus, the persecutors maintain a favorable appearance—the martyr suffers, allegedly, not for Christ. But it is clear to the sufferer and to his accusers that it is enough for him, the martyr, to show by word or hint that he is ready, even in the most plausible form, to renounce his faith, to renounce his courageous fortitude in it, and he will be acquitted or exempted from persecution.
What is required of us, dear brothers and sisters, in these evil times? One thing is required of us: Faithfulness! Faithfulness to Christ through faithfulness to our New Martyrs as our mentors. The Apostle Paul says: “Remember your instructors and imitate their way of life” (cf. Heb. 13:7).
Whoever renounces the New Martyrs and Confessors, regardless of where he lives—in enslaved Russia or at liberty abroad—gives himself into the hands of the theomachists! Don’t forget that!
In enslaved Russia, all those who confessed their loyalty to Patriarch Tikhon the Confessor, who did not hide their loyalty or even sympathy for the Martyr Tsar Nicholas II as God's Anointed Christian Tsar, and His August Family, suffered and still suffer for Christ. Renunciation of loyalty to them was tantamount to renunciation of Christ.
All the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia reveal to us an example and a way by which the machinations of the enemies of Christ and the enemies of our Orthodox Fatherland are defeated. All of them are now standing before the throne of God, offering prayers for their, and our, earthly Fatherland.
Every Orthodox family should now take care to have a book in their home that tells the story of the Russian New Martyrs. In every Orthodox family, parents should familiarize their children with the description of their lives and sufferings. In our evil times, it is necessary to return to the ancient custom of reading the lives of saints in the family and, above all, the lives of our near and dear New Martyrs of Russia. Amen.