Grand Duchess of Russia
Had Elizabeth, the exquisite granddaughter of Queen Victoria, not married the Grand Duke Serge of Russia, she would not have found herself, first, at the heart of the opulent court in St. Petersburg and, after the brutal assassination of her husband, in the embrace of the Russian Orthodox Church and a convent dedicated to Christian charity. Nor would she have battled the mesmeric Rasputin for her sister Alexandra's soul or suffered the bloody consequences of a Revolution that would lead to her martyrdom and, ultimately, sainthood.
The dramatic details of Elizabeth's story make this elegant volume a fascinating, compelling biography.
The assasination of her husband marked a turning point in Elizabethís life. She gave away her jewellery and sold her most luxurious possessions, and with the proceeds she opened the Martha and Mary convent in Moscow, to foster the prayer and charity of devout women. Here there arose a new vision of a diaconate for women, one that combined intercession and action in the heart of a disordered world. The famous Russian painter Nesterov designed the pearl-gray and white habit worn by the sisters of the convent.
On her way to exile she wrote a letter to the nuns of her monastery:
Bless the Lord and may the Holy Christ's Resurrection console and strengthen you. May St. Sergei, prelate Dmitrii and St. Evphrosinia Polotzkaya preserve us all. I keep recalling the past day, all of your faces so dear to me. O, Lord, how much suffering there was on those faces, how my heart ached! You are dearer to me with every passing minute. How shall I leave you, how can I comfort and strengthen you? Remember, my dearest ones, what I had told you. Be always not only my children, but also good learners. Unite and be like one soul - everything for God's sake. Repeat after John Chrysostom, "Thank God for everything!" . . .
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Elizabeth: Grand Duchess of Russia by Hugo Mager
Holy Martyr of Russia, Grand Princess Elizaveta Fyodorovna written by Liubov Miller in Australia. Translated from Russian by Irina Nabatova-Barrett, online 116K excerpt
Nerukotvorrenuiy Obraz: The Not Made By Hands Image of Christ icon shows the image of Christ's face miraculously imprinted on a cloth supported by angels. This icon depicts an image of Jesus on a cloth in Edessa, which according to legend was brought back from the Holy Land. It reminds believers of the suffering and ressurection of Christ.