JERUSALEM: February 2, 2021
Russian Gethsemane celebrates the 100th anniversary of the translation of the relics of the Holy Martyrs of Alapaevsk
On Saturday, January 30, 2021, the “Royal Church” of St Mary Magdalene, Equal-to-the-Apostles, in Gethsemane, Jerusalem, festive divine services were performed on the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the relics of the Holy Martyrs of Alapaevsk—Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Nun Varvara. In light of this important jubilee, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia issued an ukase on July 24, 2020, to celebrate the translation of the relics on January 17/30, and to include this date in Church calendar feast days.
Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem of ROCOR. He was joined by Archimandrite Vasily (Druzhinets), spiritual father of Ascension of the Lord Convent on the Mt of Olives, Hieromonk Feodor (Kiritse) of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Priest Roman Gul’tyaev and Hieromonk Afanasy (Bukin) of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission of the Moscow Patriarchate. Praying at the services were Abbess Elizabeth (Smelic) of Gethsemane Convent, Abbess Varvara (Novikova) of Ascension Convent, and the nuns and worshipers of the convent.
In his sermon, Fr Roman stressed: “Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna in her person united the parts of the Russian people and the Russian Church. As a representative of the Romanov Dynasty, and the President of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, the Grand Duchess was also an inseparable part fo the Russian Church, and after her martyrdom shone forth as one of the New Martyrs of Russia. Despite the fact that Grand Duchess Elizabeth was not of Russian descent, by her earthly labors and fervent service to God and the Russian people, she was worthy to be considered a Russian saint.”
After services, everyone was invited for a festive trapeza luncheon and a showing of Stanislav Tsukerman’s 1974 film “Russians in Jerusalem,” dedicated to the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.