Nicholas II of Russia - New World Encyclopedia
Icon of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II of Russia (Courtesy Ivanovo Monastery) son of Crown Prince Alexander Alexandrovich (the future Emperor Alexander III) and to Tsar Nicholas among those who claimed that he was called of God to lead his . 2. The Death Of Tsar Alexander Iii, The Marriage Of Nicholas And His Coronation 1 As Tsar Nicholas was crowned, he knelt and prayed aloud: "Lord God of. His official title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, Tsar of Siberia, Tsar of Tauric Chersonesos, Tsar of Georgia, Lord of Pskov, and 1 Family background and early life; 2 Becomes Emperor; 3 Relationship with the His paternal grandparents were Alexander II (Russia) and his first.
The incident cut his trip short. Returning overland to St. Petersburg, he was present at the ceremonies in Vladivostok commemorating the beginning of work on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
InNicholas traveled to London on behalf of his parents to be present at the wedding of his cousin, the Duke of York to Princess Mary of Teck. Queen Victoria was struck by the physical resemblance between the two cousins, and their appearances confused some at the wedding. During this time, Nicholas had an affair with St. Petersburg ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska.
He attended meetings of the State Council ; however, as his father was only in his forties, it was expected that it would be many years before Nicholas succeeded to the throne.
- Nicholas II of Russia
- Nicholas II of Russia
- Tsar Nicholas II and his effects on the Russian Revolution of 1917
Once in Coburg Nicholas proposed to Alix, but she rejected his proposal, being reluctant to convert to Orthodoxy. But the Kaiser later told her she had a duty to marry Nicholas and to convert, as her sister Elizabeth had voluntarily done in Thus Nicholas and Alix became officially engaged on 20 April Nicholas's parents initially hesitated to give the engagement their blessing, as Alix had made poor impressions during her visits to Russia.
They gave their consent only when they saw Tsar Alexander's health deteriorating. That summer, Nicholas travelled to England to visit both Alix and the Queen.
Along with being present at the christening, Nicholas and Alix were listed among the child's godparents. Upon learning that he would live only a fortnight, the Tsar had Nicholas summon Alix to the imperial palace at Livadia. From his deathbed, he told his son to heed the advice of Witte, his most capable minister. Nicholas chose to maintain the conservative policies favoured by his father throughout his reign. While Alexander III had concentrated on the formulation of general policy, Nicholas devoted much more attention to the details of administration.
After lying in state in the Kremlin, the body of the Tsar was taken to St. Petersburg, where the funeral was held on 19 November. Staggering under the weight of his new office, he had no intention of allowing the one person who gave him confidence to leave his side. As desirous of peace, he made an unprecedented suggestion to the world early in his reign? The result of his proposal, the Hague Peace Conference, was convened on May 18,and served as the precedent for the later League of Nations and United Nations.
As a giver of mercy he was unparalleled in Russian history? And, of course, few mourned as he did, and few were persecuted unjustly as he was. There soon began an endless succession of tragedies, even a small number of which would have broken a lesser man.
But for the Tsar they only served to further refine the nobility of his soul. First there was the disastrous war with Japan of during which most of the Russian fleet was lost. At this time also, sensing public disappointment with the defeat, the nihilistic enemies of Christ seized the moment and instigated mutinies, strikes, riots and assassinations. Here was a whole class of society who were, in the words of St. The last great prophet of Holy Russia, St.
John of Kronstadt, who clearly foresaw the approaching catastrophe, repeatedly exhorted his countrymen to repent and return to their former piety and support their God-anointed ruler or face untold disaster, both here and in the world to come. The year was to be a "rehearsal" for the bloody events which took place twelve years later. Encouraged by the traitors Lenin and Trotsky, a campaign of disorders was begun all over the Empire. Many high government officials were murdered in the streets, among whom, in was Nicholas' cousin, the Grand Duke Sergei, husband of the Empress' sister, Elizabeth.
This good woman later visited the assassin of her husband in the spirit of forgiveness and tried to induce him to repentance, for the salvation of his soul. She went on to enter monastic life, founding a sisterhood for charitable works, the convent of Sts.
The nun Elizabeth was finally to share the same martyric end as the Tsar and his family. In the midst of these troubles, in the summer ofan event which should have been the cause of great joy was turned into tragedy when it was learned that the long-awaited newborn heir, Alexis, was born with the dread disease hemophilia, which was to afflict him horribly during the course of his all too short life.
