And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet...But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Matt. 24, 6 and 13-14
Death overtook all seven of them, united in the same faith and the same love... However, here I insist on affirming this conviction: It is impossible that those of whom I have just spoken have suffered martyrdom in vain. I do not know when it will be or how it will come to be, but, one day or another, without the slightest doubt, when brutality has as it were bled itself dry in the excesses of its rage, humanity will draw on the memory of their sufferings for an invincible strength for moral reparation...The Tsar and the Tsarina thought they had died martyrs for their country - in fact they had died martyrs for all humanity.
The Tragic Destiny of Tsar Nicholas II and his Family, Pierre Gilliard, Paris 1921
I am a European. This is not in the modern false political sense of the ‘Europe’ of a spiritually aimless and largely bankrupt European Union. This is meant in the real historical and mystical sense of Europe, whose unity is in the Confederation of European Christianity, whose spirit has for centuries been borne mainly by Russia.
One of the greatest examples of this European identity is St Alexandra, the martyred Tsarina of Russia. The future St Alexandra, the favourite grand-daughter of Queen Victoria, was brought up in the English manner of the time and in turn always wrote to her husband in English and spoke to her own four daughters in English. She grew up in the tiny German principality of Hesse, whose independence and rich culture were fatefully destroyed in her childhood by the Second Reich of Bismarck, sacrificed to an arrogant, threatening and militaristic Prussia. Yet, as Tsarina she was to become Russian Orthodox more deeply than many Russian Orthodox. For she categorically refused to leave Russia and the Russian Church, prophetically preferring to face martyrdom. As she said: ‘After what they have done to the Emperor, I would rather die in Russia than be saved by the Germans’. (Gilliard).
Together with Tsar Nicholas, her noble husband, fluent in Russian, French, English, German and Danish, with her children and faithful servants, her earthly life ended in martyrdom at the very opposite end of Europe to England and Hesse. This was in Ekaterinburg, on the very borders of Europe and Asia, where the double-headed eagle of the Christian monarchy looks both east and west. Thus, she and all her family are twentieth-century bearers of that ancient European Orthodox identity, which we too ardently uphold and have struggled all these decades to see restored. In many ways she, and her noble sister the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, are thus standard-bearers of our cause. They, the best of Europe, were led into Paradise by the Russian Orthodox Church, in which they found their truest and deepest identity, setting examples to the rest of Europe.
The Writing on the Wall for Europe
Belsatzar ward in selbiger Nacht
Von seinen Knechten umgebracht.
Belshazzar the Tsar was that very night
By his own servants slain outright.
From the poet Heine. Written on the wall of the Ipatiev House by the German executioner ‘Ajax’.
In 1914 four European nations ruled over more than half the world and the rest of the world indirectly depended on them or else imitated them. The elites of the first three nations, Germany, France and Great Britain, suffered from three different forms of pride:
As the geographical centre of Western Europe and so the organisational centre of Europe, a united Germany, under Prussian military leadership, was the centre of world production. By reason of its best organisation and manufactures, it suffered from the spiritual disease of arrogance.
As the agri-cultural centre of Western Europe and so the cultural centre of Europe, a united France, in the form of its Empire, was the centre of world culture. By reason of its supreme culture, it suffered from the spiritual disease of vanity.
As an offshore island and so the trading centre of Europe, a united Great Britain, in the form of its worldwide Empire covering one quarter of the globe, was the centre of world trade and banking. By reason of its trade and finance, it suffered from the spiritual disease of imagined superiority - pride.
As the vast Eurasian land-mass and so heir to the Roman Christian Empire, the fourth nation, Russia, in the form of the Russian Empire, covering one-sixth of the globe, suffered from disorganisation caused by its immensity and unruly climate. By reason of internal opposition to the principle of order, Monarchy, it suffered from disorder, for Christian Monarchy was the one force that restrained it from Anarchy. But what if this Christian Monarchy were undermined by arrogant, vain and proud Western Europe?
Here comes Tsarina Alexandra, the Martyr
Eldress Maria, Novgorod, December 1916
Pride goes before the fall.
Having buried a host of sovereign principalities, victim of its own arrogance, Prussian-united Germany undermined the Christian Monarchy of Russia. It spread slander and intrigue against the Tsarina and the Tsar, ‘the most slandered of monarchs’ (Hanbury-Williams), it spread Bolshevism through its agents in Russia and among Russian troops in its prison camps, then financing the return of Lenin from Switzerland.
