Father Nektarios Serfes - Royal Martyrs Of Russia
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Icon Of Our Savior Jesus Christ From Russia (Courtesy of Servant Of Our Lord:Nikolaj Vester)
Icon Of Our Savior Jesus Christ From Russia (Courtesy of Servant Of Our Lord:Nikolaj Vester)

Glorification Of The Assembly of Russian New Martyrs And Confessors August 2000 In Moscow, Russia

Compiled by Father Nektarios Serfes
Boise, Idaho
7 November 2000

Introduction by Father Nektarios Serfes:
From 13-16 August 2000, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, Russia, gave it's approval or blessings for the glorification, and canonization for Emperor Tsar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, Grand Duke Tsarevich Alexis, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Marie, and Anastasia. The actual Holy Canonization for the Imperial Romanov Family took place on 19-20 August 2000, at Christ the Savior Russian Orthodox Church, in Moscow, Russia.

In addition to the Royal Martyrs of Russia, as Passion-Bearers, the same council of the Bishops gave it's blessings for the glorification and canonization for 860 martyrs and confessors in addition decreed the church wide veneration of 230 local saints of these two categories. Besides this, nine holy hiearchs, holy righteous persons, and venerable persons, and 34 martyrs from the Valaam Transfiguration Monastery who perished at the hands of newly converted Lutherans in 1578 were enrolled in the canon of saints. In addition, church wide veneration was decreed for the venerable Iov and Anzersk (a local saint of the Solovki Monastery) and thirteen Elders of Optino Monastery (also spelled Optina) who also had been local venerated saints previously.

The final procedure for the act of glorification and holy canonization for the above mentioned, took place on the evening of the feast of our Lord's Holy Transfiguration, 19 August, and completed on 20 August, by His Holiness Patriarch Alexis II, and the Synod of Bishops at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, in Moscow, Russia. In addition on the morning of August 20th the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was consecrated.

I humbly will present to you a portion of these listings of those who where approved and canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church at the Council of Bishops, but before I do this I would like to answer what distinguishes a martyr from a confessor?

"In the Orthodox Church there are various designations of saints depending on the nature of their actions. Saints are designated as martyrs (mucheniki) when they accepted death for their faith (exceptions to this are tsars and princes who in this case are called passion bearers). In Russia those who perished for Orthodoxy in the twentieth century are called New Martyrs in order not to confuse them with those who suffered in antiquity.

"Confessors (ispovedniki) are those who endured persecution but remained alive. Saintly patriarchs, metropolitans, and bishops are called holy Hierarchs (sviatiteli); saintly priests are called righteous saints (sviatye pravedny); saintly monastic are called venerable ones (prepodobny), and holy fools usually are called blessed ones (blazhennye) although two western saintly intellectuals, Augustine and Jerome, also are called 'blessed' in Orthodox tradition. Rulers who are canonized for service to the church have received the designation holy pious ones (sviatye blagovernye). Saints who are venerated within the boundaries of just one or a few dioceses are called local saints." Tr. by PDS, posted 19 August 2000 (Source: Segodnia, 19 August 2000).

Now I would like to humbly present to you what took place on the second day of Council of Bishops of Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, Russia on 14 August 2000, at 4:57 pm the jubilee bishop's council made the decision to glorify for churchwide veneration a list of passion bearers, confessors, martyrs, and saints. At the present time 146 bishops are participating in the sessions. The below indicated where canonized on August 19-20, 2000 at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, in Moscow Russia. The last memorial service was held, proceeded by the Great Vigil of Vespers and Matins on the evening of 19 August 2000. It was during the Matins service that the actual holy canonization's took place, the revealing of the holy icons took place in the center of the Cathedral.

Then on Sunday 20 August 2000, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was consecrated, and the Holy Hierachal Divine Liturgy was then celebrated, along with His Holiness Patriarch Alexis II, and the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, in Russia, and also in attendance visiting Eastern Orthodox Hierarchs from around the world, and during this Divine Liturgy the singing of the Tropar, and Kontakion of those canonized was sung in prayer after the small entrance with the Holy Gospel. This now finalized the act of glorification, and holy canonization.

Please humbly keep in mind that in the years to come more names will be added to the list of Russian New Martyrs, Confessors, and Saints in Russia.

Thanks Be To God For All Things! Humbly In Christ Our Lord, Reverend Presbyter Demetrios Serfes Who prays for you and with you!

"Glorification Of The Assembly Of Russian New Martyrs And Confessors"
From Communications Service, Department of External Church Relations 14 August 2000.

"The bishops' jubilee council going on in Moscow, from 13 to 16 August heard a report from Metropolitan Yuvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna, chairman of the synodal commission on canonization of saints, regarding the results of the activity of the commission in the period between meetings of the council. On the basis of Metropolitan Yuvenaly's report a decision was made regarding the glorification for churchwide veneration in the canon of saints of an assembly of Russian New Martyrs and Confessor of the twentieth century, known by name and hitherto unrecognized by the world but known to God. The council reviewed materials about 814 heroes whose names are known and 46 heroes whose names could not be determined but about whom it is reliably known that they suffered for the faith of Christ. Evidence about these saints came from 30 dioceses and five stauropigial monasteries.

