Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna => Topic started by: LisaDavidson on April 05, 2004, 10:36:41 PM

Title: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: LisaDavidson on April 05, 2004, 10:36:41 PM
AFAIK, the Grand Duchess remains in Jerusalem.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Ilana on April 10, 2004, 01:41:43 PM
I have been to Ella's place of burial in Jerusalem.  It is in the Church of St. Mary Magdalen in Eastern Jerusalem.  From the terrace you see a wonderful view of the old city of Jerusalem.  She is in a coffin on one side of the iconostasis of the church while her attendent Barbara (Varvara) is on the other side.

The top of her coffin is clear glass and you can see her body.  Her face is covered by a lace hankerchief and her hands and feet have mits on them... but you can see the outlines of her face -- it's very, VERY spooky.

The nuns there are charming and love it when someone shows up who can tell them something about their beloved Ella.

Prince Alice of Greece and Denmark (nee Battenberg) is also there....
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: BobAtchison on April 10, 2004, 03:43:43 PM
Beneath the main church at Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow the nuns showed me the crypt that Grand Duchess Elizabeth had made at the time of the construction of the church for her eventual entombment.  It is exactly as it was in 1917.

I don't know what her wishes were - did she have a will or put them in writing somewhere?

It would seem to me that she would have wanted be be in the convent, although I certainly don't advocate moving her or Barbara.  I hope I will be able to visit them someday.

Bob
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Jorgesaenz on April 10, 2004, 04:05:50 PM
I read somewhere that there was some document by Grand Duchess Elizabeth asking to be buried in her convent in Moscow. I can't recall now where I read about that -however, Lubov Millar ("Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia, New Martyr of the Communist yoke", New York, Nikodemos Orthodox Publication Society, 5th pr., 1999, page 131), states that in 1914 a sepulchre chapel dedicated to the Heavenly Powers and All Saints was built under the main church of the convent, and that "At the time, Elizabeth Feodorovna thought her remains would find their final resting place there. She often descended into the chapel for solitary prayer... "

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Jorgesaenz on April 10, 2004, 05:40:16 PM
From Zoia Belyakova's book, "The Romanovs. The way it was", Saint Petersburg, Ego Publishers, 2000, page 105:

"... the Will & Testament of Grand Duchess Elizabeth, testifying her sole wish, was authorized by the Emperor, and dated June 4th, 1911: "I request that I be buried in a crypt... of the Church of Our Lady's Shrine which I built on my own land property, in Bolshaya Ordynka Street, Moscow, at the Community of Mercy. A special place has already been arranged, and it is known to Father Mitrophani and Mother Superior." Elizabeth specifies the feature of entombment in great detail. Her Will ended with a request that wreathes should not be lain on the tomb, nor on the catafalque, nor on her grave. instead, the money would be better used if offered for the Community's needs."
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: BobAtchison on April 10, 2004, 06:55:03 PM
Well, that closes the question for me - thanks!

Bob
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Jorgesaenz on April 10, 2004, 07:46:12 PM
I didn't say I had seen the primary source document. Just quoted from Belyakova's book. She quotes as a source for the Grand Duchess testament the Russian Government Historical Archives in Saint Petersburg.  
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: LisaDavidson on April 10, 2004, 08:04:04 PM
Rodger:

I do not care for your tone. I think it's fine for you to question someone's sources, but the way you do it is offensive to me and perhaps others.

Mr. Saenz is sincerely interested in the Romanovs and I think you owe him an apology.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 10, 2004, 10:09:06 PM
Rodger, I must agree with Lisa. It seems you are mocking sincere posts. While yours are full of sarcasm & obscure dna reports. Must of us on this discussion board have no idea how to read such things, while you keep pushing the stuff.
Honest opinion is fine- I have my own at dis-agreement with the consensus, but I do respect the others.
You do indeed owe an apology, especially on this weekend.
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on April 10, 2004, 10:27:04 PM
Sorry, Rodger, you are super, but this time I also agree with Lisa.  We do like to kid around on this site, but in this case Mr. Saenz is citing his reference and does sound sincere. And not to put words into the mouths of others, but Ella herself would undoubtedly prefer a more welcome approach,  especially at this time of year.  :-*

Okay, everyone--Happy Passover! Happy Easter!  And as we appreciate how comparatively lucky all of us are at this time, perhaps it would be a good idea to say some prayers on behalf of those whose lives are in jeopardy.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Louise on April 10, 2004, 10:40:42 PM
Speaking of Ella. I have been looking  for any article on line that had the Prince of Wales dedicate a memorial for Ella. For the life of me I can't remember where the dedication was. St Paul's Cathedral or Westminister Abbey?

Happy Easter.

Louise
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Janet_Ashton on April 11, 2004, 10:39:11 AM
Quote
Speaking of Ella. I have been looking  for any article on line that had the Prince of Wales dedicate a memorial for Ella. For the life of me I can't remember where the dedication was. St Paul's Cathedral or Westminister Abbey?

Happy Easter.

Louise



It was Westminster Abbey. Same to you :-)

Janet
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Janet_Ashton on April 11, 2004, 11:06:33 AM
Quote


It was Westminster Abbey. Janet



As an addendum to this....though I think it was actually Prince Philip rather than Prince Charles who was present at the unveiling of the statue on the West Front of the Abbey, Charles recently commissioned a piece of music from John Taverner called "Elizaeth, full of grace" which it seems is dedicated to both his grandmother and to Ellla.

Janet
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Namarolf on April 11, 2004, 12:36:01 PM
A theological question, may be out of ignorance.... I believed England's church didn't approved "statues" of saints and the Orthodox church only accepted icons -so how come they have that statue in Westminster's abbey? Or was it just placed there the same way they could have placed Mother Theresa or Mahatma Gandhi -i. e., not as religious character but for what she did for people?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: BobAtchison on April 11, 2004, 01:15:04 PM
Charles has a personal, spiritual devotion to Elisabeth (I hope someday he will feel the same about Alix).  It is said that Phillip has returned to his Orthodox roots.

Bob
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Namarolf on April 11, 2004, 02:06:23 PM
Thanks, Bob -but my "theological" question remains... As far as I know (may be I am wrong), the Abbey is a religious site belonging to the Church of England -so I guess the mentioned statue has no religious meaning attached, at least for the Church of England? I don't want to sound disrespectful, but in such a case, would it be possible, for instance, to place there a statue of the Queen Mother or Lady Di as well?

I found rather interesting the comments about Philip's going back to Orthodoxy... I know the British Law forbids royals to become Roman Catholics or marry them -but what about Orthodoxy? May be this is not the forum to ask about it, but what if a British royal becomes Orthodox or marries an Orthodox person, like the Hesse sisters did? Would he/she be excluded as well from the line of succession? Were the Hesse sisters (and Alexandra's children)  still in the British line of succession in 1917, when Alexandra and her children were denied entrance in the U. K.?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Janet_Ashton on April 11, 2004, 02:42:04 PM
Quote
Thanks, Bob -but my "theological" question remains... As far as I know (may be I am wrong), the Abbey is a religious site belonging to the Church of England -so I guess the mentioned statue has no religious meaning attached, at least for the Church of England? I don't want to sound disrespectful, but in such a case, would it be possible, for instance, to place there a statue of the Queen Mother or Lady Di as well?



It has from what I have read a definite religious meaning. I am extremely hazy on theological points relating to the Church of England (though members of my family have been and still are members of the Church of England, I was not baptised or actively raised as a Christian; I actually know more about Catholicism and Orthodoxy as a result of my historical studies) but I do not think the Church would recognise any post-Reformation saints. Ella and others are there simply as Christians who died for their faith in the twentieth century. In Ella's case, the latter definition is not strictly correct, though I am aware of the symbolic arguments relating to the Tsarist regime as one which officially promoted the Orthodox faith. She is supposed to represent those who died for their reliion under the Soviet regime; others there are victims of the Nazis or other forms of political extremism. By that token, it is quite unlikely that the Queen Mum would make it :-)

Quote
I found rather interesting the comments about Philip's going back to Orthodoxy... I know the British Law forbids royals to become Roman Catholics or marry them -but what about Orthodoxy? May be this is not the forum to ask about it, but what if a British royal becomes Orthodox or marries an Orthodox person, like the Hesse sisters did? Would he/she be excluded as well from the line of succession? Were the Hesse sisters (and Alexandra's children)  still in the British line of succession in 1917, when Alexandra and her children were denied entrance in the U. K.?


Yes, they were in the line of succession. Orthodoxy has never been excluded as I understand it; the exclusion of Catholicism is a historical rather than reigious issue, and the question of Orthodoxy didn't actually arise until 1947....

Janet
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Janet_Ashton on April 11, 2004, 03:30:45 PM
Quote


 Orthodoxy has never been excluded as I understand it; the exclusion of Catholicism is a historical rather than reigious issue, and the question of Orthodoxy didn't actually arise until 1947....

Janet


1874 more precisely I suppose :-) But to clarify, I was thinking of the immediate heir....

Janet
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Namarolf on April 11, 2004, 03:40:15 PM
Thank you very much for your kind answer, Janet! It is of course most unlikely that it may happen, but I can't help wondering, what if Charles becomes an Orthodox?  :D
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: darius on April 30, 2004, 04:50:38 AM
The memorial in Westminster Abbey is a window and not a statue. It is one of a number of images conmemorating 20th Century Martyrs/Saints. In relation to your query the Abbey of Westminster is Church of England and so rather more High Anglican (Anglo-Catholic) - images of Saints are not forbidden unlike graven images of Christ or the Virgin etc to which people might pray or intercede.
On another point Roman Catholics are forbidden to succeed to the British Throne since the Act of Settlement which sought to ensure the maintenance of the reformed Protestant Church. The Heir to the throne must therefore specifically marry a person who is not a member of the Church of Rome or be barred from the succession as in the case of Prince Michael of Kent. However the children of such a union are still entitled to succeed having been brought up within the Anglican faith. Note The present Duchess of Kents conversion to Catholicism did not affect her husbands succession rights nor those of her children who remained Anglican and had not married Roman Catholics.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Ilana on June 03, 2004, 06:38:17 PM
I believe that there have been posts with pics... I have a pic, but have no clue how to post.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Forum Admin on June 03, 2004, 07:04:53 PM
Instructions for posting pictures are in the General Column on the main forum page
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Sarai on June 04, 2004, 07:17:18 AM
Quote
Does anybody have pix of Ella's coffin or even of her body?


Thomas,
There is a picture of Ella's coffin posted under "Reburials" in the "Imperial Family and Other Romanovs" thread.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Greg_King on June 04, 2004, 07:32:10 AM
And there are photographs of the victims at Alapayevsk in Sokolov, and also in O'Connor's book "The Sokolov Investigation."

Greg King
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Helen_Azar on June 04, 2004, 07:48:40 AM
Instructions for posting pictures are in the General Column on the main forum page[/quote]

Dear Forum Administrator, I too have been trying to figure how to post some pictures and have tried to get the instrutions from the main forum page, but for some reason I am denied access to that page. Whenever I log in, I can only get access to the most recent page of the AP discussion board.... I tried several times, to no avail. Would you please copy and paste these instructions again, into a recent post, or tell me how else I can get access to the General Column... Thanks,
Helen
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Helen_Azar on June 04, 2004, 07:54:25 AM


The top of her coffin is clear glass and you can see her body.  Her face is covered by a lace hankerchief and her hands and feet have mitts on them... but you can see the outlines of her face -- it's very, VERY spooky.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Ilana,

Thanks for the info about Ella's body. That does sound very morbid, although I think it may be fascinating to see... Did they preserve the body in some way?

Helen

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on June 08, 2004, 03:18:06 PM
Dear Everyone,

It appears that "officially" Grand Duchess ELizabeth's relics are NOT going back to Russia permanently.  They will return to Russia from July 17th until February 2005, when they will be returned to Jerusalem.

I have a call in to the Cathedral to find out more in detail.  It appears that the Grand Duchess St. Elizabeth of Russia will be honored in a service at the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, will then be venerated in the crypt which was prepared for her in the Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow, and will finally be taken to the groundbreaking of a new cathedral to be built at Alapayevsk.  

The relics will then be returned to the Cathedral on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

Gossip in New York says that this "tour" is a sham, and that the body is being returned permanently because the Cathedral is near all of the fighting and violence in the West Bank.  

This rare cooperation between the ROCA and the Moscow Patriarchate is out of a mutual concern that harm will come to the relics of the Grand Duchess, canonized in both churches.

Fascinating!  I for one, plan to try to visit Moscow.

Nick
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Reed on June 08, 2004, 04:28:35 PM
Nick,
I have a question to which you may know the answer.  It's a little off this subject, but I can't find the thread in which to address it.  I have study the Orthodox church and understand it's basic beliefs and difference here in the US.  However, I can't remember the reason for the division in the Moscow Episcopate and the ROCOR.  I'm thinking it has something to do with authority....but....it's gone from my mind.  Hopefully, you can help. It's unfortunate when such important things are happening in Russia that encompasses the church, that the groups cannot cooperate better.    :o I say that realizing that there isn't much cooperation even on smaller issues here in the US.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on June 08, 2004, 08:26:33 PM
Reed,

It is extremely complicated, but the basic reason is this; after the Revolution, and the assassination of the Emperor, the church was in a quandry--there was no Emperor, and therefore, no head of the Church.  

The Communist government deeply restricted the influence and authority of the Orthodox Episcopate, and the Communist leaders appointed collaboratist priests who supported Communist doctrine and altered the Orthodox ritual.

Outside of Russia, loyalist and conservative Orthodox priests from the Russian tradition organized to continue the Russian Orthodox Church as it existed under Imperial authority.  Since there was no clear head of the Church, a "Patriarch in Exile" was elected as head of the Church.  In this period, the OCA broke away as well, as did many national branches of the Russian Church abroad (Russian Church in France, Germany, Belgium, etc. -- all Russian Churches who did not acknowledge the Soviet regime.)

During the Second World War, Stalin allowed the churches to open again, and I believe (but I'm not sure) appointed the first Soviet "Patriarch."

Since the fall of Communism, the Churches has been in a careful state of potential entente--their differences are largely political, and ocasionally financial (they argue over real estate a lot.).  ROCOR feels that the Church in Russia is still filled with collaboratists, and the ROC in Moscow feels that ROCOR are traitors who abandoned the Church in its moment of need, as it struggled to exist under Soviet authority.   They are both right, and they are both wrong.

Now, I may have the specifics wrong, but that is the gist.

Best,

Nick
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: jfkhaos on June 09, 2004, 07:38:14 AM
Has anyone found any information on the proposed church at Alapayevsk?  Will it be something similar to the church in Ekaterinburg (not architectually, but to honor the murdered Romanovs who died in Alapayevsk?)

Thanks!
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Louise on June 09, 2004, 10:05:39 AM
Nick, thank you for the simple and uncomplicated explaination of the schism in the Orthodox Church.