What pain of heart this caused the gentle ruler can scarcely be imagined. Yet this child, brought up in the love of Christ under the wise guidance of his parents, lived in imitation of the Saviour and manfully endured his terrible sufferings in such a way that all who knew him were amazed. His agonies purified his young soul, and he was, at the time of his martyrdom, a "sacrificial lamb" for his people. After the disturbances ofRussia entered into a period of great prosperity and moral renewal.
With the wise and dynamic assistance of his Prime Minister, Pyotr Stolypin, Nicholas led the nation through a time of such growth? But Satan, the enemy of our salvation, could not countenance such a threat to his plans. Induring the performance of an opera in Kiev, at which the Tsar was also present, Stolypin was assassinated.
Before he fell to the ground, he turned to his sovereign in the balcony and blessing him with the sign of the Cross, said, "May God save him! The peace-loving Tsar had no desire to go to war, but aggression against Orthodox Serbia by Germany left him no other honorable choice.
It was from this war that neither the Royal Family nor Holy Russia herself would ever return. As soon as the war broke out, the Empress and the four Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia became nurses Sisters of Mercy ; and hospitals were opened at Tsarskoe Selo, near the family's residence, where wounded soldiers were brought.
They worked long hours, diligently and tirelessly following the commandment of Christ to visit the sick, since "inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me" Matthew The Tsar spent much of his time at army headquarters, personally overseeing the war effort and visiting the troops to encourage them.
At first the war went well, and the country was united heart, soul and body in patriotic fervor behind their Tsar. But soon, due to poor communications, low-level mismanagement and subversive treachery, problems arose in supplying the armed forces with ammunition and food; the Russian army began to suffer reversals and many men were lost. It was at this crucial time that the Bolsheviks, fueled by German money, went to work spreading discord among the troops and at home.
The enemies of Holy Russia knew well that the greatest unifying factors in Russia were love of God and love for the Tsar, the visible symbol of the Orthodox Empire. By cutting off the head, they hoped to render the body powerless through fragmentation, thereby making it malleable to their evil intents. Through infiltration of the press, slanderous stories against the Royal Family were printed.
Way of the Orthodox - Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, Holy Emperor of all Russia
The foreign press, hungry for scandal, printed unverified stories, many of which are still believed to this day. Even the Empress was accused of disloyalty and treason? Conspiracies began to take shape among court officials, the Duma Parliamentthe generals and the nobility, even including relatives of the Tsar. This, at a time when unity was more than ever needed.
As Nicholas himself sadly wrote in his diary at that time: But the Tsar and his family, surrounded by elements foreign to the spiritual atmosphere of their home life, by the political machinations of selfish people and by whole segments of society grown cold towards God, could not be blamed for safeguarding their pearl of great price. As Archimandrite Constantine of Jordanville has written: This was the chaste guarding of his spiritual personality from an alienated out world, because not only the Tsar's co-workers, but even his kinsmen turned out to be alien to him.
What grief it must have caused them when they finally realized into what depths of spiritual depravity many of their subjects had fallen! Abdication And Imprisonment Finally, on March 3,isolated from his family, bereft of friends, Nicholas II, the Anointed Tsar of the last Christian Empire, abdicated the throne, pushed to this decision against his better judgment by his faithless advisors.
But, he wanted to know, was this wanted by all the people? Yes, they assured him. It was not true, however, since at that time almost all of Russia outside of St. Petersburg was still behind him. But he did no know this. And so, after an entire night spent in prayer, he laid aside the crown for what he felt was the good of his country.
Later, seeing the result of this decision, he was to regret it to his dying day. At the time he wrote: In the village of Kolomskoe, near Moscow, a woman had a dream in which she was told to locate a particular icon of the Mother of God.
After much searching, it was discovered in the basement of the main church of this village, almost black with age and soot. When it was carefully cleaned, there appeared the "Reigning Icon" of the Theotokos, with the Mother of God depicted seated on a throne, her countenance both stern and sorrowful, the blessing Christ-Child in her lap.
This icon soon thereafter miraculously renewed itself and the robe of the Theotokos was seen to be blood red, something which had been foretold also in the dream. Services were written to this icon and many people made the pilgrimage to venerate it.
Healings, both of physical and mental infirmities began to take place before it. As it is well-known that the Tsar had a particularly strong reverence for the Mother of God, it is believed by many that it was his fervent prayer to Her that caused Her to make Her mercy to the Russian people known through this miracle; that She would henceforth reign over Holy Russia interceding for the faithful This icon was preserved and has been recently returned to the Kolomskoe church.
