This year, the feast day of Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, September 26/October 9, 2009, also marks the 75th anniversary of the assassination of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia in Marseille, France.
Alexander was born on December 16, 1888, in Montenegro. He was the second son of the future King Peter I Karadjordjevic and Princess Zorka, the daughter of the renowned Prince Nikolaj of Montenegro, of whom Tsar Alexander III said was the sole friend of Russia, who never opposed her in anything.
By Alexander’s mother, he was the nephew of two Grand Duchesses of Russia—Anastasia Nikolaevna and Milica Nikolaevna, wives of Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich and Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich.
Alexander Karadjordjevic received his initial education at the Imperial Corps in St Petersburg, and remained a Russophile his entire life, remembering with gratitude all that Russia had done for his nascent country. When a portion of the Russian exiles found themselves in his kingdom, he did everything in his power to relieve their bitter fate.
A time will come when Russian historians give these two friends of Russian their due—King Alexander of Yugoslavia and King Boris III of Bulgaria. Both nations opened wide the doors of their countries to Russian refugees and shared everything with them, even though they had only fifty years earlier freed themselves from the five-hundred-year Turkish yoke and were only beginning to gain their footing.
It is the duty of the Russian people to express gratitude to their benefactors and lift up their prayers for them to the Lord God.
The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, during it session of August 20/September 2, 2009, decided that on Friday, September 26/October 9, 2009, in all churches where Divine Liturgy is celebrated, the murdered King Alexander be commemorated during Great Entrance, and a funerary litany be performed from him.
Brief Biography of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia
Born on December 16, 1888 , in Montenegro.
Became Regent of Serbia on June 24, 1914, due to the illness of his father.
On December 1, 1918, the southern Slavs were unified into one nation, the Kingdom of Serbia, Croatians
On August 16, 1921, Alexander became King.
On June 8, 1922, married Princess Maria of Rumania, daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Maria of
Rumania. Together they had three sons: Peter (1923), Tomislav (1928) and Andrej (1929).
On October 3, 1929, the Kingdom of Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia was renamed Yugoslavia.
On October 9, 1934, King Alexander was assassinated in Marseilles, France.