Louise
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Reed on June 09, 2004, 10:32:20 AM
Nick,
Thanks for the synopsis.  I remember reading some of those details now.  Just couldn't find the book I needed to clarify things.  Of course, books don't always cover what it is happening in actual reality.  Hopefully, the church will be able to set aside their differences and unite once again.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Ilana on June 09, 2004, 11:57:48 AM
It's certainly a sham of a reason to remove the relics.  There is really not much more fighting going on in the West Bank than ever there was...the press has just become more obssessed with it.  Anyhow, it's in East Jerusalem, which has been a bit shakey for over a decade.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Robert_Hall on June 10, 2004, 01:53:49 AM
Thanks, Nick, for the rather concise history of an extremely complicated subject.
To add further history on the subject:
Peter I abolished the Moscow Patriarcate in 1721, replacing it with the Holy Synod, on the level of a cabinet ministry, with a lay "minister" the Chief Procurator.
In this entity, the Emperor held temporal power over the Church, but despite Rodger's rather odd thoughts, not matters spitual orf of dogma.

The HS elected a new patriarch [Tikhon] in 1917, but he fell afoul of the communists & again, it was abolished until Stalin re-established a "collaborationist" patriarchate in 1943. The guess here is that he need  the church support in the war effort.
As for the Patriarchate itself,  Moscow is just one of 14 Orthodox patriarchates.  Greece, i.e. Constantinople being 1st among equals.
This gets even more complicated as the Emperpror's role  of "Protector" of the Holy Places in Jerusalem was legally inherited by the Soviet regime. An odd
circumnstance to say the least. And much distuped.
This gets to Ella's grave.  As I recall, for the above reason, it was not placed under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Church. [{perhaps this has changed].
As for her eventual re-internment, is the former Moscow convent actually in any shape for that?
Personally, I think she should end up back in Jerusalem.



Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Sunny on June 10, 2004, 06:22:27 AM
As it was Ella's wish to be buried in her convent, imo the time is now right to see that that happens.

Sunny
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on June 15, 2004, 10:09:57 AM
Robert,

The Russian church in Gethsemane was the property of the Russian Orthodox Chuirch in Exile until last year, when the Israeli government acknowledged that all former Russian Church properties in Israel belonged to the Russian State.

The church and its contents were forcibly returned to the Moscow Patriarchate.  Nuns tied themeselves into the crypt, refusing to leave the church, and had to be removed by force.  It was very painful for all concerned--the Patriarchate has, however mede overtures for reunification, and at this point, they are making efforts.  The reunification of the churches will not happen soon, but both sides agree that it must, and will happen in the future.

Best,

Nick

PS -- A massive restoration project is underway at the Convent to restore the church and the various outbuildings, including the children's hospital, and the home for women.  I believe that they want Ella back to draw pilgrims to the church who will bring money to help the restoration.  I think Elizaveta Feodorovna would rather be back in Moscow near her sisters and the poor of Moscow, myself, and she did say in her will  that she wanted to be in the crypt of the Church.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: _Rodger_ on June 15, 2004, 10:47:52 AM
Nick is correct as far as Israel turning over ROCA property to the Russians.

However, this business about a 'will' is nonsense.  Her wishes were to be buried where Christ walked, which is a long way from Muscovy.  

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Sunny on July 19, 2004, 05:54:53 AM

Thomas, my son runs a breaking news site, so I'm around news wires a lot. Haven't read anything about this...what a huge surprise.
How lovely that you were so close to Ella, for a few minutes. Does anyone know if she will remain in Russia?

Many, many thanks for this exciting news,

Sunny
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on July 19, 2004, 09:25:16 AM
Dear Rodger;

You are always so energetic in your responses, but I must take exception to your vehement assertion that my reference to the Grand Duchess Elizabeth's will is nonsense.

The Last Will and Testament of the the Grand Duchess Eliizabeth is in the State Archives of the Russian Federation (RGIA, fond 468, opis' 46, No. 136, 9.1.1)  The will, dated June 4th, 1911, signed by Elizabeth and countersigned by the Emperor states "I request that I be buried in the crypt of the Church of Our Lady's Shrine which I built on my own lands and properties in Bolshaya Ordynka Street, Moscow at the Community of Mercy.  A special place there has already been arranged, and it is known to Father Mitrophan, and the Mother Superior."  Elizabeth went on do describe the details of her eventual entombment in great detail.

Her will ended with a request that wreaths should not be laid on her tomb, nor on er catafalque, nor on her grave, but that the money would be better used if given to the Convent.

Best wishes, and so there.  By the way, I have seen this document with my own eyes.

Nick ;D

PS, there is also an account of this in Zoya Belyakova's article about the Grand Duchess, "All fell in Love With Ella."
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: elisa_1872 on July 19, 2004, 04:02:03 PM
Quote
OH MY GOD!!!

I just read in our newspaper that the REMAINS of GRAND DUCHESS ELISABETH and Sister Warwara arrived in the Russian chapel in Darmstadt on last saturday and were praised in a special service!!!!

They are on their way to Moskow and will stay in every russian orthodox diocese in Germany during the next weeks before they'll arrive.
The russian patriachs of Germany and USA attended the service.

I cannot believe it: It was THIS very saturday when I passed the chapel in Darmstadt coming back from a concert. I saw some russian priests coming out of the chapel, saw the lights inside and heard the singing.
I DID think "Shell I go and look?" but I didn't for I was afraid to disturb the service.
I did not know that I was only 10m away from Ella's remains... :o

Will they remain in Russia now or is it just for some time? And what is the reason for this transfer?
(Sorry - I think it has been posted but i can't find it anymore)


Oh my word.. i am so speechless :o Ella+++ This is too incredible!!! And to think, so close to where the service was held..  Thomas how beautiful you were able to spend time so near HER...+
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on July 26, 2004, 03:24:31 PM
Dear all,

It appears that the entire remains of Grand Duchess Elizabeth have not been sent to Moscow.  Judging from the Russian text of the ITAR-TASS link which Bob provided, a relic has been separated from the remains and has been shipped to Russia for good. (note the size of the reliquary--it appears that most of Ella has been left in Jerusalem.)

The relics were venerated at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow in the presence of the Patriarch, and there is no mention of whether the relics will remain there or be transferred to the Convent of Martha and Mary.


Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on July 26, 2004, 03:56:27 PM
Royal relics help heal church rift
STEVE GUTTERMAN IN MOSCOW


THE remains of the last tsarina’s sister were returned to Russia yesterday in the latest sign of unity between the dominant Russian Orthodox Church and its foreign branch, which broke away after the Bolshevik Revolution.

The remains of Grand Duchess Elizabeth, who was thrown down a mine shaft by Bolsheviks in 1918 and has been canonised by both the Moscow-based church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, were brought by plane from Jerusalem.

The remains of Elizabeth, an older sister of Tsar Nicholas II’s wife Alexandra, had been spirited out of Russia via China and later brought to the Mary Magdalene cathedral in Jerusalem, which belongs to the foreign-based church.

The relics - part of Elizabeth’s right hand, according to state-run Rossiya television - were transported in a golden ark that was taken to Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral, where an opulent ceremony was held. The remains will be in Russia for six months and will travel to churches across the former Soviet Union.

Also returning were the remains of Elizabeth’s helper, a nun named Varvara, who was killed with her.

The temporary return of the remains was being carried out by the Russian Orthodox Church with the support of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. It comes as the two churches take their first steps toward reunification after decades of distrust.

In a message read out at the ceremony at Christ the Saviour, Russian Orthodox patriarch Alexy II said he hoped the return of Elizabeth’s remains would signal "God’s blessing of the process that has started of unification of the Russian Orthodox Church".

The exiled church severed all contact with the Moscow-based church after its leader pledged loyalty to the Communist government in 1927. The Moscow Patriarchate has said that step was taken to save the church from complete ruin under officially atheist Communist rule.

The home church called the transfer of Elizabeth’s remains the "first joint action" of the two churches.

"The rapprochement is visible," Metropolitan Alexander, a Russian Orthodox Church leader, said.

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia visited the country this spring, and both churches have expressed the desire to end their rift. The Russian Orthodox Church has had a major resurgence since the 1991 Soviet collapse.

Elizabeth, who married an uncle of Nicholas, Grand Duke Sergei, founded a convent in Moscow. She was one of several royal family members thrown alive down a mine shaft in the Ural Mountains in 1918. Their bodies were found later that summer.

Also:
Thousands of Muscovites meet the shrine with the relics of Grand Duchess Elizabeth

25.07.2004, 18.59


MOSCOW, July 25 (Itar-Tass) - Thousands of Muscovites met the shrine with the relics of Grand Duchess Elizabeth, whom the Russian Orthodox Church had canonized as a holy martyr, at the Savior Cathedral on Sunday. The shrine had been delivered from Jerusalem.

Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and nuns from the St. Mary Magdalene’s Convent, where the relics had been since 1921, are taking part in the festive service.

The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia agreed to deliver the relics to Russia for six months on the occasion of the 95th anniversary of the Cloister of St. Mary and Martha the Grand Duchess opened.

Metropolitan of Krutitsy and Komolna Juvenaly read out a message of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II. The Patriarch hopes that the delivery of the relics to Russia was a blessing to the beginning reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Alexy II could not attend the ceremony on health reasons. A source in the Patriarchate told Itar-Tass that he would minister a service near the relics several days from now. The relics will stay in Moscow till August 5. They will be carried from the Savior Cathedral to the St. Daniil Monastery with a stopover at the Cloister of St. Mary and Martha. After that the relics will be carried from one place to another in Russia, CIS member countries and Baltic republics for six months.

ITAR-TASS
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on July 26, 2004, 04:43:33 PM
I wish I knew. There's supposedly a finger of hers in a Russian church in the US that was involved in the controversial DNA testing the past year or so (which purportedly didn't match Alexandra, etc...). I guess if that IS her finger, they could take part of her to Russia. I think the whole thing is kind of icky. I enjoy visiting shrines as much as the next good Catholic, but even then the less intact remains (ie Anthony of Padua) struck me so. I mean to be parcelled out all over, just seems like a desecration. I prefer to visit the INTACT shrine (like St Bernadette).
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Ilana on July 26, 2004, 05:35:07 PM
Well, I have to say that I did visit the church in Jerusalem and she looked "intact" to me.  There was a clear glass cover over the coffin and she was dressed.  There was simply a matte lace hankerchief over her face and the outlines of her face could be seen.  It was pretty creepy, but I was under the impression that she was all there.  However, she wore large shapeless mitts and booties, so, who knows about fingers.  YUK!
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on July 26, 2004, 09:19:45 PM
Actually partition of relics is not a desecration.  It is a standard practice in both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.

The finger GrandduchessElla mentions is generally here in New York at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign which is part of ROCOR.  Perhaps the part of the right hand sent from jerusalem is the rest of the hand it comes from?

I find it interesting that the remains of the hand are in Jerusalem.  Perhaps (ugh) when the body was shipped, the hand was damaged or removed, and the relic/finger in question was sent to New York?

I was under the impression that the whole body would be sent.  I am actually a bit relieved that it hasn't been.

Best,

Nick
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 26, 2004, 10:26:06 PM
The history of collecting relics of saints can be rather "6 Feet Under"  funny. Many years ago, I was in a seminary in Wash.D.C. and we always had Eastern as well as Western prelates staying for one reason or another. Often on there way to Rome. Well, Thay also often traveled with saint's relics for various reasons.  They were put on display in our chapel for a special veneration, and sometimes were placed in newly built basillica. One time, the Cardinal of LA was staying, I forget the reason, but he had the head of St. Vibiana in a smart Louis Vuitton type carrying case. which was put out for veneration. I was curious about what they did when the rest of the body was displayed. Very casually informed that they had a wax head for that ! Not much has shocked me since the moring I went into chapel & good ol' St. Vibiana was staring at me in the sacristy, dis-embodied.
I imagine it is the same with other body parts, they just make a wax replacement, depending on how much was left of the original.
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on July 26, 2004, 10:57:10 PM
Quote
Actually partition of relics is not a desecration.  It is a standard practice in both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.

The finger GrandduchessElla mentions is generally here in New York at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign which is part of ROCOR.  Perhaps the part of the right hand sent from jerusalem is the rest of the hand it comes from?

I find it interesting that the remains of the hand are in Jerusalem.  Perhaps (ugh) when the body was shipped, the hand was damaged or removed, and the relic/finger in question was sent to New York?

I was under the impression that the whole body would be sent.  I am actually a bit relieved that it hasn't been.

Best,

Nick


I agree, it's not _technically_ a desecration, just that it seems it after all she suffered and has rested in peace for so long.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Annie on July 27, 2004, 08:25:01 AM
Quote

I agree, it's not _technically_ a desecration, just that it seems it after all she suffered and has rested in peace for so long.


True :'(
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on July 27, 2004, 01:55:26 PM
Miguel,

The wish of Elizaveta Feodorovna to be entombed in the Church of Mary Magdalene predates her final wish to be buried at the Sisterhood of Martha and Mary in Moscow.  Her will is clear on what her final wish was.

As for the church in Jerusalem, I do not believe that the ownership has ever satisfactorily cleared up between the chuirches and that they are in a grudging "share" situation of which this "visit" of EF to Russia is a by-product.

For those who are interested in the History of the church there is a wonderful new book which was the Winner of the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize of the American Society of Church History, called "Russian Orthodoxy on the Eve of Revolution" by Vera Shevzov, Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion and Biblical Literature, Smith College.  It is available from Oxford University Press: Price: £30.00 (Hardback)
ISBN 0-19-515465-7.

Best,

Nick
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on July 27, 2004, 03:02:39 PM
Just as a side--with all the controversy about how DNA from the finger in NY didn't match Alexandra's etc....is there any chance that the finger could actually be Varvar's if both had hands cut? Just a thought...
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on July 28, 2004, 02:11:27 PM
Dear Miguel,

Forgive me, I did not mean to intimate that the building of the church of Mary Magdalene itself is being "shared" by the Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR.  I have attended ROCOR my whole life, and am well aware of that.  

What I meant was that the two churches have brought the relics to Russia together in an act of reconciliation.   Several months ago, Bishops from both churches met here in New York, and this visit of veneration was part of the discussions.  

I believe there is certainly a rapprochement between the churches, and that they will continue moving slowly forward towards reconciliation.

The biggest problem the churches seem to face are issues of finances and real estate--theological differences are growing more minimal as time goes by, it seems.

Best,

Nick
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: gem_10 on August 03, 2004, 04:12:46 AM
Oh how I envy all of you! I wish I could also see Ella. By the way, could you please tell me how to post pictures? Thanks.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Sunny on August 03, 2004, 06:37:13 AM
I was not aware that the situation involving St. Mary Magdalene had been resolved. Nick, many thanks for the new book info. Elisa, what a lovely idea.....Forum Admin ?  :)

Sunny
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on August 21, 2004, 01:36:23 AM
Latest from ITAR-TASS:
Relics of Duchess Yelizaveta worshipped in Russia region
16.08.2004, 11.26

KHABAROVSK, August 16 (Itar-Tass) -- Khabarovsk is Russia’s eighth city where believers have a possibility to bow to relics of Grand Duchess Yelizaveta and nun Varvara.

The relics were brought to the city from Vladivostok in a train church on Sunday.

A spokesman at Khabarovsk’s eparchy told Itar-Tass that the relics would stay in the city for two days.

Thousands of people have come to the Assumption Cathedral to see the relics that the whole Christian Orthodox World worships.

Bishop Mark of Khabarovsk and the Amur region, who read a special service, said the coming of the relics was a “uniting action”. He stressed that it began from eastern regions of Russia.

The reliquary was taken to a hospital where the construction of a church in memory of Great Martyr Yelizaveta is being finished and a parish has been opened.

A cross will be consecrated there before it will crown the church.