"To this number 860 heroes in the assembly of Russian New Martyrs and Confessors were added the names of 230 New Martyrs for churchwide veneration who earlier had been glorified in the canon of locally venerated saints in the following dioceses: Almaty, Kostroma, Kazan, Krasnoiarsk, Moscow, Omsk, Perm, Rizan, Tver, Ufa, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Belarus exarchate.

"Having reviewed the question about the canonization of the Royal Family, members of the council decided for the glorification of Emperior Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, and their children, Aleksei, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, as passion bearers within the assemble of Russian New Martyrs and Confessors,

"The council decided on the churchwide glorification of zealots of the faith and piety from other times, whose achievements for the faith was different from that of the New Martyrs and Confessors. These included the following: Metropolitan Makary Nevksy (1835-1926), who occupied the Moscow see from 1912-17, a zealous missionary enlightened of the Altai territory, a man of prayer and ascetic, who was abundantly endowed with gifts of the Holy Spirit; Archpriest Aleksei Mechev (1859-1923), 'elder in the world,' as contemporaries called him. Like the holy and righteous Father Ioann of Kronstadt, Fr. Aleksei embodied the ideals of a good pastor in his life and ministry, which went on in Moscow, in seeking the lost sheep, praying and working miracles;

"Monastic priest Aleksei Soloviev (1846-1928), an elder of the Zosima hermitage in Vladimir diocese. The Lord endowed Elder Alexsei with many gifts, among which stood out the gifts of elder's wisdom, humility, love and sagacity. It was through his hand that the providence of God regarding the holy bishop of Moscow Tikhon was accomplished when Elder Aleksei drew out the lot with his name at the election of the patriarch on 5 November 1917 in the cathedral of Christ the Savior. He led many to the salvation of their soul, performed signs and wonders, and he called people to repentance and to seek for the "one thing that is needed" (Lk. 10:42);

"Monastic priest Serafim Vyritsky Muraviev (1866-1949), who while still a layman was distinguished not only by high Orthodox piety but also be the genuinely miraculous gift of spiritual consolation of all "who labored and were heavy burdened" whom he met along his life's way. The elder's great ministry abounded in gifts of sagacity, healing of the sick, and other miracles, the memory of which was devoutly venerated by contemporary generations of Orthodox Christians not only in the Petersburg diocese but also throughout all Russia and beyond its borders.

"Thirty-four holy martyrs of the Valaam monastery of the Transfiguration; on 20 February 1578 "18 holy elders and 16 novices were destroyed as martyrs for steadfastness in the Orthodox faith";

"Metropolitan Arseny Matseevich of Rostov (1697-1772), a zealous holy bishop of the church who accepted a martyr's death for Christ and his church, who is venerated by the people of God for humbly bearing troubles for his generosity;

"Bishop Innokenty Smirnov of Penza (1784-1819), a righteous man venerated for his ascetic manner of life and miracles performed through his intercessory prayer;

"Archmiandrite Makary Glukharev (192-1847), venerated for his righteous life and labors equal to the apostles in the translation of holy scripture and in spreading the faith of Christ in the Altai;

"Priest Aleksei Gneushev (1762-1848), a hero and ascetic of Nizhny Novgorod diocese, for righteousness confirmed by God in gifts of healing and sagacity, who merited many visions and revelations. He did numerous miracles during his life and to the present time miracles are being worked by him;

"Hegumen Parfeny of the Kizilatash monastery (1816-1867), the memory of whole labors for the good of the church and of his good deeds and martyr's death at the hands of Muslim Crimean Tatars is still carefully preserved in the Crimean diocese.

"Having reviewed the righteous life that was filled with humility and gracious gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the widespread popular veneration, miracles, and zeal in prayer of St. Iov (d., 1720) of Anzersk (in schema, Iisus), founder of the Solovki skete of the Golgotha Crucifixion, a locally venerated saint of the Solovki cloister; and testimony concerning miracles and the broad popular veneration in the diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church of the locally venerated holy elders of Optino, the bishops' council decided to glorify as churchwide saints in the canon the holy monastic priest Iov (in schema, Iisus) of Anzersk and the Optino elders, monastic priest Lev Nagolkin (1768-1841), Monastic priest Makary Ivanov (1788-1860), Archimandrite Moisei Putilov (1782-1862), Hegumen Antony Putilov (1795-1865, monastic priest Illarion Ponomarev (1805-1873), monastic priest Anatoly Zertsalov (1824-1894), Archimandrite Isaaky Antimonov (1810-1894, monastic priest Iosif Litovkin (1837-1911), monastic priest Anatoloy II Potapov (1855-1922), monastic priest Nektary Tikhonov 1853-1928), monastic priest Nikon Beliaev (1888-1931) as a righteous confessor, and Archimandrite Isaaky II Borbrikov (1865-1938) as a righteous martyr, for churchwide glorification...

As a result of the activity of the council the decision was made for the enrollment of 1154 zealots for the faith and piety in the canon of churchwide saints."

(Source: http://www.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/0008f.html#31).

Let us all truly be Radiant in Christ our Lord, with His Holy Passion bearers, Saints, Martyrs, and Confessors.

Holy Royal Martyrs
Tsar Nicholas & Family,
Pray Unto God For Us!

Saints, Martyrs, and Confessors
Pray Unto God For Us!

Glory Be To God For All Things!

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b a c k - t o p e-mail : fr-d-serfes@serfes.org. 10-7-2000