The Church reacted to Nicholas' abdication by providing the country with its missing father-figure. For the first time since the reign of Peter I who had abolished the patriarchate the Synod, owing to this time of great need, elevated Archbishop Tikhon, a courageous confessor against the godless tyranny that was soon to descend upon Russia, to the patriarchal throne.
After the abdication, Nicholas made his way back to his family in Petersburg, all of whom were under house arrest like common criminals, and found all of his children ill.
Alexis, Olga, and Maria had the measles and were bedridden with high fevers; Tatiana and Anastasia both had painful ear abscesses, which left Tatiana temporarily deaf. Again the image of Job overshadowed him? He did not curse his fate, accepting all as the will of God, and did not even murmur against his captors who treated him with disrespect and even contempt. What greater example could the Russian people have asked for, or what nobler man could have led them as their king?
Thus Christ's lament over the chosen people was fulfilled in Holy Russia as well: Behold, your house is left unto you desolate" Matthew The Royal Family was moved to Tobolsk in Siberia in August ofas the provisional government began to collapse amidst Bolshevik ravings. Many Russians everywhere behaved as though in a trance, against their better instincts or even worse? The Tsar and his family remained in Tobolsk until the following April, taking comfort only in prayer and in each other.
In fulfilling God's commandments. Where could support be found?
In prayer, in awareness of the providential hand of God stretched out over it. It may have been that the only family experiencing complete calm and untroubled family happiness was the imprisoned Royal Family; so great was the adornment of its spiritual powers, so clear was its conscience, so near was God to it.
This indeed was a 'home church. Martyrdom In April ofTsar Nicholas and his family and faithful servants were transferred to Ekaterinburg by the now victorious Bolsheviks. There they spent three hellish months of psychological torture? They had kept that wonderful faith which at Tobolsk had been the admiration of their entourage and which had given them such strength, such serenity in suffering.
They were already almost entirely detached from this world The Tsaritsa and Grand Duchesses could often be heard singing religious airs, which affected their guards in spite of themselves. They were astonished at their simplicity, attracted by their gentleness, subdued by their serene dignity, and soon found themselves dominated by those whom they thought they held in their power.
The drunken Avdiev found himself disarmed by such greatness of soul; he grew conscious of his own infamy. The early ferocity of these men was succeeded by profound pity. Seldom being allowed to go to church, they nevertheless nourished their souls with home prayers and greatly rejoiced at every opportunity to receive the Divine Sacraments. Three days before their martyrdom, in the very house in which they were imprisoned, there took place the last church service of their suffering lives.
As the officiating priest, Fr. During such a service it is customary to read a prayer for the deceased. For some reason, the Deacon began to sing it, and I joined him? As soon as we started to sing, we heard the Imperial Family behind us drop to their knees' as is done during funeral services?
Thus they prepared themselves without suspecting it, for their own death? Contrary to their custom none of the family sang during the service, and upon leaving the house the clergymen expressed the opinion that they 'appeared different'? There they were brutally and mercilessly murdered, the children as well as the adults, under the cover of darkness?
The Tsar was shot as he stood forward to defend his family. Tsaritsa Alexandra was able to make the sign of the Cross before shoo, too, fell.
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Amid screams, the children were shot, clubbed and bayoneted, in an act of indescribably brutality. Thus ended the life of the gentle, Christ-like Tsar, as a sacrifice for the Orthodox Faith and for the Russian people, both of whom he so fervently loved and believed in.
This crime was the beginning of an inhuman bloodbath which left tens of millions dead, the Church in the grip of atheists and Holy Russia entirely unrecognizable. Now it is up to us to pray to the twice-crowned Tsar-Martyr Nicholas and his family to intercede before the throne of God that the sins of the Orthodox might be forgiven. And may our Lord Jesus Christ grant us the strength of faith to follow the example of these true servants of His Miracles God's acceptance of the pure sacrifice of the Tsar-Martyr was not long in manifesting itself through miraculous visions and intercessions.
The first of these presented here actually occurred inthe year before the Tsar's martyrdom, and was experienced by Metropolitan Makary of Moscow: The Dream of Metropolitan Makary I saw a field. The Saviour was walking along a path. I went after Him, affirming, "Lord I am following you! At the threshold of the arch the Saviour turned to me and said again: Soon I fell asleep again and saw myself standing in the same arch, and with the Saviour stood Tsar Nicholas.