Church services for cure of ill people will be held in several hospitals, including in the home church of Saint Ioann of Kronshtadt at a children’s hospital.

The holy procession with the relics of Duchess Yelizaveta and nun Varvara began from Moscow’s Saint Daniel Monastery on August 5 with the blessing from Patriarch Alexy II, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Metropolitan Laurus, first hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad.

The relics have been taken by plane to six cities of the Russian Far East.

The relics will be returned to Moscow by train church by the day of New Russian Martyrs in February 2005.

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: ChristineM on September 05, 2004, 03:55:28 PM
I have rediscovered a pamphlet from the Church of St Mary Magdelene in Jerusalem which I received in the late 1990s.   The following information may be of some interest -

'The Church of St Mary Magdalene is situated on the slope of the Mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane and is one of the most recogniseable landmarks of Jerusalem.   This striking example of Russian architecture was built in the Muscovite style with golden onion domes or cupolas.   It was built as a memorial to Empress Maria Alexandrovna by her son the Russian Tsar Alexander III and his brothers.

Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, brother of Alexander III, and his wife Grand Duchess Elizabeth (formerly Princess Elizabeth of Hesse-Darmstadt), granddaughter of Queen Victoria and sister of the last Empress of Russia, presided at the consecration of the church of St Mary Magdalene in 1888 as representatives of the Emperor.   The Grand Duchess took a deep personal interest in the church and commissioned the well-known Russian artist Sergei Ivanov (1864-1910) to paint the large imposing murals depicting the life of Saint Mary Magdalene which were brought to Jerusalem for the consecration and hang in the church today.   The large canvas above the iconstasis shows Mary Magdalene before the Roman Emperor Tiberius.  In her hand she holds a red egg which she presents to the Emperor, symbolizing the resurrection and eternal life.   She tells Tiberius about the unjust judgement and death of the cross of Jesus Christ.   It is known that after re-examining this unlawful trial Pilate, at that time governor of Jerusalem, was deposed and sent into exile.   The elegant white marble and bronze iconostasis holds icons by the distinguished Russian artist, Veresshchaguin......................

'Grand Duchess Elizabeth, widowed by an assassin's bomb in 1905, became a nun and founded a convent devoted to nursing and charitable work in Moscow.   After the revolution, in 1918 the Grand Duchess together with her companion Sister Barbara and several members of the Russian Imperial Family were thrown into a mine shaft by the bolsheviks and left to die.   Her remains and those of Sister Barbara eventually were brought to Jerusalem.   In 1920, they were laid to rest, as the Grand Duchess wished, in a crypt below the Saint Mary Magdalene Church.  They were canonized as Martyr Saints in 1981 and at this time their relics were moved into the main section of the church where they rest today in marble sarcophagi.

'Princess Andrew of Greece (born Princess Alice of Batterberg) mother of the Duke of Edinburgh visited the church and stayed in the monastery in the 1930s.   Her wish was to be buried near her 'Aunt Ella', the Grand Duchess Elizabeth whose devotion to the church and to nursing and charitable service she strove to emulate.   Princess Andrew died at Buckingham Palace in 1969.   Her wish to be buried at the Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane was finally realised in 1988 when her remains were transferred to her final resting place in a crypt below the church.........'

This Church was held very dear not just to the sons of Alexander II - who felt their mother had been seriously neglected by their father - but also by the four daughters of the Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse Darmstadt - Victoria, Elizabeth, Irene and Alix.   The late Empress, Marie Alexandrovna, had been a Hessian princess like themselves.    The Grand Duchess Elizabeth along with her sisters worked a carpet which lay in front of the iconostasis.

There are further details in the pamphlet concerning the Church and its work today should anyone be interested.

I am sure much of this material is known to many on the Forum.   I hope the above includes some fresh information.  

I feel the Grand Duchess', later, preference would to be laid to rest in Moscow within the precincts of the Convent she founded.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Teddy on December 18, 2004, 09:27:20 AM
I heard of photo's of the body's! Were can I find them. It must be spooky but at the same time interesting.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Forum Admin on December 18, 2004, 12:57:15 PM
The autopsy of the body by Sergeyev (from Sokolov pg 296):
On the head, under the skin, were discovered several areas of bleeding caused by contusions: on the front one about the size of a baby's hand, on the left top of the head was another the size of a man's hand.  The bone of the skull was intact."
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 18, 2004, 01:11:25 PM
Quote
The autopsy of the body by Sergeyev (from Sokolov pg 296):
On the head, under the skin, were discovered several areas of bleeding caused by contusions: on the front one about the size of a baby's hand, on the left top of the head was another the size of a man's hand.  The bone of the skull was intact."


Nothing about the face? Does that mean we can assume that it was intact or was it just omitted?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Dennis on December 18, 2004, 01:16:00 PM

In memory of Grand Duchess Elizabeth:


"Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."
      - Revelation 2:2



Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Teddy on December 18, 2004, 05:46:09 PM
It's make me very sad to look at this picture of the body of Ella.

For what I see: is that her body was not intact at all. If it was intact, than you can see at her face how much pain she must had in that mine shaft. It look horrible.

I can't regonize her at all! She was a beauthiful lady but if someone tells me its body of someone who had died hundreds of years ago, I would believe it.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Martyn on December 18, 2004, 06:36:45 PM
Is it possible that the conditions in the Alapaevsk mineshaft helped to preserve the condition of Ella's body?  After all, three months is an awful long time for her body to have remained there.
Some preservation/emblaming etc must have been performed after the recovery from the mine, surely, to account for the current condition of her remains.
By the way Teddy, local peasants testified that they could hear the sound of someone singing hymns coming form the mineshaft and there was evidence to suggest that she had attempted to assist the other victims with their wounds; strips of her habit had been used as makeshift bandages.  I try to take consolation from the fact that Ella's faith was immense and unshakeable, and hope that she would have fallen back upon this to sustain her in her hour of need.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 18, 2004, 06:51:06 PM
Quote
...local peasants testified that they could hear the sound of someone singing hymns coming form the mineshaft...  


From what I understand, this is a myth...
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Martyn on December 19, 2004, 05:12:49 AM
Well Helen the hymn singing may be a myth but my point remains the same; one can only hope that she found some comfort from somewhere at that terrible time.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Merrique on December 19, 2004, 11:53:44 AM
After looking at that picture of Ella's body several times I just have one question.How do we actually know this is actuallu Ella and not her companion nun?Her face looks very distorted because of her injuries to me.So it makes me wonder how they could positively identify her.Did they take pictures of her companion nun and do you have them FA so we could do a comparrison?I'd be curious to see both pictures to do a proper comparison.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Forum Admin on December 19, 2004, 12:32:12 PM
I assume they took a photo of Varvara, but I don't have it in Sokolov.  The bodies were identified by local people who had seen them before the murders. Ella, was further identified because she was found still clutching two small sacks in her hands containing her personal necessities and wearing an icon of the Holy Savior, set with precious stones on a chain around her neck.  Sokolov later discovered that this icon had belonged to the Emperor, and he prayed with it the night before the abdication, and later gave it to Ella.  It had this inscription on the back "Palm Saturday, 13 April 1894"
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Alicky1872 on December 19, 2004, 01:05:44 PM
I seem to remember reading a letter that Ella's sister Victoria wrote, recalling the state of Ella's body. I think she said it was dried out, but very well preserved. Now I know I'm probably the 10th person to ask this question in this thread, but WHY then does that picture show a very badly damaged body? I got the impression that if her coffin was opened, she would look like she was sleeping, or something. I definately didn't think she looked anything like what that disturbing picture showed.

Then on the other hand, maybe that picture really is how she looks, because why else would they cover her face, hands and feet?

Am I the only one to be VERY confused by this? Why have there been so many conflicting things written about that state of her body, to what this picture shows?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Merrique on December 19, 2004, 01:31:20 PM
Quote
I seem to remember reading a letter that Ella's sister Victoria wrote, recalling the state of Ella's body. I think she said it was dried out, but very well preserved. Now I know I'm probably the 10th person to ask this question in this thread, but WHY then does that picture show a very badly damaged body? I got the impression that if her coffin was opened, she would look like she was sleeping, or something. I definately didn't think she looked anything like what that disturbing picture showed.

Then on the other hand, maybe that picture really is how she looks, because why else would they cover her face, hands and feet?

Am I the only one to be VERY confused by this? Why have there been so many conflicting things written about that state of her body, to what this picture shows?


I was wondering the same thing Alicky.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Dominic_Albanese on December 19, 2004, 02:29:41 PM
Quote
I assume they took a photo of Varvara, but I don't have it in Sokolov.  The bodies were identified by local people who had seen them before the murders. Ella, was further identified because she was found still clutching two small sacks in her hands containing her personal necessities and wearing an icon of the Holy Savior, set with precious stones on a chain around her neck.  Sokolov later discovered that this icon had belonged to the Emperor, and he prayed with it the night before the abdication, and later gave it to Ella.  It had this inscription on the back "Palm Saturday, 13 April 1894"


FA: I'm interested in this - How would N II get this icon to Ella *after* the abdication?  I thought the last time Ella saw any member of the family was when she went to visit Alexandra and they had a major disagreement over Rasputin and Alexandra essentially through Ella out of the AP.

What am I missing here?

Thanks, as always.

dca
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Forum Admin on December 19, 2004, 03:16:34 PM
Thomas.
I don't know what edition of Sokolov you saw, but our second printing copy says only "Fig. 79 - Cadavre de la Grande Duchesse Elisabeth Feodorovna."
No where does it say anything close to "presumeably" any where on that photo or in the text.

Dominic.
I have no idea. Sokolov does not elaborate on the precise story of how the icon got to Ella. He just states exactly what I wrote, on pg. 298.  the original reads: "Elle portait sur la poitrine une icone du Savueur ornée de pierres précieuses.  D'après mes reseignements cette icone appartenait à l'Empereur qui avait prié devant elle dans la nuit précédant son abidication et l'avait donnée ensuite à la Grand-Duchesse.  Sur le dos on lit l'inscription suivante: Samedi des Rameaux, 13 Avril 1894."
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Belochka on December 19, 2004, 06:24:40 PM
In my copy of Sokolov, only members of the Imperial Family death photos are included. The other persons who were murdered with the Imperial members have been omitted.

Each photograph is identified in Russian on the photograph itself. Image # 137 (of my book) states: The corpse of Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna also typed in Russian immediately below the photograph.

The soft tissue facial features have deteriorated, which is at all odds to what Ernst Ludwig of Hesse wrote in his letter. One must consider that writing the truth to another family member can be too painful to read. The image of an intact body is far more acceptable emotionally to some who prefer to believe that was indeed the case.

Unfortunately that letter does distort the historic truth.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: ashanti01 on December 20, 2004, 02:32:54 AM
Its seems hard to believe the body pictured is Ella's body. When most accounts of her body while being moved, say that her skin appeared to be only dried up.
The photo shown appears to be way more than dried up.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Teddy on December 20, 2004, 07:27:55 AM
And how about the other body's how did they look like?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Martyn on December 20, 2004, 03:10:31 PM
Quote
One must consider that writing the truth to another family member can be too painful to read
 Belochka, I think that there must truth in that.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Marlene on December 21, 2004, 08:52:27 PM
Quote
Charles has a personal, spiritual devotion to Elisabeth (I hope someday he will feel the same about Alix).  It is said that Phillip has returned to his Orthodox roots.

Bob


Bob,  The Duke of Edinburgh was baptised according to the rites of the Orthodox church, but he was not raised Orthodox.  He grew up attending Anglican services.  He officially joined the Anglican church before his marriage, and said at the time, that he had always felt closer to the Church of England.  
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on December 28, 2004, 05:10:01 PM
The heart-breaking photograph does, I think, show Ella's body intact. The face seems to be covered in dirt. For some reason it reminded me of the Mel Gibson 'Passion of the Christ' where the beautiful is made to appear ugly by the ugliness of cruelty and prejudice, but the truth still shines through.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Martyn on December 29, 2004, 04:49:31 AM
Quote
The heart-breaking photograph does, I think, show Ella's body intact. The face seems to be covered in dirt. For some reason it reminded me of the Mel Gibson 'Passion of the Christ' where the beautiful is made to appear ugly by the ugliness of cruelty and prejudice, but the truth still shines through.


You may well be right, maybe it is dirt.  Does anyone have any information about the current state of Ella's relics (some of which seem to be in Russia at the moment)?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Alicky1872 on December 29, 2004, 05:58:20 PM
Quote
The heart-breaking photograph does, I think, show Ella's body intact. The face seems to be covered in dirt.


It doesn't look like dirt to me. It looks like it's been burnt. I don't want to be morbid here, but if you look closely, you can sort of see a void where her eye should be. Also, the right side of the face doesn't look 3D if you know what I mean. It looks sunken in, the face looks destroyed.

No one has yet been able to explain why people have written that the body (so this presumably means the face as well) remains intact, when this picture shows something very different. I believe someone mentioned that Ella's sisters may have given that impression to Ernie, so as not to upset him too much--but why would other people (as recent as the 80's when her body was brought to the US) say this?

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Alicky1872 on December 29, 2004, 06:02:24 PM
Quote

You may well be right, maybe it is dirt.  Does anyone have any information about the current state of Ella's relics (some of which seem to be in Russia at the moment)?


I am becoming so interested in this, since the photo was posted. I don't know much about saints and their relics, so maybe someone could answer my question...is it common practice to cover the saint's face with a cloth, like Ella's is?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Belochka on December 29, 2004, 10:37:57 PM
Quote
...is it common practice to cover the saint's face with a cloth, like Ella's is?


Elizaveta's face was decomposed and this could explain why she was covered.

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on December 30, 2004, 06:05:04 AM
I did look closely at the picture again but I think both eyes are visible. According to the monk Seraphim, who was first to see Ella's body when it was recovered from the mine shaft, her face was perfect except that her nose was broken - and he straightened it. She was also recognized by the people in Apalaivsk. Again, according to a former Russian diplomat (or ambassador, not sure) whose name was, I think, Kudashev (but I may be wrong about that) when her bodies of the Alapaevsk vicitims were brought to Peking he had the duty of identifying them. He wrote that Ella looked no different (despite having been entombed for a long time in Alapaevsk) than it had whenhe last saw her in Moscow several years before. He said she appeared to be sleeping.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Martyn on December 30, 2004, 07:07:58 AM
Quote
I did look closely at the picture again but I think both eyes are visible. According to the monk Seraphim, who was first to see Ella's body when it was recovered from the mine shaft, her face was perfect except that her nose was broken - and he straightened it. She was also recognized by the people in Apalaivsk. Again, according to a former Russian diplomat (or ambassador, not sure) whose name was, I think, Kudashev (but I may be wrong about that) when her bodies of the Alapaevsk vicitims were brought to Peking he had the duty of identifying them. He wrote that Ella looked no different (despite having been entombed for a long time in Alapaevsk) than it had whenhe last saw her in Moscow several years before. He said she appeared to be sleeping.