Having buried its noble past, victim of its own vanity, Republican France rejoiced at the Revolution against the Tsar who had saved Paris in 1914. The enthusiasm was ‘indescribable’ (Jacoby) and they congratulated the perfidious British ambassador Buchanan for it. Short-sighted France was soon to regret its rejoicing. As the German General Ludendorff wrote: ‘The Russian Revolution led to a fatal loss of Russian military strength, weakening the Entente and made our task considerably easier...In April and May 1917, despite our victory in Aisne and Champagne, it was the Russian Revolution which saved us’. The Swiss tutor of the Tsarevich, Gilliard, also wrote that if there had been no German-organised Revolution, the Great War would have finished in autumn 1917 and so millions of lives would have been spared.
Having buried sovereign England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, victim of its own pride, Imperial Great Britain rejoiced. It had first plotted the Revolution in masonic lodges through its treacherous ambassador Buchanan (just as the British ambassador had encouraged the assassination of Emperor Paul I over 100 years before). Then it had sent British agents to ensure that if the pervert and open enemy of the Church, the Oxford-trained occultist Yusupov, could not assassinate the Rasputin, the British would do it with a British revolver. Russia had to be prevented by Britain (as also by the Vatican) from realising the long-held Christian dream of freeing Constantinople and the Holy Landoly Land, at last liberating both Europe and Palestine from the Ottoman yoke.
Great Britain had already fought in the Vatican-backed Crimean War against Russia in order to prevent this liberation. Great Britain had already allowed the Ottomans to massacre Bulgarian Christians in order to prevent this liberation. Thus, through Revolution in Russia, Russia would not be allowed to fulfil the more than thousand year-old Christian dream of freeing Jerusalem, the former Capital of the Christian Empire and the rest of the Orthodox world from the Turkish yoke. Britain preferred the cocaine addict and freemason, the half-Russian Kerensky, who came from from the same Volga town as the half-Russian Lenin, to Tsar Nicholas II.
Elite, aristocratic figures of the Russian Empire fell into decadence and the occult, committing apostasy, first renouncing their Faith and then the representative on earth of this Faith. They opposed the faith and the will of the people. With the centre gone, the Russian Orthodox Empire descended into the extremes of hell, collapsing into the nightmare of civil war, terror and persecution, to begin to wake up only three generations later.
Vengeance is mine and recompense, for the time when their foot
shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, And their doom comes swiftly. For the Lord will vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants.
(Deut 32, 35-36)
According to the spiritual law, wherewith a man sinneth, by the same shall he be punished (Wis. 11, 16). Thus:
Germany was punished for its arrogance by losing all reason for its arrogance. On hearing of the shameful ‘peace’ signed by the German-sponsored Bolsheviks in 1918, betraying the sacrifices of millions of Russian soldiers, Tsar Nicholas said: ‘This is shameful, it means suicide for Russia. I never thought that the Emperor Wilhelm would stoop to shaking hands with the wretched creatures who have betrayed their country. But I am sure that it will not bring them any good; it is not this which will save them from ruin’. Sure enough there came the eighteenth year of the century, 18 = 6 + 6 + 6, with regicide, the deposition of the Kaiser and the Allies’ humiliating revenge on Germany, which the Tsar would never have permitted.
And if that humiliating revenge had not taken place, there would have been no Hitler. And then a generation later came 1945, at the end of the second part of the Great European War, when Germany was conquered. Tired of being murderously invaded by the greedy West, three times in five generations, Russia set up a buffer zone in Eastern Europe. Thus, crushed German arrogance was divided into two by the very power which it had set up in Russia, its eastern part becoming for nearly two generations a colony of atheism, its western part occupied by the USA and its satellites.
France was punished for its vanity by losing all reason for its vanity. As the French author Jacoby revealed in 1931, on 29 June 1918, seventeen days before the atrocity in the Ipatiev House, a Bolshevik propaganda leaflet in Russian, The Soldier Citizen, appeared in Paris. It announced and justified the secret plans of the Soviets, the crime which had not yet happened. The mark of the beast on the leaflet? No, not the hammer and sickle, but the triangular mark of the YMCA, of the New World Order. After France too had shaken hands with the bloody hands of the traitors, who had murdered the Tsar who had sacrificed his life for the Allied cause, in 1940, during the second part of the Great European War, it was conquered and humiliated by Germany. Then crushed vanity was invaded by America, whose extension it has, despite its vain and illusory denials, become.