The Saviour said to the Tsar: The Lord did not agree for a long time, but the Tsar begged importunately. Then the Saviour drew out of the bitter cup a large glowing coal and laid it in the palm of the Tsar's hand.
The Tsar began to move the coal from hand to hand and at the same time his body began to grow light, until it had become completely bright, like some radiant spirit. At this I again woke up. Falling asleep yet again, I saw an immense field covered with flowers. In the middle of the field stood the Tsar, surrounded by a multitude of people, and with his hands he was distributing manna to them. An invisible voice said at this moment: The Serbian people loved the Russian Tsar with all their heart.
On March 30,there was published in the Serbian newspapers a telegram stating that the Orthodox inhabitants of the city of Leskovats in Serbia had appealed to the Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church with a request to raise the question of the canonization of the late Russian Emperor Nicholas II, who was not only a most humane and purehearted ruler of the Russian people, but who also died with the glory of a martyr's death.
Already in there had appeared in the Serbian press an account of what happened to an elderly Serbian lady who had lost two sons in the war and whose third son, who had disappeared without a trace, she considered also to have been killed. Once, after fervently praying for all who had been killed in the war, the poor mother fell asleep and saw in a dream the Emperor Nicholas II, who told her that her son was alive and was in Russia, where he had fought together with his two dead brothers.
Naum on Lake Ochrid. Kolesnikov was invited to paint the new church in the ancient Serbian Monastery of St. Naum, being given complete creative freedom in adorning the interior dome and walls. While completing this, the artist thought of painting on the walls of the church the faces of fifteen saints, to be placed in fifteen ovals.
Fourteen faces were painted immediately, but the place for the fifteenth long remained empty, since some kind of inexplicable feeling compelled Kolesnikov to wait for a while. Once at dusk he entered the church. Below, it was dark, and only the dome was cut through with the rays of the setting sun.
As Kolesnikov himself related later, at this moment there was an enchanting play of light and shadows in the church, and all around seem unearthly and singular. At this moment the artist saw that the empty oval which he left unfinished had become animated and from it, as from a frame, looked down the sorrowful face of Emperor Nicholas II.
Struck by the miraculous apparition of the martyred Russian Tsar, the artist stood for a time as if rooted to the spot, seized by a kind of paralysis. Then, as he himself describes, under the influence of a prayerful impulse, he leaned the ladder against the oval, and without making with charcoal the outline of the wondrous face, with brushes alone he made the layout. He could not sleep the whole night, and, hardly had the first daylight appeared than he went to the church and in the first morning rays of the sun was already sitting high on the ladder, working with such a fever as he had never known.
As he himself writes: In the past I several times saw the late Emperor close up, while giving him explanations at exhibitions. His image imprinted itself in my memory. At the beginning of this dream I saw myself in a huge temple not built by human hands.
On the right kliros for quite a distance was a huge crowd of people dressed in white; I could not make out their faces. Around me there was a quiet, heartrending singing, although I couldn't see anyone there. Then both sides of the altar swung open and from them began to come out holy hierarchs and monks, fully vested in gentle blue vestments: Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia.
From the door near me, among the passing bishops, Vladika Leonty passed by and stopped near me, saying: You know we have a great celebration here today! Finally, the holy doors of the altar opened, and out of them came the Tsar-Martyr, looking just as he appears on his official portraits during the first years of his reign?
He was dressed in the Tsar's royal mantle, as during his coronation, and he wore the emperor's crown on his head. In his hands he held a large cross and on his pale face I noticed a slight wound, either from a bullet or some blow. He passed by me at an even pace, descended the step of the ambo, and went into the center of the church.
As he neared the kathedra, the singing increased in volume, and when his foot touched the step of the kathedra, it became so loud that it seemed that a whole world of people had gathered and were singing with one breath.
In Switzerland, an Orthodox believer, Claude Lopez, wrote concerning a commemorative coin of the Tsar. He, having great veneration for the New Martyrs, especially the Tsar, had placed the coin in his icon corner, along with an icon of the Royal Martyr with a halo. One day he noticed moisture on the coin and discovered that it was exuding a quantity of fragrant myrrh, which had flowed into the box in which it was kept.
This obvious miracle continued until October ofand resumed briefly during Autumn of Finally, there is this testimony of a man from Spain: I am 48 years old. I am Spanish-born from Barcelona.