I think that Kudashev, or whoever it was, may have been guilty of romanticisation in stating that she looked no different from the last time that he saw her in Moscow.  Let's be realistic here.  She had been hit over the head, pushed down a mineshaft and, correct me if I am wrong, the Soviets had then thrown grenades down after their victims.  In addition to this, it was some time before the bodies were recovered, so there must have been some element of decomposition or damage.
I would love to believe that Ella looked merely as though she was sleeping when she was recovered; that her preservation was the result of something miraculous, but the realist in me needs to have the proof that this was so.
The photograph suggests otherwise.....
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: RomanovFan on December 31, 2004, 12:09:27 AM
I'm a little confused as to what happened exactly. Were Ella and the others thrown in the mineshaft and died from their wounds or were they kept prisoners in the mineshaft for several hours and shot?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on December 31, 2004, 12:42:54 AM
There've often been conflicting reports as to how and when (in terms of how long) they all died since none of the victims survived to tell. It appears that they were forced to the mineshaft and pushed in. Grenades and other objects may have been tossed in as well. GD Serge M apparently put up a struggle and was shot before he was pushed into the shaft. Causes of death could've been starvation, exposure, blunt force trauma (from the fall) and perhaps shrapnel if grenades were used and gunshot for at least Serge.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Martyn on December 31, 2004, 06:48:32 AM
Quote
There've often been conflicting reports as to how and when (in terms of how long) they all died since none of the victims survived to tell. It appears that they were forced to the mineshaft and pushed in. Grenades and other objects may have been tossed in as well. GD Serge M apparently put up a struggle and was shot before he was pushed into the shaft. Causes of death could've been starvation, exposure, blunt force trauma (from the fall) and perhaps shrapnel if grenades were used and gunshot for at least Serge.


That's the general view of what happened.  It's quite barbaric really.  It would have bee more humane to shoot them; plus where was the real need to kill Varvara?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on December 31, 2004, 07:57:24 AM
Come to that, there was no need to kill Ella either. I still believe that despite everything her body did remain intact. The cloth on the face may justbe a mark of respect or to protect it from light etc. There are many similar instances of perfect preservations of bodies i.e. Bernadette of Lourdes in Nevers. I also cannot think why anyone eho had actually SEEN her body (i.e. Seraphim and Kudashev - or whatever his name was!) would need to make up such a story when her sanctity would have beenrecognized whether or not her body was intact.  
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Martyn on December 31, 2004, 09:29:40 AM
Quote
Come to that, there was no need to kill Ella either. I still believe that despite everything her body did remain intact. The cloth on the face may justbe a mark of respect or to protect it from light etc. There are many similar instances of perfect preservations of bodies i.e. Bernadette of Lourdes in Nevers. I also cannot think why anyone eho had actually SEEN her body (i.e. Seraphim and Kudashev - or whatever his name was!) would need to make up such a story when her sanctity would have beenrecognized whether or not her body was intact.  


Well the aim seemed to be to eliminate the Romanovs, in whatever shape or form.  The soviets in Ekaterinburg had not hesitated to kill the entire IF and their retainers.  I suppose that I have answered my own question; after all, many who were attached to or associated with the Romanovs were ultimately punished; Mlle Schneider, Countess Hendrikova, Misha's secretary Brian Johnson - all paid the price for their association with IF.  Why should they treat Varvara any differently?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Dennis on December 31, 2004, 11:49:11 AM
It seems to me that many of these faithful retainers were killed because they could have been witnesses against the murderers if circumstances changed and the murderers had been brought to trial by a new government.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on December 31, 2004, 01:50:40 PM
They wouldn't have been witnesses if they hadn't been taken at all. It seems to me that they were deemed guilty by association.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on December 31, 2004, 01:53:41 PM
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Come to that, there was no need to kill Ella either. I still believe that despite everything her body did remain intact. The cloth on the face may justbe a mark of respect or to protect it from light etc. There are many similar instances of perfect preservations of bodies i.e. Bernadette of Lourdes in Nevers. I also cannot think why anyone eho had actually SEEN her body (i.e. Seraphim and Kudashev - or whatever his name was!) would need to make up such a story when her sanctity would have beenrecognized whether or not her body was intact.  


Could it just been a matter of what's deem incorrupt? St Bernadette non-violently whereas Ella suffered a very violent death out in the open, exposed to the elements. Maybe her body was considered incorrupt by Seraphim, et al because, while it suffered the understandable damage due to a fall, etc...it remained remarkably unaffected by the cold, water, etc...? A saint's body isn't expected to bear NO wounds just not suffer the expected decomposition post-mortem. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Martyn on December 31, 2004, 02:38:04 PM
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Could it just been a matter of what's deem incorrupt? St Bernadette non-violently whereas Ella suffered a very violent death out in the open, exposed to the elements. Maybe her body was considered incorrupt by Seraphim, et al because, while it suffered the understandable damage due to a fall, etc...it remained remarkably unaffected by the cold, water, etc...? A saint's body isn't expected to bear NO wounds just not suffer the expected decomposition post-mortem. Just a thought.

That's an interesting thought...may I ask, if it isn't too impertinent GDElla, whether you believe that is the case?  That her body was preserved from those effects by some miracle?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on December 31, 2004, 03:29:29 PM
You're never impertinent Martin!  :)  I am a Roman Catholic rather than a Greek Orthodox but the ritual for sainthood seems to be at least similar. I DO believe that some higher power renders some of these bodies incorrupt for some special purpose. I've seen some of the preserved bodies of saints when I lived in Europe and heard of others as well as what can only be described as miracles attached to them. Far be it from me to wonder why but until I conclusively find out differently I do believe in both saints and miracles. I even have what I consider a miracle attributed to prayer to a certain saint at a difficult period in my life. If all of this is true, I can believe there was  a reason for Ella's body to remain incorrupt as far as it did.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on January 01, 2005, 03:21:46 AM
I agree with you entirely, grandduchessella. The idea that she had sufferedinjuries but her body was unaffected by normal decomposition sounds very likely too. It seems to me that the the incorruption of her physical body was a manifestation of her deeper spiritual (and incorruptible) beauty. I too believe in miracles & the intercession of saints. Happy New Year!
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Martyn on January 01, 2005, 07:19:26 AM
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You're never impertinent Martin!  :)  I am a Roman Catholic rather than a Greek Orthodox but the ritual for sainthood seems to be at least similar. I DO believe that some higher power renders some of these bodies incorrupt for some special purpose. I've seen some of the preserved bodies of saints when I lived in Europe and heard of others as well as what can only be described as miracles attached to them. Far be it from me to wonder why but until I conclusively find out differently I do believe in both saints and miracles. I even have what I consider a miracle attributed to prayer to a certain saint at a difficult period in my life. If all of this is true, I can believe there was  a reason for Ella's body to remain incorrupt as far as it did.


Thank you for your frank and open response to my question GDElla.  I was worried after asking the question that perhaps I had been wrong in asking what your personal views on this issue were.  Thank you for taking the trouble to reveal and explain them.
I was raised in the Anglican faith (High Church, so as close to catholicism as one can be and yet remain a Protestant), so this issue has some resonance for me too.  Education and exposure to the World at large leads one to question one's faith and to be perfectly honest, I'm not really sure what my faith is any longer.  I do however admire people who maintain their  faith and religious scruples.
I am of the honest opinion that there is too much in life that defies a scientific or logical explanation; this issue is quite possibly one of them.
I do think that if ever anyone was qualified to the nomenclature of saint, then Ella arguably has those qualifications.......
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: RomanovFan on February 15, 2005, 09:29:10 PM
2005-02-13 17:40     * RUSSIA * RELIGION * FEAST * NEW MARTYRS * RELICS *
RELICS OF GRAND DUCHESS YELIZAVETA FYODOROVNA DELIVERED TO TULA


MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti, Olga Lipich) - On Sunday, when the Russian Orthodox Church marks the feast in commemoration of new martyrs and confessors of Russia, the relics of Grand Duchess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna and Sister Varvara were delivered to Tula.

RIA Novosti was told about this in the Andrew the Protokletos Fund, which initiated an unprecedented procession with a cross along the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church with the remains of the Alapayevsk martyrs which have been kept since 1921 in the monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.

From the railway station, the big ark with the relics where the right hand of Yelizaveta Fyodorovna was brought to the All Saints Cathedral of Tula, where the shrine was welcomed by over 1,000 believers led by Archbishop of Tula and Belev Alexy.

"Today, when the entire Russian Orthodox Church commemorates the new martyrs and confessors that shone in the Russian land we are meeting the relics of Grand Duchess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna and Sr. Varvara, who through their feat showed the victory of the life of Christ over death," said Archbishop Alexy.

In his words, repentance and prayers to the new martyrs of Russia (including Grand Duchess Yelizaveta and her associate Varvara) will help overcome the split of the Russian Church, which happened after the 1917 revolution and the establishment of godless authority.

"At last our people, united in blood and spirit, have come to realize that we should not divide," said the archbishop.

Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Bishop of Boston Mikhail, who accompanies the relics in their many-month travel in Russia, the CIS and Baltic countries, underlined that "the bringing of relics is an invisible thread that unites the two branches of the Russian Church."

Archbishop Alexy held a divine service before the shrine in Tula's Cathedral. The big ark with the relics will be open for veneration until late February 14.

The small ark (made of the planks of coffins where the remains of the martyrs were delivered in 1920s from China to Egypt, and then to the Holy Land) will visit the Tula region towns of Bogoroditsk, Novomoskovsk, Donskoi and Uzlovaya.

On Monday the relics will leave the Tula region and will then be brought to Lipetsk.

Grand Duchess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna, after the death of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich at the hand of terrorist Kalyayev in 1905, founded the well-known Marfo-Mariinskaya cloister and worked there together with sisters, looking after the sick and helping the poor.

After the revolution she refused to leave Russia and was arrested in spring 1918. On July 18, the grand duchess and her associate Sr. Varvara were thrown down alive into the Nizhne-Selimskaya Pit near the town of Alapayevsk.

The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia recognized Yelizaveta Fyodorovna and Varvara martyrs in 1981. They were canonized as saints of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1992.

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on March 05, 2005, 07:04:14 PM
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From Zoia Belyakova's book, "The Romanovs. The way it was", Saint Petersburg, Ego Publishers, 2000, page 105:

"... the Will & Testament of Grand Duchess Elizabeth, testifying her sole wish, was authorized by the Emperor, and dated June 4th, 1911: "I request that I be buried in a crypt... of the Church of Our Lady's Shrine which I built on my own land property, in Bolshaya Ordynka Street, Moscow, at the Community of Mercy. A special place has already been arranged, and it is known to Father Mitrophani and Mother Superior." Elizabeth specifies the feature of entombment in great detail. Her Will ended with a request that wreathes should not be lain on the tomb, nor on the catafalque, nor on her grave. instead, the money would be better used if offered for the Community's needs."


Has this happened now?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on March 06, 2005, 10:35:02 AM
Does anyone know where Fr. Mitrophan is buried, please? And, wherever it is, was there a place for him to buried in the House of Martha & Mary? If so, are there any plans to return his body there? Is he a saint in the Orthodox Church?
Please?  :)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on March 06, 2005, 05:29:27 PM
Thank you, Elisa. Please do ask your friend. He surely deserves to have been.  :)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on March 06, 2005, 08:32:33 PM
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Hi bluetoria :)

According to Christopher Warwick, who is writing a book on Grand Duchess Ella,


This made my ears perk up! Is this a regular, full-length bio and do you know how far along it is? Our cups are running over--Ilana's book on VMH, Greg King's on Ernie and now and Ella bio!  :)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 06, 2005, 08:46:15 PM
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Is this a regular, full-length bio and do you know how far along it is?


Yes, it will be Ella's full length bio and it will be coming out next summer  :).
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on March 06, 2005, 10:44:30 PM
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Yes, it will be Ella's full length bio and it will be coming out next summer  :).


good news--full-length bio  :D
bad news--over a year away  :(

Do you know if there's going to be anything substantively different from Magers or if there was access to previously untapped resources? (Sorry to be so nosy but Ella IS my favorite.  :) ) I've read him before and he's a good author. I hope it'll be a really in-depth look at Ella, especially her early life as that tends to be rushed by to get to her life as a nun. I'd like to get a really 'whole-picture' look.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 07, 2005, 10:30:32 PM
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Do you know if there's going to be anything substantively different from Magers or if there was access to previously untapped resources? (Sorry to be so nosy but Ella IS my favorite.  :) ) I've read him before and he's a good author. I hope it'll be a really in-depth look at Ella, especially her early life as that tends to be rushed by to get to her life as a nun. I'd like to get a really 'whole-picture' look.


I think that this book will be very different from Mager's, with a more in-depth look at Ella as a person, and will cover Ella's early life, not just her life as a nun.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 08, 2005, 01:04:53 PM
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It is to be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in June 2006. He is said to have access to archives which had previously been untapped.


Bluetoria, may I ask where you got this info about the publisher? I asked Chris Warwick about it personally, and he said that the upcoming Ella book is not being published by W&N, although he did have several others published by them in the past. Right now there is no definite publishing date for the book, only that it will be around the summer of 2006.

And GDElla, he said that his intention for this biography  is to take a look at Ella's whole life, not simply at the "post Serge's death" period. So I think that you will not be dissapointed!  :)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on March 08, 2005, 03:21:55 PM
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Right now there is no definite publishing date for the book, only that it will be around the summer of 2006.
And GDElla, he said that his intention for this biography  is to take a look at Ella's whole life, not simply at the "post Serge's death" period. So I think that you will not be dissapointed!  :)


No, indeed! I'm REALLY looking forward to it. The only disappointment is that it's still so far off.  :(
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 08, 2005, 04:43:53 PM
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Helen, I was told this several months ago by an editor at W & N after they had lost a manuscript (after 9 months) of another book which they'd previously said they had of mine. I mentioned Ella & that is what I was told. Theeditor also said that another editor had recently changed publishers....I am so used to being misled & lied to by publishers that it doesn't surprise me at all that the info is wrong & I shall remove my previous post & this one as soon as you have read it!  


Thanks, Bluetoria. That certainly sounds like a bummer.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on March 08, 2005, 04:45:43 PM
I'm glad he's not gone with W & N - it would have choked me to buy it!  ;)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 10, 2005, 10:28:29 AM
This message and photos are from Penny Wilson, who asked me to post them...

Someone asked if there was a photo of Barbara Yakovleva's recovered body.  I have a full set of these photos, but the only ones that never seem to get "air time" anywhere are the ones of Barbara and Feodor Remez.  So here they are... even though they aren't of terribly good quality.  I think at least they complete the "set," and Barbara's DOES show in contrast to Ella's:

(http://img201.exs.cx/img201/1313/remezandbarbara2qw.jpg)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on March 10, 2005, 10:35:32 AM
Oh dear.  :(
Thank you for posting these Penny & Helen. They're very awful but, as you say, they do rather point to the 'miraculous' preservation of Ella's body.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 10, 2005, 02:45:51 PM
I should probably add that the one on the left is Remez and the one on the right is Barbara Yakovleva (Sister Barbara). I can't really make out much at all in these photos, but the bodies seem to be in similar condition as the one identified as Ella.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on March 10, 2005, 05:49:24 PM
They are really horrid.  :(  I definitely think that the difference shows between these and Ella's. Maybe it's the angle or the quality of the print but it seems to me you couldn't even tell these were humans if you didn't know what you were looking at whereas Ella's was identifiable as such.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 10, 2005, 06:29:50 PM
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...it seems to me you couldn't even tell these were humans if you didn't know what you were looking at whereas Ella's was identifiable as such.