Great Britain was punished for its pride by losing all reason for its pride. After the betrayal of the Tsar by Lloyd George and Milner and their agents Buchanan, Reilly and Lockhart, and the weakness of George V, it too shook hands with the hands of the traitors, who had murdered him who had sacrificed his life for the Allied cause. Humiliated in Ireland, the centre of world trade then found itself bankrupted by the first part of the Great European War. Then, crushed British superiority lost its Empire as a result of the second part of that War and was made inferior, becoming de facto an American colony from the 1940s on.
Russia was punished for its apostasy. Having lost its faith in God, which had underpinned its whole system, it lost its loyalty to the people’s ruler, the God-ordained Tsar. Thus it lost its love for itself and was called another name. And the traitors, so many of the aristocracy and the ‘intelligentsia’, the elite who had brought about the Russian catastrophe through their exploitation of the poor and support of social injustice, the Guchkovs, the Alexeevs, the Miliukovs, the Ruzkies, the Rodziankos, the Kerenskies and all the others? Those who were not shot by the Bolsheviks whose cause they had unconsciously fostered, died in bitter exile abroad. Having rejected monarchy, Russia chose anarchy.
This suicide of Europe led to a tragic imbalance in the affairs of the world. The world turned ‘upside down’, as the common people put it. The age was followed by that of the hundred-year domination of the Republic of the USA and the shadowy figures behind its secular might, who wanted to destroy Europe. It too had financed the undermining of the Orthodox Christian Monarchy, recognised the masonic Kerensky government a week after the Tsar’s forced abdication and, seizing its self-interested opportunity, entered the War ten days after that. Now, as a result of that same pride which brought Western Europe low, that brash and proud domination is in turn also ending and the future lies all before us.
I have a premonition. I have the certainty that I am destined for terrible trials, but I will not receive a reward for them in this world...Perhaps there must be a victim in expiation in order to save Russia. I will be this victim. May God’s will be done!
Tsar Nicholas II to Petr Stolypin
The tragic Twentieth Century is over. Its first years, like its last years, were overshadowed by jealousies and rivalries, an arms race and fear of a European war:
In August 1914 the Great European War broke out. Europe and the European World would never be the same again after this act of collective suicide.
Twenty-five years and a month later, in September 1939 the second part of that War continued. As the Russian Lands had failed to repel invasion from the West in 1917 through apostasy, they were again invaded from the West in 1941. Europe was ravaged and laid low and would have become a satellite of the Soviet Union if it had not stopped in Berlin.
Twenty-five years and a month later, in October 1964 Europe fell anew into decadence and loss of spiritual and moral purpose.
Twenty-five years and a month later, in November 1989 officially atheist Eastern Europe collapsed.
The Local Orthodox Churches, and above all the Russian Orthodox Church, could not fail to have been affected by all this. We had always known that the Resurrection of Russia, the recovery of the ideals of Holy Rus, could not be artificially imposed from outside. Any solution would have to come from inside Russia, for Resurrection is a destiny freely chosen. Exiled from Russia on the sidelines of history, we could only pray together with the faithful inside Russia for the miracle to happen. And, in December 1991, ten years after the long-awaited canonisation of the New Martyrs and Confessors by ROCOR and almost exactly three generations since in February 1917 by ‘treason, cowardice, and deceit’ the Russian elite deposed the Orthodox Tsar, who was the successor of St Constantine, atheist Communism collapsed.
In 2000 we at last heard the long-awaited news that the New Martyrs and Confessors, among them the Royal Martyrs, had at last been canonised inside Russia, nineteen years after their canonisation outside Russia, which itself had long been overdue. Hardly daring to believe what we had heard, we anxiously waited for these decisive words to be put into practice in the dioceses of the Patriarchal Church.
Finally, in 2007, after intense and difficult negotiations, the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church were reconciled. The reconciliation was carried though by the efforts of two remarkable Churchmen, the emigre Patriarch His Holiness Alexis II and the exile Metropolitan the Most Reverend Laurus, and marked the restoration of Russian Orthodox unity. However, this historic event was much more than a single event.
17 May 2007 marked the beginning of the process of the restoration not only of Russian Orthodox unity, but also of worldwide Orthodox unity. It was the beginning of the current struggle against the spiritual impurity that had infiltrated into the Orthodox Church and Orthodox Civilisation over the previous ninety years, since 1917, and the beginning of the reversal of the causes of 1917. Indeed, after the reconciliation, there was such an outpouring of grace that new churches were miraculously opened and situations blocked for years were unblocked. This was the reward for decades of patiently bearing insults, slander, persecution and isolation, carried out by those who lacked integrity, principles and conscience. It is the common task of the restoration of the Church that brings us together today.
