Father Nektarios Serfes - Royal Martyrs Of Russia
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Empress Alexandra
Empress Alexandra
This web site is dedicated to Alexandra Larsen, who was grievously ill, and recently recovered.
Thanks be to God!

"This feeling of right and wrong, and one's innermost religious convictions and one's peace of conscience towards God, go before all one's earthly wishes." -excerpt from Tsarina Alexandra. From a letter to Nicholas before their engagement

Prayer from
Empress Tsarina
Alexandra Tobolsk,
11 January 1918

Compiled by Father Nektarios Serfes
7 November 1998
Boise, Idaho U.S.A

Introduction by Father Nektarios Serfes

The Holy Royal Martyr Empress Tsarina Alexandra, the wife of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II wrote this prayer while in captivity in Tobolsk.

Tsarina Alexandra Romanov, the last Empress of Russia, was a woman whose life bridged the historical tradition of Christian monarchy and our own secular age.  She stood astride that gulf, present in the modern world, yet bound heart and soul to an old tradition. Throughout this century she has been consistently misunderstood and adversely criticized.

To understand Alexandra, we must be willing to open our minds to a traditional Christian point of view.  From that vantage point her life and way of thinking are easily grasped; outside the vantage point there is is little hope for fair treatment, and none at all for real discernment.

It is a rare treasure to have so much detail about the life of a woman who is almost our contemporary.  Certainly there are many still living who can recall the period of the First World War.  We can feel her struggles to be our own; her mistakes reflect our own inclinations; her virtues, our potential.  In her goodness of her life we touch our own humanity and the struggle for heaven.

The postcard on which the prayer was found later, as it had been sent by the Empress to Alexsandr Syroboiarsky on 11 January 1918.  On the front of the post card was a reproduction of an Italian painting of Christ our Lord wearing a crown of thorns, and gazing towards heaven. Without a doubt the pain and sufferings the Tsarina Alexandra was experiencing, as an Empress, as a mother, and as a wife, stirred the gracious loving Tsarina's heart to write this prayer.

It was certainly to console herself, but more, it was a prayer for her beloved family and for those who had turned against their Royal Majesties, reflecting the Holy Scripture "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not" (Romans 12:14).

This prayer was written because the guards, and those in charge of their house arrest in Tobolsk, began to be very insulting and disrespectful to the Royal Family.  But it is important to remember that while under house arrest nothing was more important to this family than their love, hope, and their rich faith in our Lord God!  This hope, this love, and this faith, didn't suddenly occur, but it was always a part of this family's lives from the very beginning.  The Empress Alexandra's faith was a great beacon to the members of her family, and to all those whom she came in contact day by day.

Both the Tsar and Tsarina made great efforts to give their beloved family a deep spiritual foundation, and now the entire household found great strength at this most difficult time of their lives - the period of house arrest at Tsarskoe Selo and then incarceration at Tobolsk and Ykaterinburg.  Our Lord, as well as the Mother of God, and the Saints and Martyrs of the Orthodox Faith, played an important spiritual role throughout Their Majesties' lives, and helped them right up to the end of their times of trials and tribulations.  Prayer was an essential ingredient of their day, from the time they got up in the early morning, until the time they rested in the late evening.  This was also true for their devoted friends, who remained with the Royal family throughout their captivity.  Never did the Tsar or Tsarina, the children, and their friends, while under house arrest, sit down to have any meal without praying, and then giving thanks to our Lord afterwards!  They sang the appointed hymns, which they knew by heart,  and performed with enthusiasm the normal prayer rule of the Orthodox Church.

Here we have a deeply devoted, religious and pious family - a Tsar, Tsarina, Grand Duke and Grand Duchesses, and at last many are beginning to realize that this family endured these sufferings and pains because they all had a sincere and faithful Christian love.  They completely believed in our Lord God, they loved His Church, they loved one another, and they loved Russia!

Now let me humbly share the prayer the Royal Martyr Tsarina Alexandra wrote, a prayer which is spiritually rewarding and comforting, a prayer for a most loved family.

Empress Alexandra
Tsarina Alexandra
O Lord, send us patience
During these dark, tumultuous days
To stand the people's persecution
And the tortures of our executioners.

Give us strength, O God so righteous
To forgive our neighbor's wickedness
And to greet the bloody, heavy cross
With Your meekness.

In these days of mutinous unrest
When our enemies rob us,
Christ the Savior, help us
Bear insult and disgrace.

Lord of the world, God of the universe,
Bless us with prayer
And grant peace to the humble soul
In this unbearable and fearful hour.

And at the threshold of the grave
Breathe a power that is beyond man
Into the lips of Your slaves
To pray meekly for their enemies.

Tsarina Alexandra
11 January 1918

Source: "The Fall of the Romanovs", by Mark D. Steinberg and Vladimir M. Krustalev, and Russian documents translated by Elizabeth Tucker., Yale University Press, New Haven and London., 1995., p. 221.

I humbly thank John Wilson Smith for his kind assistance for this web site.

For another web site on the Royal Martyr Tsarina Alexandra please see the following The Royal Martyr Empress Alexandra and The Royal Family as you will note several excepts that discuss the Royal Martyr Tsarina Alexandra.

Now it is time to allow the Empress Alexandra herself tell her own story. Several books are available and I would suggest the following:
"A Gathered Radiance" -The Life of Alexandra Romanov Russia's Last Empress- by Nun Nectaria McLees, cost: $9.95.

Another book written by the same author: "Tsaritsa Alexandra" -The English Letters, Journals and Diaries of Russia's Last Empress- cost $17.00, which both can be obtained from The Brotherhood of St. Herman of Alaska, St. Herman Press 10 Beegum Gorge Road, P.O. Box 70, Platina, CA. 96076. Plus 15% for p.& h.

Finally another book: "The Royal Martyr Sisters, The Life of Tsarina Alexandra and Grand Duchess Elizabeth" compiled by Father Nektarios Serfes. You can obtain this book for $8.00 at this address: 2618 West Bannock Street, Boise, Idaho 83702. Please do consider 15% for p.& h. For more information visit the Books on the Royal Family.

Holy Royal Martyrs
Tsar Nicholas & Family
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 : father@serfes.org. 11-7-1998