I think it is just the very bad quality of these photos, whereas the one of Ella was of much better quality (and also don't forget at a much closer angle)... But I think you can definitely tell that these are human bodies here.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: skipishere on April 17, 2005, 09:30:29 PM
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Robert,

The Russian church in Gethsemane was the property of the Russian Orthodox Chuirch in Exile until last year, when the Israeli government acknowledged that all former Russian Church properties in Israel belonged to the Russian State.

The Convent and grounds are still the property of ROCA.

Nicholas Trahan
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on April 20, 2005, 03:59:58 PM
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Robert,

The Russian church in Gethsemane was the property of the Russian Orthodox Chuirch in Exile until last year, when the Israeli government acknowledged that all former Russian Church properties in Israel belonged to the Russian State.

The Convent and grounds are still the property of ROCA.

Nicholas Trahan


What is the difference between ROCA and the Russian Orthodox Church in exile? And how did this decision affect that particular church? Please.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: TampaBay on April 20, 2005, 07:42:01 PM
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What is the difference between ROCA and the Russian Orthodox Church in exile? And how did this decision affect that particular church? Please.



Blue,

There is a big fued, read very very big fued, between thr Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian orthodox Chruch Abroad (read in-exile).  GD Maria has not taken sides but has aligned herself with The Russian Orthodox Church and therefore The Patrirach of Moscow and The Patrirach of Constantinople.  

Read between the lines or contact me directly for info.

TampaBay
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: lexi4 on April 23, 2005, 11:37:21 PM
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As far as I know Ella was burried in the russian chapel in Jerusalem in the early 1920's.

But recently I heard that her body was transferred to the Peter Paul-Fortress in St. Petersburg. Is that true?

Has anybody visited the Jerusalem chapel?

Yes I have visited and have photos of the chapel.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on April 24, 2005, 05:25:45 AM
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Yes I have visited and have photos of the chapel.


Did you see Ella's sarcophagus? Could you possibly describe the atmosphere etc. & maybe post some of your photos of that part of the chapel, please?  :)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Ilana on April 24, 2005, 10:04:57 AM
I have visited the Church of St. Mary Magdalen in Jerusalem.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on April 24, 2005, 10:07:25 AM
Can you describe it, please, Ilana (not just what it looks like but what isthe atmosphere like? etc..) ?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Ilana on April 24, 2005, 10:22:20 AM
The atmosphere is like many of the holy places in Old Jerusalem, eerie, and other-worldly like.  The chapel itself, is strangely not out of place with its onion domes on the place where the Russian Orthodox say the Garden of Gethsemene is....  It marches well with the mosques, the old churches, etc.  The inside of the chapel is not large with nowhere to sit.  When I was there they were repairing and doing over the roof and the inside walls, however that was 7 years ago.  It has a velvet rope where one of the nuns stands watch.  They are not interested in gawkers or souvenir hunters.  They only want people who are really interested in Ella or the religion to see the iconostasis.  Should you be allowed in, you walk forward to the altar and on either side are coffins.  On your right, facing the iconostasis is Ella's white marble coffin with a clear glass top so that you may see inside.  She lies there covered, of course, in a dress and gloves and booties.  Her face is covered by a matte lace hankerchief.  I was not prepared for the fact that I actually saw her body so it did creep me out!  On the other side is Sister Barbara, her coffin does not have a clear glass top.  

That is all I can think of at the moment (jet lag!).  Ask questions if you like!
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on April 24, 2005, 10:29:09 AM
Thank you, Ilana!  :)  No further questions at the moment!  ;)

(I understand your feeling 'creeped out' - just about every other church in Rome has an uncovered body of some sort or other but the worst is that of St. Frances of Rome (I think that's who it was). They say, 'Come & revere the saint!' & when you get there it's a skeleton in a nun's habit!! Blurgh!
I don't think I'd think that about Ella though, especially with it being covered.)




Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: bluetoria on May 05, 2005, 06:24:21 AM
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But I think it was only her hand which has gone on a journey to Russia.  
 


Oh!! I think this is so sad & awful to start cutting parts off bodies.
If Ella wished to be buried in her convent why isn't the whole of her body taken there?
Otherwise, why not leave it as it is in Jerusalem?

(I'm not criticising Orthodoxy - the R.C. Church does the same & I understand the 'value' of relics...but really it seems so unnecessary & quite sacriligious to me.  :-/)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: grandduchessella on May 05, 2005, 04:41:06 PM
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"Yes it is. It was obviously done before her remains went to Russia recently."

But I think it was only her hand which has gone on a journey to Russia.  
 


Yes, you're right. I didn't write that very clearly. I just meant that I didn't know if her coffin had been disturbed at all or if it was still viewable.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: AlexP on August 11, 2005, 04:54:58 AM
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As far as I know Ella was burried in the russian chapel in Jerusalem in the early 1920's.

But recently I heard that her body was transferred to the Peter Paul-Fortress in St. Petersburg. Is that true?

Has anybody visited the Jerusalem chapel?



The relics of St. Elizabeth the Great Martyr are indeed in Jerusalem in a church under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

However, as a result of a recent agreement between the Patriarch of the Russian Church and the Metropolitan of the Russian Church Abroad, a new disposition will made of the relics of St. Ellizabeth:

1.  The major portion of the relics will remain in Jerusalem;
2.  A certain portion of the relics will be returned to Russia and will be placed in the Mary-and-Martha Convent, which is still undergoing extensive restoration;
3.  An additional portion of the relics will forwarded to the Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in New York.

There is considerable concern in Church quarters that the volatile state of affairs in Israel/Palestine could cause the relics to be lost totally, as was the case with the others new Saints glorified with the Grand Duchess, which were transferred to Beijing, buried on the grounds of the Russian Embassy, and then all maps indicating the burial spot were lost.  Recent attempts to locate the remains of the New Martyrs were not successful because the spot in which they were believed to lie -- in a crypt beneath a now-razed Russian church on the grounds of the empy -- proved not to contain them.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Dominic_Albanese on August 11, 2005, 07:34:40 AM
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There is considerable concern in Church quarters that the volatile state of affairs in Israel/Palestine could cause the relics to be lost totally, as was the case with the others new Saints glorified with the Grand Duchess, which were transferred to Beijing, buried on the grounds of the Russian Embassy, and then all maps indicating the burial spot were lost.  Recent attempts to locate the remains of the New Martyrs were not successful because the spot in which they were believed to lie -- in a crypt beneath a now-razed Russian church on the grounds of the empy -- proved not to contain them.


Alex - again you provide us with new information - I hadn't heard that there had been a formal investigation into the crypt in China - Please tell us more.  Also, what is next in terms of trying to find the missing remains.

thanks!

dca
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: AlexP on August 11, 2005, 10:39:59 AM
Quote

Alex - again you provide us with new information - I hadn't heard that there had been a formal investigation into the crypt in China - Please tell us more.  Also, what is next in terms of trying to find the missing remains.

thanks!

dca



Carissimo Domenico,

Mille grazie.

As you are undoubtedly aware, during the Revolution and subsequent take-over of Tobolsk by the Godless-armies, the earthly remains of the Grand Duchess and of the Grand Dukes were transferred to the relatively safety of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church in Beijing, in the northwest part of the city.  The Mission possesed an IMMENSE portion of land which had been deeded to it by the last Ching Dynasty, because what many do NOT know is that the Chinese Imperial Guards, that is the Personal Guard of the Emperor, were actually Albanizian cossacks from the Amur Region of Russia who had been brought to China many, many years ago.  It was through these Imperial Guards that the Orthodox faith was introduced into China.  They remained in the service of the last Emperor, Pu Yi, right up until 1945 (even after he became the puppet head of Manchukuo).

In any cases, on the grounds of the Spiritual  Mission were located at least six beautiful churches -- one should remember that this area was much greater than ain the 1,000 of hectares and it spread for kilometers and kilometers.  It was huge.  In any case, the Grand Duchess's remains were held for a period in the 1920s but then in keeping with family wishes, they were transferred to the Holy Land (to Occupied Palestine) where they were reburied.  The remains of the others, the servants, the Grand Dukes, etc., were buried in hallowed ground, as the surviving records indicate, on the grounds of the Mission.  It WAS believed that they were buried under the foundation of the Church of the All Holy Martyrs.   This was a particularly beautiful church built in 1903-1906 in the Nizhninogorod Style, meaning that in the 1920s the floor of the church was dug up and they were buried under the floor and the floor was rebuilt.

Anyway, in 1956, the property of the Russian Spiritual Mission, in connivance with the Russian Church in Moscow,which at that time was completely subordinate to the wishes of the Government, was handed over to the Kruschev Government to become the new site of the Soviet Embassy.  Nearly all of the churches were immediately BULLDOZED to the ground, by Soviet bulldozers, not Chinese ones, in the middle of the night, of course, Soviet-style and all of the records were burned.  One church remained standing, however, and it was given over to be the garage of the Embassy.

However, times change, thank God, and in 2003, two things happened.  President Putin ordered the return of the remaining Church to the Russian Church, which has happened, and Metropolitan Kyrill of St. Petersburg began VERY, VERY, VERY careful and delicate negotiations with both the Embassy and the Government of the People's Republic to determine the location of the remains, to disinter them if found, and then to return them to Russia.  One needs to understand that in China one does not disinter the ancestors, be they of whatever faith they were, all of this flies in the face of embedded Confucian thought, and very much so.  In any case, it was suggested that the remains were at the bottom of this church, again, like so much that goes on this VERY board, because it was reported by someone that it was reported by someone that it was reported by someone, etc., etc.   No one ever bothered to try to locate a genuine primary source.  The Chinese stood back and just looked.  Permission was sought and "questionably" granted to locate and disinter the remaining New Martyrs.   The foundation remains of the pillaged-and-destroyed church were located and excavation began but, alas, there was nothing there, after a great deal of digging.

Nonetheless, new conclusive and primary records from the Chinese side were very, very graciously made available indicating where the New Martyrs are most likely buried, but it is NOT on Embassy territory any more, the Embassy having deeded that part of the land back to the Government of the People's Republic 60 years ago. There is a virtually certainty that the remains lie where these primary sources purport them to lie, but speaking from a Chinese perspective, the Government will have NONE of it of digging up bodies on Government land.  It is just not done in China and when they had to move the Russian cemetery in Harbin twenty-five years ago, my God, the ruckus that ensued was terrible.  It was a lesson learned by all and it just will not happen again.

Since this is property of the Republic, the Russian Government can do nothing here at all.  Nor should it.  And even if it tried, it surely would not help relations between the two countries.  Metropolian Kyrill has run into a roadblock, bigtime.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Dominic_Albanese on August 11, 2005, 03:25:39 PM
Thank you Alex!  Again you amaze me!  Thank you for sharing your information.!.

I'm going to hate to go back to my regular routine next week which unfortunately, gives me little time to do my Romanov work!

best regards,

dca
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: lori_c on October 19, 2006, 04:08:02 PM
I wish I knew. There's supposedly a finger of hers in a Russian church in the US that was involved in the controversial DNA testing the past year or so (which purportedly didn't match Alexandra, etc...). I guess if that IS her finger, they could take part of her to Russia. I think the whole thing is kind of icky. I enjoy visiting shrines as much as the next good Catholic, but even then the less intact remains (ie Anthony of Padua) struck me so. I mean to be parcelled out all over, just seems like a desecration. I prefer to visit the INTACT shrine (like St Bernadette).

I'm with you.  It does seem a bit macabre to remove Ella's hand.  In Hugo Mager's book Grand Duchess Elizabeth, her body was in a state of preservation even after it arrived in Jerusalem and the nuns there washed and changed the clothes.  It is reported that a smell of jasmine came out of the sealed coffin when the performed this.

Bernadette looks as though she is sleeping and is beautiful.  I wonder if they covered Ella's face with the white handkerchief because of the bruises, etc.

Not to sound macabre, but if she is in such an excellent state, why would they even begin to remove her hand?  I am not Russian Orthodox, I'm Catholic so I may just not understand sainthood in that religion.  I wish Ella was in as good of condition as Bernadette that we might see and venerate her as a saint.  of any Christian religion.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: RogerV on December 21, 2006, 06:08:02 PM
Quote

 There is a virtually certainty that the remains lie where these primary sources purport them to lie, but speaking from a Chinese perspective, the Government will have NONE of it of digging up bodies on Government land.  It is just not done in China and when they had to move the Russian cemetery in Harbin twenty-five years ago, my God, the ruckus that ensued was terrible.  It was a lesson learned by all and it just will not happen again.

This is extremely interesting to read.  However, I must confess myself cofused in view of the fact that there are or were Chinese cemeteries all over the Western United States, some of which contain few or no bodies now because they were all shipped back to China.  Here in Portland the Chinese section of the largest pioneer cemetery is notable because it contains only a single white marker in a sea of otherwise unterrupted grass.  It's only after you look carefully at the marker that you realize it's the grave of a Chinese Christian.

Now I wonder-- what would be the attitude of the Chinese government towards the idea of locating the graves and installing markers without removing the bodies?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: hikaru on March 27, 2007, 01:43:48 PM
According to her last will (which was found out recently in Russia), she desired to be burried in the Marfo-Mariinsky Convent.
So, it would be appropriate to transfer  all her body to Moscow , like it was done with Marie Feodorovna.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: scarlett_riviera on March 31, 2007, 08:53:15 AM
Wow, I didn't know she left a last will. Do you know where I can read more about this, Hikaru? :D
I wonder if they'll transfer her body back to Moscow...any more news on this?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: relay101 on June 26, 2007, 12:42:30 PM
Forgive me if this link was already posted by here is a photo of her burial site in Jerusalem.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7035855
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: rgt9w on March 06, 2008, 05:27:08 PM
I found these two photos on the net of the relics of Grand Duchess Elizabeth. Can anyone see the cyrillic writing well enough to translate what the items are in the case? Are these items Ella had on her at the time of her death?

http://www.wellscs.com/trips/HolyLandTrip-2007/Day%205%20-%20Visitation,%20etc.,%20then%20Old%20Jerusalem/Day%205%20-%20Visitation,%20etc.,%20then%20Old%20Jerusalem-Pages/Image34.html


http://www.wellscs.com/trips/HolyLandTrip-2007/Day%205%20-%20Visitation,%20etc.,%20then%20Old%20Jerusalem/Day%205%20-%20Visitation,%20etc.,%20then%20Old%20Jerusalem-Pages/Image33.html
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: matushka on March 21, 2008, 08:36:18 AM
"Paramanny krest, chetki, ? i natelnye ikonki i krest naydeny na moshchash sviatoy prepodobnomuchenitsy Velikoy Kniaginy Elisavety pri vskritii ee groba"

Something like: "mother superior's cross, "rosary", baptism's icons and cross found on the relics of saint holy martyr grand duchess Elisabeth when her coffin was opened". I could not read one word.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: rgt9w on March 21, 2008, 05:48:44 PM
Thank you for the translation Matushka! I appreciate it.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Alexandre64 on April 13, 2008, 01:31:59 PM
Reliquary of  Elizabeth and sister Varvara:
http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Icone/kovchegi1.jpg
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: rgt9w on April 22, 2008, 08:48:25 PM
Here is a link to an article from the New York Times in February 1921 relating to the burial of Grand Duchess Elizabeth. It is interesting to see what the press was reporting at the time, especially the reference to the fact Grand Duchess Olga Nicholaevna's remains had been located and were being transferred to the "Holy Land" as well.