A Letter from the Front
In order to climb the great heavenly staircase of love, we must ourselves become a stone, a stair which others will climb.
The Diary of Tsarina Alexandra, 1917
The Russian emigration had a choice: to assimilate or turn itself into a ghetto, and so disappear into the shadows and sidelines of history; or else to be faithful to the Russian Church Tradition, spreading the Word of the Russian Orthodox Church and Faith worldwide and praying for the Holy Russia to come. We did not choose either of the first paths, but, instead, chose the second path. Our small part of the Russian Church, took the Faith and Tradition westwards, moving the missionary traditions of Pochaev to Ladomirovo in Slovakia and then to Jordanville. Scattered all over the world, we tried to speak for the silenced and captive Russian Church inside Russia, when that was necessary. It was that part of the Russian Church which was suffering in persecutions unheard of in recent history and we wanted the rest of the world to know of Her plight.
Scattered around the whole world outside Russia and the Orthodox homelands, but now strengthened by unity, the Great War continues for us. Although united with the Church inside Russia since Her freeing, our task is far from over. We have no illusions. We are only at the beginning. In fact, having survived for nine decades in the most hostile of conditions, the second part of our task is only just beginning. For we are still at the Front, in the advanced positions of spiritual combat, fighting against the spiritual right and the spiritual left, fighting for Holy Rus in all the languages of the world. In the words of the Scriptures, turn not to the right hand, nor to the left; but turn thy foot away from an evil way: for God knoweth the ways upon the right hand; but those upon the left are crooked: and He will make thy ways straight, and guide thy steps in peace (Prov. 4, 27).
Our mission includes the struggle against the treason of right and the treason of left, as the Tsar, the Lord’s Anointed struggled also, as Christ struggled also. The treacherous right, with the Vatican-backed Roman Catholic powers of Austro-Hungary, France and part of Germany saw him as the obstacle to their ambitions to seize power. The treacherous left, with the Protestant powers of Great Britain, the USA and part of Germany, saw him as the obstacle to ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ – which was merely their propaganda excuse to seize power. The Tsar had to be removed by all these traitors because he was what held Orthodox Russia and the whole Orthodox world together. And so, having removed him, Germany, France and Great Britain accused each other of each other’s dirty work. Without the Tsar, they knew that there would be no more spiritual resistance, no more Russia and without her there would be no more coherent Orthodoxy and Orthodox Empire. The vultures prepared themselves to pick over the corpse of the Orthodox world.
In the same way, the best of ROCOR has always resisted left and right, remaining the Church, above mere human politics and nationalism. As such, the best of ROCOR has always been messianic. Its duty has been to carry to the ends of the earth the message of the Church, of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Lands, who in turn confirm the message of the Old Martyrs and Confessors of the European Lands – the saints of the First Millennium. So the Second Millennium confirms the First Millennium in order to counter the Third Millennium. Today’s East confirms yesterday’s West in order to counter the atheist tomorrow.
Thus at the Second All-ROCOR Council in 1938, when the possible canonisation of the Royal Martyrs was first raised, St John of Shanghai said: ‘It has been granted to Russians abroad to shine the light of Orthodoxy throughout the world, in order that other peoples, seeing their good works, might glorify our Father Who is in heaven, and in so doing Russians will acquire salvation’. Perhaps St John had in mind the words of the Apostle Luke: Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word (Acts 8, 4). Late he also prophesied: ‘Orthodoxy in the West will revive. There will be Orthodoxy in Great Britain and Ireland, in France and Germany, in Holland and Spain and in America, too. Every language and nation will have Holy Orthodoxy. This is the charge laid upon our Russian immigration for our repentance’. And in his Encyclical of 1953, Metropolitan Anastasy took up St John’s words, announcing: ‘God has allowed Orthodox to be scattered throughout the world in order to proclaim the true Orthodox Faith to all peoples and to prepare the Earth for the Second Coming of Christ’.