My name is Mateo Gratacs Vendrell. When the things I am going to mention happened, I was not a member of the Orthodox Church. Now, through God's mercy, I've become a member August During four years I had had a pain in the loins and in the belly on the right side. I consulted various doctors and went through the usual routine x-rays, ecography, etc.
All the results were negative. It was deduced that my pain was psychosomatic psychological. To calm me down, I was treated through acupuncture and laser, by in vain; my pain was still there. One night as I was experiencing again acute pain, I started reading. To mark my page I had put a portrait of Tsar Nicholas his icon, in fact. I looked at the icon and he the Tsar looked at me.
I started asking him to pray to Christ our Lord; for having suffered during the last days of his life, he would have compassion. I accepted the pain hat I had but I could not accept the fact that I was "mad," because I knew that my pains were real. On the next day, after that very night, as I was on my way to a job, a client who is also a friend of mine asked how I was and upon knowing that I was still suffering, he asked whether I had consulted Dr.
He told me to go and see him on his behalf. I went there on the next day. When he examined me he said that there was nothing psychosomatic; I had an invisible on the radio kidney stone. I underwent a "natural treatment" and the stone went out naturally after one month. During this period of time I prayed to the Lord to remember me because of my love for the Tsar.
I promised to Tsar Nicholas that I would distribute and make known his icon as a "moleben" for the mercy he showed to the poor man who suffered for four years and saw his problem solved in less than a month through his intercession. Mateo Gratacs Vendrell 5 Sept. Recent Developments In Russia Throughout the long, torturous years of Soviet persecution of the Church and her believers there has always existed a faithful group that has quietly preserved the memory of the Royal Martyrs as a "leaven" of national conscience.
This so irked the communist authorities that induring the Brezhnev era, the Ipatiev house, where the Royal Family was martyred and which had become a place of pilgrimage, was blown up and the site razed. Then, an astounding discovery was made: Due to fear of the government, however, Ryabov waited until to reveal this sacred find to the public See Ryabov interview, The Orthodox Word, Vol.
Gradually the Russian conscience has begun to awaken.
Russia - From Alexander II to Nicholas II | mafiathegame.info
Memorial services to the Tsar have been held across the country; one of which, at the Donskoy Monastery, was even televised There was present an icon of the Tsar-Martyr as well as a pre-revolutionary imperial flag.
Voices in the Russian press have openly brought up the question of "national gilt" for the death of their Tsar, which they say must somehow, through acts of repentance, be expiated. This year, in Leningrad, there has been an exhibition of more than photographs of the Romanovs in a state history museum.
Organized by the Radonezh Spiritual Enlightenment Society, it is described as intending to promote spiritual rebirth. Tens of thousands of people have enthusiastically attended.
At the time, a privately published page pamphlet on the Martyrs quickly sold outcopies. Thousands of people attending the exhibition have also signed a petition calling for the city to be returned to its original name of St. Finally, in an amazing development, two cherished sites have been returned to believers.
Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow recently re-consecrated the Uspensky Dormition Cathedral in the Kremlin, which for four centuries was used for the coronation of tsars and the enthronement of patriarchs. He stated that this marked the revival of Russia's spiritual and moral ideals. And, miraculously, the site of the Ipatiev house in Ekaterinburg has been given to the Church as a memorial shrine, in response to a multitude of letters demanding this. As Tass, the Soviet news agency has reported, "So far there is only a wooden cross on the spot, but according to Russian Orthodox Church tradition it should be replaced with a chapel or a church.
Epilogue The significance of the life and martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas II for our times can hardly be overestimated. As the last anointed Orthodox monarch in history, his abdication and death signaled the end of the Byzantine Era of Christianity. For the first time since St. Constantine the Great followed the sign of the Life-Giving Cross and led his subjects to the saving grace of Orthodoxy, Christendom is left without an earthly symbol and protector.
The faithful were driven back into the catacombs? Our spiritual writer, Bishop Theophan the Recluse, and others explain that by this' he who restraineth' one can understand the power of the Tsar.
He was a living incarnation of faith in the Divine Providence that works in the destinies of nations and peoples and directs Rulers faithful to God into good and useful actions? The battle against him was closely bound up with the battle against God and faith. We stand as horrified witnesses to the unleashing of evil which has occurred since in all aspects of life. The world is rushing to embrace and enthrone antichrist in a way that was not possible before.