Once you open the link, click on the view article tab to see the article:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9404EFDE123CE533A25750C0A9649C946095D6CF
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 23, 2008, 09:22:52 AM
I wonder who the GD Olga and her maid ended up to be?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on May 04, 2008, 09:15:13 PM
Wow, I didn't know she left a last will. Do you know where I can read more about this, Hikaru? :D
I wonder if they'll transfer her body back to Moscow...any more news on this?

Yes, there is more news.

Click the following link to read comments from Russian Orthodox patriarch Alexei II on a proposal from the mayor of Moscow to have the relics of Saint Elizabeth moved from Jerusalem to the Martha-Mary Convent in Moscow.
http://02varvara.wordpress.com/2007/11/19/patriarch-aleksei-supports-a-proposal-to-transfer-the-relics-of-grand-princess-st-yelizaveta-the-new-martyr-to-moscow/ (http://02varvara.wordpress.com/2007/11/19/patriarch-aleksei-supports-a-proposal-to-transfer-the-relics-of-grand-princess-st-yelizaveta-the-new-martyr-to-moscow/)

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on September 17, 2008, 09:26:14 PM
Quote
As far as I know Ella was burried in the russian chapel in Jerusalem in the early 1920's.

But recently I heard that her body was transferred to the Peter Paul-Fortress in St. Petersburg. Is that true?

Has anybody visited the Jerusalem chapel?


The relics of St. Elizabeth the Great Martyr are indeed in Jerusalem in a church under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

However, as a result of a recent agreement between the Patriarch of the Russian Church and the Metropolitan of the Russian Church Abroad, a new disposition will made of the relics of St. Ellizabeth:

1.  The major portion of the relics will remain in Jerusalem;
2.  A certain portion of the relics will be returned to Russia and will be placed in the Mary-and-Martha Convent, which is still undergoing extensive restoration;
3.  An additional portion of the relics will forwarded to the Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in New York.



A bit of her relics  (like a dot) is at Camp Nazareth in Mercer, PA (during August, that was the new addition to the church there). I been to that camp a few times, summers of 2007, and this year. Her relics  along with new saint Barbara, Saint George, and other saints. I have kissed the box containing their remains (it smelt weird, but i had a powerful feeling of calmness). I have also been at the grave site of Mother Alexandra the Princess Ileana of Romania, also this summer.  :)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on September 18, 2008, 02:48:57 AM

It seems so weird to me that they are actually removing parts of the bodies just to take them abroad and pray to them..... Why can't people just let remain those bodies at rest where and like they are? They have gone through so much torture when alive....... was it not enough?

I own a tiny piece of wood coming from the Grand Duchess's very first coffin. It was destroyed by acid and in the 90ies the nuns removed the bodies into the stone sarcophaguses they're still in. What was left in the old coffin they keep in a box...
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 18, 2008, 02:54:38 PM
They are viewed as Holy Relics. There is always been a fasination about the powers they weild. People believe by touching it, they would be healed...
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on September 18, 2008, 06:54:17 PM
True.  I personally don't really  believe in that (out of 100% more like 40%) and I'm Russian orthodox  :-X
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 19, 2008, 01:02:20 PM
Indeed. Catholics and Orthodoxs both believe in it. Actually it is the power of believe rather than the object. As Jesus told the woman who believed that if she touched his cloak, she would be healed. I am Orthodox too.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on October 03, 2008, 07:00:42 PM
Here is a site on the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Magdalene in Jeruslem: http://eng.palomnic.org/heritages/gethemany/

Scroll down the page and you will see the sarcophagi of Saints Elizabeth and Barbara.

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on October 04, 2008, 01:39:06 PM
With the Martha-Mary Convent in Moscow now fully restored and consecrated, the issue of returning the bodies of Saints Elizabeth and Barbara to Moscow for enshrinement at the convent will without a doubt be raised.

The mayor of Moscow has already raised it and the Patriarch of Moscow, Alexei II, has stated that such negotiations will have to be delicate.

The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (who is in possession of the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem where the holy remains are kept) had stated that when restoration of the convent was completed, it would give as a gift to the convent the smaller of the two reliquaries that traveled throughout Russia in 2004. The larger reliquary containing the right arm of Saint Elizabeth is kept at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York City.

The nuns at the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem may have to end up keeping the smaller reliquary if the Martha-Mary convent is successful in obtaining the return of the holy remains. 

Although Saint Elizabeth expressed wanting to be buried at the Church of saint Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem, that was the before the events that would lead her to become a nun and found a convent.  Her will stated that she wanted to be buried at the Martha-Mary convent. 

I feel that the holy remains of Saints Elizabeth and Barabara should be returned to Moscow in accordance with Saint Elizabeth's will.

Your thoughts?

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on October 05, 2008, 10:10:38 PM
I just found a website where you can take a virtual tour of Saint Mary Magdalene Russian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem , where the holy remains of Saints Elizabeth and Barbara are enshrined.

Exterior view of church: http://www.3disrael.com/jerusalem/church_magdalene_out.cfm

Interior view 1: http://www.3disrael.com/jerusalem/church_magdalene2.cfm 
This is a lovely church.  
You won't be able to see the sarcophigi but they are located on either side of the iconostasis under their respective icons (Saint Elizabeth on the left: Saint Barbara on the right).

Interior view 2: http://www.3disrael.com/jerusalem/church_magdalene.cfm

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 06, 2008, 12:05:25 AM
With the Martha-Mary Convent in Moscow now fully restored and consecrated, the issue of returning the bodies of Saints Elizabeth and Barbara to Moscow for enshrinement at the convent will without a doubt be raised.

The mayor of Moscow has already raised it and the Patriarch of Moscow, Alexei II, has stated that such negotiations will have to be delicate.

The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (who is in possession of the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem where the holy remains are kept) had stated that when restoration of the convent was completed, it would give as a gift to the convent the smaller of the two reliquaries that traveled throughout Russia in 2004. The larger reliquary containing the right arm of Saint Elizabeth is kept at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York City.

The nuns at the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem may have to end up keeping the smaller reliquary if the Martha-Mary convent is successful in obtaining the return of the holy remains. 

Although Saint Elizabeth expressed wanting to be buried at the Church of saint Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem, that was the before the events that would lead her to become a nun and found a convent.  Her will stated that she wanted to be buried at the Martha-Mary convent. 

I feel that the holy remains of Saints Elizabeth and Barabara should be returned to Moscow in accordance with Saint Elizabeth's will.

Your thoughts?


If the Grand Duchess' will states that she wanted to be buried at her convent, and provided her collateral heirs have no objection, I can see no reason why her wishes would not be respected. The only legitimate reason why not I can imagine would be the expense. Since the Bolsheviks stole her money and since making restitution to these victims is not in the cards in today's Russia, then perhaps making this right for her is not possible.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 06, 2008, 11:03:39 AM
Russia is now rich enough to pay for that and more. It would be another spectacle after Dagmar's return.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 06, 2008, 07:24:15 PM
Russia is now rich enough to pay for that and more. It would be another spectacle after Dagmar's return.

Yes, but much of that wealth is at the expense of others. Ironically, before the Revolution, it was said that the Romanov's wealth was at the expense of peasants and workers. They had their revolution, the Romanov's personal wealth and belonging were filched by the the Bolsheviks - so why would today's government feel a responsibility to the grand duchess?

Whatever wealth that remained in Russia after 70+ years of mismanagement was quickly seized by Russia's new wealthy, who likely also have no reason to make things right for her. I'm not saying this is right, by the way, I think the theft of personal property is nearly always wrong, but who has the guts to make it right?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 06, 2008, 08:52:01 PM
The Russian State and benefactors have give more than enough compensation to the RO Church for them to pay for this themselves- if they care to. As was mentioned, it is a very delicate matter.  The 2 branches of the Church having different  views. Especially as to jurisdiction. It is a matter for them, not the Russian State.
 As for the nationalisation of "private" property, especially property   and wealth  provided by serfs and  monarchial monopolies, well, that is a very contentious issue and totally different from the religious  matters.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 07, 2008, 11:33:00 AM
Indeed. It is a complicated matter for the Russian State and Russian Orthodox Church to consider...
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 07, 2008, 12:31:27 PM
I do not think the State will even bother to consider getting involved.  And, with a 20% drop in the Russian stock market,  I am sure many other funding projects will take precedence
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 07, 2008, 02:34:23 PM
Maybe the Church may fund it...
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 07, 2008, 03:19:50 PM
That is  the issue Eric. WHICH Church?  the ROCOR has possesion of the remains.  The ROC  has come to a very fragile agreement to reunite the 2 branches and has agreed to respect  the other's property claims. Most likely scanario, according to past experience, is that the ROCOR will  simply chop off another body part and send it to the convent in Moscow. It is anybody's guess who has jurisdiction over that place.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 07, 2008, 04:47:54 PM
It seems that Ella's remains would suffer the fate of other saints. A piece of them would be everywhere as holy relics...
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 12, 2008, 10:13:17 AM
My impressions of the ROC (in all its incarnations) are those of an outsider, but thus far it appears to me this is a very politicized church. Since they did not bother to have the Patriarch bury the Emperor, I have the impression that the Imperial Family is not held in high esteem. Even though reckoned as a saint, I am therefore not expecting them to do anything for the grand duchess. It's very sad, really.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 12, 2008, 10:37:37 AM
Lisa,  I am sure you are correct. The ROC does not want to step on any toes with the ROCOR especially. Just why it remains so skepticle of the  Imperial  recovery is a rmystery to me.  There is even some controversy over a relic of Ella, a finger, that was making the rounds a while back. It seems, it COULD be actually the finger of her companion, Varvara, but no testes are allowed.
 At the same time, GD Maria is  very close to the ROC patriacrh and even stays at the Novodechny [sic] convent when  in MOscow, usuall attending Church charity events.  Even she takes no position ofn any of the relics, keeping in line  with the Patriarch.
 At the end of the day, what does it really matter?  Carting a bunch of bone slivers around the globe for the faithful to slobber over? A bit  pagan to me. Leave her buried and at peace with her god.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Rodney_G. on October 12, 2008, 06:42:23 PM
rgt9w,

That NY Times story from 1921 is a great find! However a report like the bodies of Olga Nikolaevna and her maid arriving in Egypt, however spectacularly wrong and absurd, was not at all unusual for the Times in the postRussian Revolution years. Romanovs we know to have been murdered were claimed to have been seen with as much certainty as the results of the previous day's Yankees baseball game.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 13, 2008, 11:10:23 AM
I think the ones that survive were mostly Marie and Anastasia. I don't think Olga or Tatiana would leave their parents or Alexei.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Rodney_G. on October 13, 2008, 02:44:08 PM
 I'm not so sure about that, Eric.

My main  point  though was the stupidity and irresponsibility of the NY Times story. That ship arriving in Port Said in Jan., 1921 quite simply wasn't carrying the bodies of Olga and her maid. They weren't on it. Nobody saw them because they were in the ground in Koptyiaki Forest at that time. We know that now and people at that time didn't know one way or other for sure about the Romanov daughters' fate. Certainly not a NY Times correspondent or stringer standing by a dock in Port Said in 1921.The Bolsheviks even as late as 1921 hadn't admitted the truth.And why disinter and send to "the Holy Land" only Olga's body?
It's not only with 2010 hindsight that we can see this 'report" as madeup nonsense.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 13, 2008, 05:45:59 PM
You are right about that report was nonsense.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on October 14, 2008, 05:10:51 PM
Lisa,  I am sure you are correct. The ROC does not want to step on any toes with the ROCOR especially. Just why it remains so skepticle of the  Imperial  recovery is a rmystery to me.  There is even some controversy over a relic of Ella, a finger, that was making the rounds a while back. It seems, it COULD be actually the finger of her companion, Varvara, but no testes are allowed.
 At the same time, GD Maria is  very close to the ROC patriacrh and even stays at the Novodechny [sic] convent when  in MOscow, usuall attending Church charity events.  Even she takes no position ofn any of the relics, keeping in line  with the Patriarch.
 At the end of the day, what does it really matter?  Carting a bunch of bone slivers around the globe for the faithful to slobber over? A bit  pagan to me. Leave her buried and at peace with her god.

Yes, it certainly would be an embarrassing blunder if the finger turned out to belong to Saint Barbara and not to Saint Elizabeth; however, I am inclined to believe that the finger does belong to Saint Elixzabeth for the following reasons:

1) Saint Elizabeth's body was still identifiable at the time of her internment at Saint Mary Magadalene Russian Orthodox Church. Her sister, Victoria, writes of recognizing her sister when she first saw Saint Elizabeth's body.
2) Saint Barbara was a smaller woman in height in comparsion to Saint Elizabeth. I doubt that the bodies were misidentified.
3) When the coffins were exhumed and opened in preparation for the canonization, Saint Elizabeth's body was reported to be partially incorrupt. All reports that I have read mention the removal of her right hand for relics. This relic is kept at the ROCOR cathedral in New York City. I have not read any mention of fingers removed from Saint Barbara's body for relics.

There is controversy regarding how the sample taken from the finger was tested. One report states that the finger is contaminated with DNA from two other sources, making the finger an unreliable source for testing. It may well be Ella's finger nonetheless.

If the finger does belong to Saint Barbara, then I would guess that a finger was removed from her body at the time of the exhumation and at some point accidently switcheded with the finger belonging to Saint Elizabeth. I doubt however that that would have happened. If it did, that certainly is very embarrassing.

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Dominic_Albanese on October 14, 2008, 05:28:48 PM
I'm interested in reading more about the discovery of her body and eventual burial.  Unfortunatley, I can only read english - are any of the sources that you are referring to here in english?  If so, could you give us the details so I might find them myself?

Many thanks
dca
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 15, 2008, 10:52:50 AM
Yes that would help...

Also St. Barbara is also a saint ! Her relic is as good as St. Elizabeth's. The problem should only be identification and not of faith.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 15, 2008, 11:24:55 AM
Yes, St Barbara is just as venerable as St Elizabeth, Eric.
 I have no  idea  wheteher the accusation about the finger is true or not. It came up a few years back when a certain carckpot  was trying to "prove" that the remains [first set] found in Ekaterinburg were  not the IF. I do not even remember his name, nor if his posts remain, but was a rather heated discussion, as I do recall.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 15, 2008, 04:13:21 PM
Well...DNA is a good tool and Prince Philip can do it again...
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 15, 2008, 04:29:04 PM
Would he really need to? I think the question is moot now anyway, except  for the arch-conservative ROC, of course. Even  their faithful do not pay nuch attention to the issue.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 15, 2008, 04:31:53 PM
Nobody needs to, but I think Prince Charles would probably do it since he is a fan of Ella.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 16, 2008, 08:11:03 PM
Nobody needs to, but I think Prince Charles would probably do it since he is a fan of Ella.

Fan or not, the Prince of Wales' mtDNA onetheless comes from his mother's matrilineal line (Mother of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon - HM the Queen Mother - HM Queen Elizabeth II - HRH The Prince of Wales). Grand Duchess Elizabeth's and the Duke of Edinburgh's mtDNA (which would match each other's) would be different than the POW's, and therefore of no help in identifying the Grand Duchess' remains or her finger.

And there would be no need for anyone to provide a sample as this mtDNA has already been sequenced and the results widely published.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 19, 2008, 02:02:36 PM
While doing some more general research, I came upon her Wikipedia biography that includes a list of shrines to St. Elizabeth. I thought this might be an interesting topic, in that these shrines can actually be visited by those of us able to travel to them.