The future of the Russian Church outside Russia is in the continuation of the great task that was so cruelly interrupted in 1917. And now, at the start of the process of resurrection, the Russian Church inside Russia has also taken up this task, after the decades during which all She could do was survive. Now together, our forces doubled in a greater Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, the continuation of the great task and mission, the incarnation of a decentralised Holy Rus worldwide, the worldwide spread of authentic, full-blooded Russian Orthodoxy, the faith of St Seraphim of Sarov, the faith of St John of Kronstadt, the faith of the New Martyrs, the faith of St Matrona, Matronushka, the faith of St John of Shanghai, and not the decomposed faith of futile academics and protestantised, compromised, pseudo-Orthodox modernists, is the future of our whole Church, in service as stones of the staircase which all humanity may climb. ‘And thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations’ (Lk. 24, 46-47).
The stone which the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
(Ps 117, 22-23)
Ninety-four years ago a terrible crime took place in the ‘House of Special Purpose’, the Ipatiev House, on Ascension Avenue in Ekaterinburg. The Ipatiev House was built on the site of the first Church of the Ascension and a seventeenth-century cemetery. Its address was 49, Ascension Avenue (Voznesenky Prospekt) and was situated opposite the Cathedral of the Ascension. The Tsar was aged 49 when he arrived at the Ipatiev House.
In the basement of that house, there took place a momentous event, an event of such mystical horror that it changed world history and has scarred its soul for ever. This was the slaughter of the Imperial Family in the Ipatiev House on Vosnesensky Prospekt. Thus, the dynasty that had begun in the Ipatiev Monastery some 300 years earlier in 1613 ended in the Ipatiev House.
As Orthodox Christians we know that the blood of the Imperial Martyrs spilled on that Avenue on that day, together with the blood of hundreds of thousands of other faithful Russian Orthodox on other days, indeed, the blood of millions, is the seed of the Church. And Russia’s holy men and women know the same. Eighty-nine years after the crime of regicide, on Ascension Day 2007 the two parts of the Russian Church were reconciled. The next day was the feast of the Much-Suffering Job, also Tsar Nicholas’ birthday.
In Russian ‘Ascension Avenue’, ‘Voznesensky Prospekt’, could also be translated as ‘Ascension Perspective’. Today both parts of the Russian Church are working together in expiation, for our Perspective is the same, even though our approach may be different. It is the Perspective of the Ascension, the Ascension of Russia after Her Golgotha, Her Burial in the Tomb and Her Resurrection. In a little over two years from now, at the end of 2014, we shall more clearly understand the hundred year-old tragedy of which we are all partakers, witnesses and victims. In 2017 and 2018 this understanding will be completed.
So we live for the fulfilling of the prophecies, those of St Seraphim of Sarov, of St Seraphim of Vyritsa, of St John of Shanghai, knowing however, that they will not be fulfilled without us. We prepare for the end-game of history. This is now, when all the powers of this world are set to crush any last spiritual resistance, yet we shall resist. The Russian Orthodox Church has risen from the Tomb. We have seen Her Resurrection. Five years ago we lived through Her Ascension, when She was united again. Now, together, we move on, in the united Russian Church, to Pentecost, the Day of the Holy Trinity, the sending out of new Apostles all over the world, north and south, east and west. As prophesied in the Gospels, like the Holy Forerunner, Prophet and Baptist John of old, the Church now goes out into all the world to preach all the words that will prepare all for the Coming of Christ, His Second Coming in glory. For this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations. This is our universal mission and our responsibility before history. The Tsar and the Tsarina thought they had died martyrs for their country - in fact they had died martyrs for all humanity. For ours is the prophetic ministry of the Word and Wisdom of God – the service of spiritual resistance, which is to prepare us for those who will come before the Second Coming of Christ, for the White Tsar. We believe that His is the Victory, His is the Strength, and His is the Last Word in History, the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory.
What then is the spiritual significance of our reunited Russian Orthodoxy, inside and outside Russia, in the twenty-first century? It is Voznesensky Prospekt, that Great and Broad Avenue that ascends, rising from the basements of the Earth to the heights of Heaven. You see, the path taken by the Royal Martyrs and by all the Russian Orthodox New Martyrs and Confessors leads to Holiness, for the path of the Cross leads to Resurrection, the Final Victory. Íå áîéñÿ, ìàëîå ñòàäî! Fear not, little flock! Àçú åñìü ñ âàìè è íèêòîæå íà âû! I am with you and none is against you! Ñèìú çíàìåíèåìú ïîáåäèøè! In This Sign, you will conquer!
The evil that is in the world will grow stronger still.
And yet it is not evil that will win, but love.
Tsar Nicholas II
The Ascension of Our Lord
11 /24 May 2012