On the Day of the Murder of the Royal Family
On the Anniversary of the Murder of the Sovereign Emperor
Nicholas II and His Royal Family
"Come, take up the cross, and follow me." said our
Lord Jesus Christ to His followers, to all Christians. And
for these last millennia, many souls faithful to Christ had
answered this call. One of those few who to a greater degree,
or at least with greater clarity in emulating Christ with
his labor [podvig], fulfilled this call of the Lord was our
martyr, the Sovereign Emperor Nicholas II Aleksandrovich,
killed forty-three years ago.
Significance is assigned more accurately to historical events
not in the moment of their occurence, but some time afterwards.
Yes, the martyric death of the Sovereign and his family shook
the Russian heart even then, at the moment when it occurred,
immediately. And it was even then a sobering moment for many,
a blow that struck from them the fever of revolution. But
at the time it was taken mainly as our own, personal, familial,
solely Russian historical tragedy. Our consciousness did not
distinguish this event clearly and distinctly from other incidents
of regicide in our history: Ivan VI, Paul I, Alexander II
and others before.
But as the decades pass from that terrible day, the murder
of the Sovereign Emperor Nicholas II and his Royal Family
assumes a definite meaning in our consciousness, and maybe
in the consciousness of the whole world .
It is becoming more and more apparent, both for us and for
everyone who wishes to hear and understand, that the unavoidable
tragedy of our epoch is connected with this crime of 43 years
The seizing of our Motherland by demonic powers, this event,
seemingly unparalleled in the history of the world, and the
frantic impotence of the powerful of this world before the
advent of this triumph of evil, the inability of these--who
in the words of the Church rule but do not reign--to resist,
who fear defeat: how can all this be explained? Only by saying
that 43 years ago, on 4/17 July 1918, the ancient prophesy
of the apostle was fulfilled--that the Restrainer will be
taken from the world, and he who reigned not thanks to the
volatile passions of men but by Divine selection, and honorably
"walking before God," fulfilled his royal obligation.
We are not the only witnesses to this. Even our enemies speak
of this quite plainly: "Not one revolution in Europe
or in the entire world could achieve final victory while the
present Russian government exists," wrote one of the
founders of communism, Engels ("K. Marx and the Revolutionary
Movement in Russia, Moscow, 1933, p. 15.)
Consequently, based not only upon our own understanding of
world events but also upon the testimony of those who are
to blame, we can say that the immeasurable rush of blood spilt
over these last four decades from the many millions of victims
killed among our people before the slaughter of World War
II, before the blood spilt in Korea, in Hungary, in the Congo,
in Laos and so many other bloody events that followed--this
ocean of blood would not have been shed if 44 years ago we
had not betrayed our Sovereign, and had his martyric blood
not been spilt.
The Sovereign denied himself, took his cross and followed
The very act of reigning became a martyric struggle in his
day. From the days of Alexander III not one year, or at least
not one three-year period did not pass without an attempt
on the Tsar's life or without a conspiracy to kill the Tsar.
The unrestrained wrath of the powers of evil of the entire
world was concentrated upon him. Indeed, he lived like a lamb
being led to slaughter, a doomed victim, a lion ripped to
shreds by hounds. And those of us who lived then, and our
fathers and grandfathers, even if most of us were not among
the vile murderers, did we not participate as well, repeating
the banal slander, at times the shallow, hackneyed, mindless
and false accusations against the Tsar's throne and against
the Tsar himself, those accusations and that banality that
flowed like a filthy river and, alas!, continue to flow even
now on the pages of our free emigre newspapers and magazines,
and which are repeated after us, yes, after us by the rest
of the world?
Oh, if only in this would we express our repentance for what
happened, express our horror before the depth of our fault
before the whole world, if even now, in the eleventh hour
of human history, would we cease the repetition of these vulgar
and trite, mindless phrases, which entered our language in
the years of the war against the Anointed of God!
The Sovereign did not fear the bloody threats of his enemies,
nor the pathetic vulgarities of the world around him. Unwaveringly
did he, in the words of Pushkin about the other Tsar Nicholas
(I) "honestly rule us."
And how lonely he was! In this is also the profound Christliness
of his struggle.
In the years before the revolution, the Tsar could truly say
to his people as did the Lord: "If thou hadst known,
even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong
unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For
the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast
a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee
in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground,
and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in
thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the
time of thy visitation." (Luke 19, 42:44)
He bore his cross of his royal service until the end, until
all around him rose up against him in a base, treacherous
rebellion, and his subsequent royal cross-bearing lost its
meaning, for if one can destroy against the will of those
to be doomed, one cannot save against the will of those to
In those horrible, mean days, alone but with grandeur, he
glanced around him and with immeasurable suffering uttered:
"Around are betrayal, cowardice and treason." With
these words he descended from his throne. These words are
in essence his final words as Tsar to his people.
And these words fall upon all of us with onerous judgment.
Oh, if we find the words to speak in our defense when again
we hear them--these words, to be repeated on the Day of Judgment!
The blood of the White Army's struggle, the immeasurable suffering
of the Russian people, which, without a doubt, exceeded that
of any other nation on Earth, in this is our justification,
our cleansing in the face of the horrifying accusation of
the last words of the Tsar.
But we, who survived, who escaped suffering and death, who
remained in this world, writhing in pain without our Restrainer,
what will we bring in our defense, for our atonement?
There is precious little. But we will endure this. We will
bring our prayers for our Tsar-Martyr, so that the Lord will
truly grant him repose among the saints. We will bring in
our heart the firm promise never to let our lips or mind repeat
those vicious lies brought against our Tsar and his work,
his service, the banal falsities still repeated the world
over. More importantly, let us make an oath to the Sovereign,
to his eternal soul, which is even now maybe among us. To
this prayer for him and his family we add that, no matter
what happens to us, we will not make peace with the Satanic
forces that killed our Tsar and enslaving our Homeland.
You and I together, in this small church, have a joyful and
yet terrifying advantage of being the closest geographically
to our imprisoned Homeland. Over us more than any other part
of the free world hangs the danger of enslavement. That is
why this oath of an uncompromising stand against the externally
victorious but internally cowardly has a special meaning here.
May the All-merciful Lord accept our oath and our prayers
for the peaceful repose of the soul of our Tsar as our small
offering from the depths of our hearts. Amen.
4/17 July 1961
Church of the Protection of the Mother of God