Here's the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Duchess_Elizabeth_Fyodorovna

The shrines listed:

1. West Door, Westminster Abbey, London - One of 10 20th century Christian martyrs.
2. Martha and Mary Convent, Moscow - St. Elizabeth's convent, founded in 1908, reestablished in the 1990s
3. Church of Mary Magdalene, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem - the Orthodox Church whose dedication she attended in 1886, and where is is currently entombed

I also found:

4. Chapel of St. Elizabeth, Alapaevsk - chapel built near the site of the mine into which she was thrown to her death
5. Church of St. Elizabeth the New Martyr, Cayce, South Carolina - a new Orthodox church started by converts to Orthodoxy

Has anyone been to any of these places?

Ilana Miller told me about her visit to the church in Jerusalem and Mary Ann Fogarty told me about going to Alapaevsk.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on October 20, 2008, 03:06:44 PM
Lisa and Robert, hello!

Regarding the involvement of the Patriarch in the burial of the Imperial family, it isn't that the ROC isn't interested in or predjudiced against the IF, it was a religious issue.  The state pressed for an immediate burial after the identification,and the ROC was placed in a very difficult canonical position.  In ROCOR, the IF are full fledged Saints, but in ROC they are Holy Martys, which are different.  ROC and ROCOR have merged in a "separate but equal" kind of way, and these are details they are trying to fix.  The liturgy for the dead for a member of the imperial family is very different than what would occur for the interrment of a Martyr or Saint.  The patriarch removed himself purely so that he would not be involved in doing the wrong service over the remains/relics.  When the final canonisation process is completed, I am certain that he will be involved, and I would not be surprised if the family were moved from the cathedral
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on October 20, 2008, 03:55:06 PM
I would also add the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York City, which is the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR).
There you will find the relic of Saint Elizabeth's right arm (as well a relic of her attendant Saint Barbara) in a gold reliquary.

(http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/images/churches/hand3a.jpg)

I was in NYC this past April and had the opportunity to venerate the relic.  It is located on the left side of the cathedral (facing the iconostasis).  It is on a pedastal under an icon of Saint Elizabeth.

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 20, 2008, 04:14:59 PM
Thanks ! Who got the left arm ?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 21, 2008, 12:51:55 PM
Nick- so nice to see you again!
 I am aware of the Patriarch's position, and I certainly do not envy him.  But just where, if ever, would the Imperial remains be removed to?  My personal thoughts on the matter are that they stay  at the Sts P&P , reunited with the newly discovered, forever [whatever that means] to rest in peace.
 The distinction of "Holy Martyrs" and "Saints" is lost on many people.  They died in a "Christlike manner", but have yet to be credited with any miracles or extremely holy deeds,  In the Roman church, these things are clearly defined and pretty much loose to interpretation, in the Orthodox world,   there are clouds of incense and candles surrounding the mysteries...
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 21, 2008, 01:14:31 PM
Too loose in the Catholic Church. They are now in the process of making the war Pope (one book named him "Hitler's Pope") a saint...
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 21, 2008, 03:56:45 PM
Eric, you are referring to Pius XII and you are wrong. The cause for his canonisation is far and away from  completion.  There are arguments- MANY for and against him.  He has not even reached the "Blessed" stage yet!
 The Romanovs are not even on the calendar.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 21, 2008, 05:04:20 PM
No I am not wrong. Acording to a recent statement from the Vatican, the beautification is already under way. That is why I found so shocking. They are just going to push it through...I agree there are many for and against his case. That is why I left that church...
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on October 21, 2008, 06:35:35 PM
Thanks ! Who got the left arm ?

As far as I know, the left arm is still with the rest of Saint Elizabeth at Saint Mary Magdalen Russian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem. 

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 22, 2008, 12:23:45 PM
Good...I found it strange to find the body cut off to the faithful. It is different with bones.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on October 22, 2008, 01:42:09 PM
Lisa,

Interesting that you say the body might be moved with the approval of her "collateral descendants"

I wonder who they would be?   Dimitri Pavlovitch and Mariya Pavlovna were her official heirs, as they were adopted after GD Paul's mesalliance, and Clearly Dimitri inherited the Belosselsky Palace and Ilyinskoe.  I guess the Ilyinskys would be the direct heirs, and responsible for the permission, however, they are not Orthodox, so perhaps the Chuurch would avoid them?  If someone is cononised, moreover, are their remains still subject to regular law?  I guess they are, but what an unusual situation!

N
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on October 22, 2008, 01:43:35 PM
Lisa,

I would think you would have to add the ROCOR Cathedral of our Lady of the Sign in New York City, as they have her hand.

Best,


Nick
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on October 22, 2008, 04:27:52 PM
Ilyinskys are not Orthodox?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Laura Mabee on October 22, 2008, 08:52:13 PM
Is it just me that finds it odd that pieces of her body are floating around in different churches?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 22, 2008, 09:51:36 PM
Is it just me that finds it odd that pieces of her body are floating around in different churches?

No, you are not alone, Laura. But, I am not Orthodox, and I understand that having saints' relics is fairly usual business in that faith. If it were up to me, I would keep a departed person's remains together. :)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 22, 2008, 10:58:33 PM
Lisa,

Interesting that you say the body might be moved with the approval of her "collateral descendants"

I wonder who they would be?   Dimitri Pavlovitch and Mariya Pavlovna were her official heirs, as they were adopted after GD Paul's mesalliance, and Clearly Dimitri inherited the Belosselsky Palace and Ilyinskoe.  I guess the Ilyinskys would be the direct heirs, and responsible for the permission, however, they are not Orthodox, so perhaps the Chuurch would avoid them?  If someone is cononised, moreover, are their remains still subject to regular law?  I guess they are, but what an unusual situation!

N

The Grand Duchess' sister, Victoria, arranged for her transfer from China to the Holy Land. I was thinking of her descendants - as Ernie, Alix and Ella had none. You are correct that in Russia, Dmitri and Marie were her heirs, but for whatever reasons, did not seem to be involved with Ella's burial.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 25, 2008, 07:29:33 PM
Ilyinskys are not Orthodox?

As I have stated before, the Ilyinsky family is comprised of private citizens and I have no information as to the religiions of Prince Paul Ilyinsky's four children. Prince Paul had an Orthodox funeral, and it was my understanding that he was Orthodox.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Georgiy on October 30, 2008, 09:18:06 PM
I was at St Elizabeth's Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow a couple of years ago. it was still being restored and I couldn't go inside, but I was able to walk around the grounds. Verynice. There is a big statue of her there. Also, the relic of her arm (kept in New York) visited our parish in Auckland not so long ago, and we were able to venerate it. It was a wonderful blessing for us. It may seem strange for non-Orthodox and non-Catholic to have relics from one Saint in different Churches, but for us (at least as an Orthodox) it is a blessing - we are able to venerate them, and in a way, feel like are spending time with them and asking for their intercessions in a very real and physical as well as spiritual way. I guess, if the relics were only kept in Jerusalem, those of us who are unlikely to get to jerusalem, would not be able to have this ohysical as well as spiritual sontact with our Saints.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 31, 2008, 02:09:23 PM
I know biut it sounds strange too. If we all want to venerate her we should cut her threads and each keeping a bone...That was what they did with the earlier saints.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Georgiy on November 12, 2008, 09:07:57 PM
And that is why the Orthodox Church still does that - because that is what the Church has done from the start.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Ena on December 03, 2008, 04:24:10 PM
I visited the Martha & Mary Convent this past Sunday in Moscow.  I walked around the grounds and went inside where there was a service in progress.  I live in NYC and will have to visit the church that holds a relic of her.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 04, 2008, 07:51:24 AM
Lucky you...I plan to do that next year. Do you know the church in NYC that has her relic ?
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on December 04, 2008, 04:06:16 PM
It is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign, on the corner of Park Avenue and 93rd  Street.

(http://i412.photobucket.com/albums/pp208/NickNicholsonNYC/baker.jpg)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on December 27, 2008, 12:09:49 AM
Previously, I had been curious of what happened to Father Mitrofan Srebrianski, Saint Elizabeth's spiritual father/director, after the Martha- Mary Convent was closed. Was he ever canonized as a saint?

It turns out that he was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000.

He is known as Saint Sergius Srebrianski. His name was changed to Sergius when he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite.

Here is a link to an article about his life: http://www.roca.org/OA/146/146e.htm

His relics will be in San Francisco this Sunday only during the Divine Liturgy.

(http://www.wadiocese.com/images/uploads_2008/srebr.jpg)


The Relics of the Holy Confessor Sergius, Last Spritual Father of the Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow, to Visit San Francisco

 [December 15, 2008] On Sunday, December 28 at 9:45 am the relics of the Holy Confessor Sergius (Srebriansky) will be brought to the Holy Virgin Cathedral Joy of All Who Sorrow in San Francisco from Tver, Russia to be venerated by the faithful of the Western American Diocese. St. Sergius was the last spiritual father of the Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow and of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth. After many arrests during the Soviet regime, exile and hard labor he settled in the Tver Region with his wife (both of them took monastic vows) and reposed in the Lord in 1948. St. Sergius' spiritual father recalls that: "Every time I spoke to him [St. Sergius], every time I heard his penetrating words, I saw before myself an image of an ascetic desert dweller... He was completely submerged in the Divine... One could feel this in everything he did, especially when he spoke. He spoke of prayer and spiritual sobriety – these were his favorite topics. When he spoke, he spoke simply, edifyingly and convincingly."

St. Sergius was canonized by the Church in Russia in 2000. His relics will be available for veneration throughout the Pontifical (late) Liturgy at Holy Virgin Cathedral.

http://www.wadiocese.com/wad.php


Западно-Американскую епархию посетит ковчег с частицей мощей св. преподобноисповедника Сергия (Сребрянского), последнего духовника Марфо-Мариинской обители

 [15 декабря 2008] В воскресенье 28 декабря в 9:45 утра в кафедральном соборе Пресвятой Богородицы Всех скорбящих Радости в Сан-Франциско состоится встреча прибывающих из Твери мощей преподобноисповедника Сергия (Сребрянского), последнего духовника московской Марфо-Мариинской обители и святой новопреподобномученицы Великой княгини Елизаветы Феодоровны. Ковчег с мощами будет находится в соборе в течение поздней архиерейской литургии.

Преподобноисповедник Сергий (в миру Митрофан Сребрянский) родился в 1870 г. В 1908 году Великая княгиня Елизавета трудилась над проектом по созданию Марфо-Мариинской обители. Подал свой проект об устроении обители и о. Митрофан; его проект настолько пришелся по душе Великой княгине, что именно его она положила в основу устроения обители и пригласила о. Митрофана на место духовника и настоятеля храма в обители.

Духовник вспоминал об отце Сергии: «Всякий раз, когда я беседовал с ним, слушал его проникновенное слово, передо мной из глубины веков вставал образ подвижника-пустынножителя... Он весь был объят божественным желанием... Это чувствовалось во всем, особенно — когда он говорил. Говорил он о молитве, о трезвении — излюбленные его темы. Говорил он просто, назидательно и убедительно». Скончался св. Сергий 23 марта 1948 г. в Тверской области. На Архи­ерей­ском Соборе 2000 г. он был причислен к лику святых.

http://www.wadiocese.com/index.php






Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Andy on April 30, 2009, 06:27:48 AM
I’m unsure if this has already been posted, but there is an interesting article on the St. Mary Magdalene Convent on the BBC.  The interviewee is Mother Katherine, one of the nuns who staged the ‘sit in’, and she talks about her conversion to Orthodoxy and what led her to the convent i.e. Ella.

There is also a picture of Princess Andrew’s crypt, which appears to have been refurbished and looks quite different to the picture in Hugo Vickers’ book.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7783339.stm
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: David_Newell on May 10, 2009, 02:02:30 PM
I was at mass today and chatting to my Priest afterwards in the Kitchen. I was saying how if ever in Jerusalem I would visit St Elizabeth's grave. To which he replied well you know she visited Holy redeemer. Well I was shocked ....pleasantly and he told me the story. Elizabeth Feodorovna visited a community of nuns close to our church in Lloyd baker Square. She wanted to see the community and how it was run. This must be just after Grand Duke Segei was killed.

She went to see the convent and afterwards came to a service at Holy Redeemer. The church built along the lines of the of a Roman basilica. It is a very beautiful church and our services are in the Anglo Catholic tradition.

The surprises do not stop there. The special golden vestments of our priests are made from the court dress of a lady of the Imperial Family. They are made from tissue of gold and beautifully embroidered. I know that when EF took the veil, she sold most of her worldly possessions and gave away many things too. We know the robes are over 150 years old (approx) and my preist and I are wondering if the robes were made from one of EF's court dresses.

We have an icon of EF in one of our smaller chapels.

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: David_Newell on May 10, 2009, 02:18:59 PM
To the poster who was wondering about statues in Westminster Abbey, there are many tombs etc, but in the Chapel of Our Lady of Pew, there is a statue of the Virgin. You have to remember it was the Puritans who hated all such things and Cromwell and his mob that hated such things. There are tow traditions within the CofE High Church and Anglo Catholic and the Low Church. If you were to come to my Church Holy Redeemer in London you would think that you are in a Roman Catholic church, but it is in the Anglo Catholic tradition and our mother church is St. Paul's Cathedral, we even have an icon to St. Elizabeth in a side chapel (see other post re robes).
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on May 27, 2009, 09:22:01 PM
Earlier this year, a relic of Saint Elizabeth visited several Russian Orthodox parishes in the Eparchy of Perm, Russia.
The following website has video regarding the visit: http://media.tv-soyuz.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2043&Itemid=67

Although the "reliquary ark" appears to show that it is the entire left hand and forearm of Saint Elizabeth contained within, it appears to be actually a small fragment of bone contained in the small circular window just past the wrist of the arm.  

As far as I know, only the right hand and forearm were removed at the time the relics were exhumed in Jerusalem for the canonization process.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on June 30, 2009, 09:50:39 PM
The relics of Saint Elizabeth and Saint Barbara are currently visiting Russian Orthodox parishes in Great Britain and Ireland.

http://www.sourozh.org/web/A_part_of_the_Holy_Relics_of_the_righteous_martyr_Grand_Duchess_Elizabeth_will_arrive_at_the_London_Cathedral_of_the_Dormition_on_27_June (http://www.sourozh.org/web/A_part_of_the_Holy_Relics_of_the_righteous_martyr_Grand_Duchess_Elizabeth_will_arrive_at_the_London_Cathedral_of_the_Dormition_on_27_June)

http://www.rocor.org.uk/news/ElizRelics_100609.html (http://www.rocor.org.uk/news/ElizRelics_100609.html)

Itinerary: http://www.rocor.org.uk/news/Relics_270609.html (http://www.rocor.org.uk/news/Relics_270609.html)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on August 22, 2009, 11:03:07 PM
There has been some controversy recently about the transfer of a portion of relics of Saints Elizabeth and Barbara from Saint Mary Magdalene Church in Jerusalem where their relics are kept to Saints Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow:

One report states that the nuns of Saint Mary Magdalene Church were pressured by Moscow to hand over the relics: http://rocorrefugees.blogspot.com/2009/08/mp-desecration-of-relics.html (http://rocorrefugees.blogspot.com/2009/08/mp-desecration-of-relics.html)

Yet, the nuns themselves state that such a report is false and that the handover of relics was done in good faith and after consultation: http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2009/8engethsemanestatement.html (http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2009/8engethsemanestatement.html)
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Svetabel on August 23, 2009, 12:05:44 PM
There has been some controversy recently about the transfer of a portion of relics of Saints Elizabeth and Barbara from Saint Mary Magdalene Church in Jerusalem where their relics are kept to Saints Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow:

One report states that the nuns of Saint Mary Magdalene Church were pressured by Moscow to hand over the relics: http://rocorrefugees.blogspot.com/2009/08/mp-desecration-of-relics.html (http://rocorrefugees.blogspot.com/2009/08/mp-desecration-of-relics.html)

Yet, the nuns themselves state that such a report is false and that the handover of relics was done in good faith and after consultation: http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2009/8engethsemanestatement.html (http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2009/8engethsemanestatement.html)

Yes, there has been a serious controversy about the fragmentation of Saint Elizaveta relics. I tend to believe unofficial sources which says the controversy had place, as the official sources (and www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws (http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws) is among them) rarely unfold the truth in such cases.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Clemence on August 23, 2009, 12:19:51 PM
does anyone know if the remains of her niece, princesse Alice of Greece, are still near those of the GDE?

sorry if this has been already answered elsewhere.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on August 24, 2009, 10:18:56 AM
does anyone know if the remains of her niece, princesse Alice of Greece, are still near those of the GDE?

sorry if this has been already answered elsewhere.

Yes, her remains are still there.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on September 07, 2009, 11:17:45 PM
Today, major relics (the shoulder bones) of Saints Elizabeth and Barbara were enshrined during the centenary celebration at the Martha and Mary connvent in Moscow.

You can see photos of the event here: http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/735159.html (http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/735159.html)

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: felix on April 18, 2010, 07:17:06 AM


 I just returned from a vacation(volcano & all) to Greece & the Middle East. While in Jerusalem I was able to visit the Church of Mary Magdalene. It was an oasis in the middle of the city. The peace & tranquility one felt when entering was amazing.
 The Church's location & architecture seemed to over power everything around it. And viewing the remains of Elizabeth & Barbara, seeing the cedar crucifix she wore at the time of her death was humbling.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Dominic_Albanese on April 18, 2010, 07:35:59 AM
Felix - it was very nice of you to share the details of your visit.  Did you take any pictures?  Are there any good books (in english) on the site?  Again, thanks for sharing.

dca
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: felix on April 18, 2010, 08:10:13 AM


    Hello,


    I didn't see any books there. To tell the truth it was a little overwhelming. The City is busy & there's people every where. Then you turn down an ally & enter the Convent & suddenly it's quite & still & peaceful. The gardens are beautiful, big fat healthy cats are around.
And many visitors, mostly Eastern European.With guides. It's only open two days a week. It's just above the Garden of Gethsemane.
 My spelling on that may be wrong, but I think you'll know where I mean. There's no charge, just to buy candles. If you want.
They except donations. You cant imagine how impressive the site is.
  Also in the Church of the Holy Sepular(spelling?) all the icons in the Orthodox area were donated by the Russian Imperial Family,
and they are all  magnificent.

 F.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: felix on April 18, 2010, 08:14:33 AM

  And yes I did take photo's, they let you take them of Elizabeth.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on April 22, 2010, 11:19:40 PM
Here are two videos of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill's recent visit to Alapaevsk including the mine shaft where Saints Elizabeth and Barbara were martyred: http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/1139966.html



Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: MarshallHowell on March 15, 2011, 10:08:10 AM
Here is another picture I found of her grave
http://www.jerusalem-mission.org/images/gethsemane/relics.jpg
Title: Church of Mary Magdalene, Jerusalem
Post by: sunbeam on March 06, 2013, 04:56:05 AM
Some pictures from my visit to Jerusalem last year.
I did not know about the Romanovs or Ella at the time, I only recently discovered more about their history. So I was unaware of the significance of this beautifully looking church. In hindsight I feel glad to have been so close to that place and also glad that I and my partner took pictures.

(http://img252.imageshack.us/img252/8161/isral033.jpg)

(http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/5718/jer10feb1200004.jpg)
Title: Re: Church of Mary Magdalene, Jerusalem
Post by: edubs31 on March 06, 2013, 09:36:15 AM
One of the brief notes I took at a recent Romanov seminar I attended...

- The Imperial Orthodox Russian society was created in Palestine in 1906. Traveling to the Holy Land became a far safer endeavor than it was only 15-20 years earlier.

Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Rodney_G. on March 06, 2013, 05:47:18 PM
Good point,edubs. I get the sense that the Russian Orthodox mission in the Holy Land prior to that,though well-motivated, was a haphazard affair, not overly well-organized,and underfunded.

After 1906, pilgrimages there became more feasible and appealing. We know that Rasputin at  some point  (year?) made such a trek, for example., though obviously this was  well before Ella's enshrinement.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 06, 2013, 07:34:25 PM
Indeed. I think his was well documented by the Russians.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: NickNicholsonNYC on June 18, 2013, 08:47:05 PM
A theological question, may be out of ignorance.... I believed England's church didn't approved "statues" of saints and the Orthodox church only accepted icons -so how come they have that statue in Westminster's abbey? Or was it just placed there the same way they could have placed Mother Theresa or Mahatma Gandhi -i. e., not as religious character but for what she did for people?

The statue of Elizabeth at Westmister Abbey is in the new overdoor carvings of the West Door.  The jambs have been carved to represent 20th Century Saints and Martyrs, and include not only Grand Duchess Elizabeth, but, amongst others, Dr. Martin Luther King!.  Elizabeth is not (yet) recognized as a saint by the Church of England, but she is definitely celebrated at the Abbey, and is remembered there every July 18th. 

From the Abbey:

"Dear Mr. Nicholson,

To answer your question about the Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia, she is certainly much loved here at Westminster Abbey. As one of the modern martyrs above the Great West Door, we also have a liturgical commemoration of her life and witness to Christ on 18th July, when she is also remembered by other Anglicans. For more information:
 
http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/people/grand-duchess-elizabeth
 
With all best wishes,
 
Jamie Hawkey
 
The Revd Dr James Hawkey
Minor Canon and Sacrist, Westminster Abbey"
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on June 19, 2013, 11:17:31 AM
The Anglican/Episcopal (US) Church is very active in reaching across the isle to the older churches (Orthodox & Catholic). We have to remember that an heir to the throne will not lost his place for the British throne is he/she marries an Orthodox Christian (only Roman Catholic). So that is why Alfie did not lose his place when he married Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia. Indeed Queen Victoria would have been proud to see her granddaughter's statue in Westminster Abbey.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Inok Nikolai on August 14, 2013, 03:41:11 PM
Paul Gilbert reports:


The Convent of St. Mary Magdelene, Jerusalem
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/blog/index.blog/1448942/the-convent-of-st-mary-magdelene-jerusalem/
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 14, 2013, 03:53:04 PM
Thanks for posting.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Rodney_G. on August 15, 2013, 06:30:36 PM
Paul Gilbert reports:


The Convent of St. Mary Magdelene, Jerusalem
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/blog/index.blog/1448942/the-convent-of-st-mary-magdelene-jerusalem/


Thanks for showing that, Inok Nikolai. The Church is indeed inspiring; I tend to picture Orthodox churches in terms of a northern(Russian) winter climate, but the setting in a hot,sunny Jerusalem with palm trees is nice as well.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 16, 2013, 02:54:36 PM
A place that really merits a visit. My friend told me once Ariffat considered knocking this church down to built a car park.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: NickNicholsonNYC on September 13, 2013, 11:55:00 AM
This is from wikipedia, but a good condensation of what actually happened in '97.  No car parks. 

In 1997 Patriarch of Moscow Alexei II attempted to visit a ROCOR held monastery (the convent of Mary Magdalen) in Hebron with Yasser Arafat. It has been noted that "The Moscow-based church has enjoyed a close relationship with Arafat since his guerilla fighter days."[6] Upon arrival Arafat and the patriarch were refused entry by the ROCOR clergy, who held that Alexy had no legitimate authority. Two weeks afterwards police officers of the Palestinian Authority arrived and by "assaulting and cursing priests and nuns" they managed to evict the ROCOR clergy and then turned over the property to the ROC.[5]ROCOR Mother Superior Juliana said "We were told you have to leave because this man has to come here. This man was from the red church [i.e. the ROC]."[7] Another nun stated "They put me on the floor and they dragged me like a sack of potatoes."[7]
Alexy made another visit in early January 2000 to meet with Arafat and asked "for help in recovering church properties"[7] as part of a "worldwide campaign to recover properties lost to churches that split off during the Communist era".[8] Later that month the Palestinian Authority again moved to evict ROCOR clergy, this time from the 2.91-acre (11,800 m2) Jericho Gardens with a Chapel.[5][7] Five ROCOR monks and two nuns were forcibly removed from the property and ROC clergy took their places.[5][7][8] The monks and nuns who were evicted said that they had been "badly manhandled."[7]A monk claimed he was "knocked to the ground, handcuffed and beaten."[7] The ROCOR clergy stated that "the police refused to produce any documentation" and all seven of the ROCOR evictees required hospitalization.[8] The claims that the PA police used force were disputed by Palestinian Security Chief Jibril Rajoub "This is not true. It did not happen. It will never happen in the future. ...As the responsible authority in Hebron and all parts of the West Bank, we have the right to do our best to help them [the ROC]."[7]
The eviction of the ROCOR clergy at the Jericho Gardens (with a Chapel) gained international attention because two ROCOR nuns who were American citizens managed to sneak into the confiscated monastery and barricade themselves inside a portion of the complex. Further media attention became focused on the event when it was discovered that one of the nuns was Maria Stephanopoulos the sibling of George Stephanopoulos the former advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Maria and her fellow nun Xenia Cesena communicated with reporters their motivation "No matter what happens to the property, we made it clear to the world what the Moscow church is doing to us."[5] The supervisor of the ROCOR mission Archbishop Mark declared that they had "been talking with the Palestinian administration but so far no solution has been found, unfortunately."[5] He said that the International Red Cross had been denied access to the nuns and any request for ROCOR clergy to visit the women had been rebuffed. He declared "The PA interfered in church affairs without a legal right. It's a state interference into church affairs [and] a violation of human rights."[5] The compound was "bustling with staff from the Russian Consulate" and it was reported that they were giving food to the nuns. During the incident the five evicted monks maintained a vigil outside the monastery sleeping in their car.[5]
As the nuns were American citizens the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem became involved to ensure their safety. When Arafat visited the US while the incident was ongoing the subject was raised by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.[5] Ibrahim Kandalaft, in charge of Christian Affairs in the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs, told reporters "There is nothing so important here. This monastery belonged to the church of Moscow before 1917. It is returned to them."[5] The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the PA raid, saying it "violated the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements under which both sides are to respect holy sites."
After confining herself to a section of the monastery without running water for over 60 days Sister Maria Stephanopoulos (who began limiting herself to a bread and water diet as a form of hunger strike) appealed to Pope John Paul II (who was making a historic visit in the area) to use his influence on Arafat to resolve the conflict, she said "I would hope this issue's going to resonate with him. He was in Poland and he really had a lot to do with the downfall of communism there, so he should certainly understand."[6] Roman Catholic Bishop and the Vatican's ambassador to Jerusalem Kamal Bathish stated bluntly that the pope would not meet with Sister Maria or intervene on her behalf.[6]
Sister Maria complained of "brusque treatment at the hands of the Palestinian Authority guards" and being "harassed by the Moscow Patriarchate monks who occupy the other half of the compound."[6] In an address to reporters her sibling, George Stephanopoulos, stated that he planned to meet with her in Hebron, and said "My greatest concern, as her brother, is that Sr. Maria remains safe and healthy, and I admire her determination."[6] An agreement brokered by U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Tom Lantos and Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan with the PA, the U.S. consulate and the Moscow Patriarchate was made to allow Sister Maria and Sister Xenia Cesena greater access to the entire property, especially the monastery's chapel. Despite this, Sister Maria stated that the ROC monks were still preventing her from worshiping in the chapel, "Anytime we get close they close the door in our face. There's no such thing as equal access."[6] She told reporters she had no intention of relenting, saying "I believe in the new martyrs, what they stood for. The freedom of the church in the end is what it's about."[6]

Today, both the ROC and ROCOR have a continued, and separate existence in the Holy Land, but the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion has brought about a new era of cooperation between the two parts of the Russian Church.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 13, 2013, 08:18:17 PM
Thanks for the info. Very disturbing one at that.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Rodney_G. on September 14, 2013, 03:15:39 PM
I wish the information in Nick's  post 218 had been more widely disseminated and known, including by me. Eric's  "Very disturbing one at that" is an understatement.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 14, 2013, 05:45:47 PM
Indeed...I agree with you. :-(
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: holynewmartyr on October 26, 2015, 08:47:16 PM
This message and photos are from Penny Wilson, who asked me to post them...

Someone asked if there was a photo of Barbara Yakovleva's recovered body.  I have a full set of these photos, but the only ones that never seem to get "air time" anywhere are the ones of Barbara and Feodor Remez.  So here they are... even though they aren't of terribly good quality.  I think at least they complete the "set," and Barbara's DOES show in contrast to Ella's:

(http://img201.exs.cx/img201/1313/remezandbarbara2qw.jpg)

Is it possible to repost the photo of Barbara's recovered body? I have never seen it before and would like to see how it compares to the one of Ella's.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: rgt9w on July 09, 2016, 12:23:19 PM
I have a question regarding the remains of Grand Duchess Elizabeth.  I ask it with utmost respect and mean no disrespect to any Orthodox believers or to the grand duchess' eligibility to be named a saint.  I have read multiple times that when the grand duchess' remains were found, the body was described as "incorruptible".  I interpret this as no decomposition had occurred, but in the photographs of the victims after they were removed from the mine, Ella's face is darkened as if some decomposition had occurred or it was severely bruised?  Is there are broader definition of "incorruptible" used by the Orthodox church or does incorruptible mean the remains were not skeletonized??
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: Rodney_G. on July 09, 2016, 04:56:23 PM
I have a question regarding the remains of Grand Duchess Elizabeth.  I ask it with utmost respect and mean no disrespect to any Orthodox believers or to the grand duchess' eligibility to be named a saint.  I have read multiple times that when the grand duchess' remains were found, the body was described as "incorruptible".  I interpret this as no decomposition had occurred, but in the photographs of the victims after they were removed from the mine, Ella's face is darkened as if some decomposition had occurred or it was severely bruised?  Is there are broader definition of "incorruptible" used by the Orthodox church or does incorruptible mean the remains were not skeletonized??
mom

Assuming we're talking about the same photos (and I think we are), consider this.
First, the quality of the photos is not good, both technically and from the best angle and distance.They're simply not very clear.
I understood Ella's face to have  been marred by dirt, debris, or water and /or damaged by trauma.Bruised if you will.
Neither am I any authority on the Orthodox Church's definition of incorruptibility, but I'm fairly sure bodily harm from human_ caused or accidental trauma or injury doesn't count as corruption.
I would think decomposition equates to bodily corruption  but the photos, to my imperfect vision, don't show that clearly enough.
Title: Re: Ella's grave in Jerusalem & her relics
Post by: rgt9w on July 09, 2016, 05:16:34 PM
Thank you Rodney G for your response.