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Topic: Alexandra's Religious Character  (Read 8143 times)
« on: April 07, 2004, 10:44:44 AM »
BobAtchison Offline
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I just posted a new page on this topic on the main menu of the site.  It's by Vladimir Gurko and very interesting, I think.  I hope you enjoy it.

At the same time I posted another page from Gurko on Nicholas and ruling...

Bob
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 08:09:00 AM by Alixz » Logged
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« on: April 07, 2004, 01:02:57 PM »
Jackswife Offline
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 A very interesting article. Orthodoxy was very closely woven into the life of the court, and it seems Alexandra (and Ella as well) were extremely devout. Were there any other such instances in the Imperial family?
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« on: April 10, 2004, 03:37:55 PM »
BobAtchison Offline
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 A picture of the Nesterov painting of the Annunciation which hung in the Mauve Room near the door to the bedroom.  It was Alix's favorite painting (excluding paintings of her family) and went with them to Siberia.  It returned to the Palace and was saved from the ravages of WWII.  It's now at Pavlovsk.

The painting was given to Alix by Nicholas on their anniversary.  She had admired it during their visit to an exbiition and Nicholas bought it for her.

I was lucky to get a copy made of this so I have my own little bit of the Mauve Room in Texas....  if anyone else wants one let me know and I'll tell you how to get one.

Bob
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 08:07:16 AM by Alixz » Logged
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« on: April 10, 2004, 03:42:46 PM »
BobAtchison Offline
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And in case anyone missed it - go here for a page on the favorite ikon of Alix and the girls:

http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/tsvirgin.html

Bob
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Reply #4
« on: January 20, 2005, 02:15:26 AM »
hissunnywife Offline
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Dear Bob,

The beautiful picture drawn by you has a lot of devotion in it. Am really curious, how come you got so interested in Romanovs and devoted so much of your time to start this great web site?

(Sorry if this question is not posted in the appropriate manner or place as am new to this chat forum).
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« on: January 20, 2005, 07:15:35 AM »
Sarai Offline
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Quote
Am really curious, how come you got so interested in Romanovs and devoted so much of your time to start this great web site?


Sunny,
There is an article about how Bob got interested in the Romanovs on the main Alexander Palace website. Here is a link to that article:
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/boydream.html
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Reply #6
« on: November 05, 2009, 08:57:07 PM »
katmaxoz Offline
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For those who are intersted in the spiritual side of Alexandra I came across this article which you might find interesting....

http://www.bl.uk/eblj/2006articles/pdf/article4.pdf

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« on: January 05, 2010, 09:05:02 PM »
polski Offline
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Thankyou for sharing those articles. I found those most fascinating. I never knew how much she searched for a wider view of faith in the context of her religion. also loved the life story book you had on the main page.

I am still obsessed with Russian history, particulary this period and the personal stories...I find something very familiar in Alexandra's character.

Personally because perhaps for some universal reason, her life journey of faith is helping me in my own in a weird way. I appreciate how after suffering such personal losses in her family, grief and pain was no stranger to her. I find myself feeling fondness for this woman I don't know, the hope she still held in the power of love and that above all else, she felt compelled to follow a path of a sort of transcendental thinking. I'm aware of course that there was many people both rich and poor before and after her with their own tale , many full of suffering and atrocious violence but because her life is so documented, I find myself feeling a strange sense of spiritual kinship with the memory of this lady. Which is strange when I do not follow modern celebrity or much interest in current issues of royal persons.

I think I find her religious character so fascinating as her personal beliefs are thrown upon a huge public scaffold and heavily scrutinised.

I find something very modern and current in her spiritual dilemmas as well. Does anyone here feel that way?? Having lost many loved ones already, I feel i understand to some degree why she would be introverted, searching for relief from this internal sense of guilt that many of us can carry. I can't imagine the pressure of trying to relieve her guilt and shame (real or imagined) with the knowledge you had not only your own issues, but a huge family, but a royal court, Empire and collective of other nations judging her so deeply and resenting her for not fulfilling their expectations of who she should be and what she should be and how she should be! How quickly people still throw around judgement and condemnation without really even knowing anything about her.

Understanding her more through this website I could only think, you poor lady to find yourself in that situation, but what I have learnt from her faith and searching is that suffering is inevitable on Earth, but through faith, it can be transcended, even turned into a gift to help others in some way...also I never realised the level of her compassion was so ignored and unreported and combined with her human attribute of shyness and impatience I can definitely relate to the hostility some people can attack you with, just because you aren't their perfect cup of tea all of the time.
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« on: January 05, 2010, 09:28:21 PM »
RealAnastasia Offline
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Thanks for the link! I'm not Orthodox, but being a Catholic Alexandra also helped me to understand my own faith. I'm very similar to her in the way I take religion. I think she had been slandered by a society who was becoming more and more sceptic. She was not a fanatic, but a sinecere Orthodox who believed that if she believed in God as it was asked in the Bible, God will never abandone her and her beloved ones. Of course, she must known that, sometimes, for a reason human beings doesn't know, God ask us some sacrifice. The Tsar grasped this more deeply than Alix, and I think he resigned himself to maryrdom.

The article is great, Bob, even if we doesn't agree in some topics at the "Survivors Thread" - and I still don't agree!  Grin - I've always liked Alix, when most of people don't! I must be a bizarre person...

RealAnastasia.
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« on: January 09, 2010, 02:54:43 PM »
Silja Offline
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For those who are intersted in the spiritual side of Alexandra I came across this article which you might find interesting....

http://www.bl.uk/eblj/2006articles/pdf/article4.pdf



Indeed a very enlightening article. It provides the insight into Alexandra's religious character all the biographies I've read so far lack.
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Reply #10
« on: May 12, 2010, 09:27:01 PM »
Naslednik Norvezhskiy
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Yes, a fascinating article. I wonder if or how her own agonies in connection with her conversion played a role in her attitude to Jews. (Which seems to have been less harsh than that of other Romanovs.) Because although there no doubt also was a racial component in Imperial Russian anti-Semitism, its legitimizing rationale was that Jews were people who "refused to accept Christ", i.e. refused to convert.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 09:38:10 PM by Fyodor Petrovich » Logged
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« on: October 12, 2011, 02:52:13 PM »
MademoiselleAndrea Offline
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I know this is a really old topic, but I found this wierd statement in The Life and Tradgedy of Alexandra that puzzled me & I don't want to make a new thread.
So. Here is the sentence:
She was always mentally fighting things out, always striving to solve deeper questions in connection with small ones, while jealously keeping all this inner life from prying eyes.   
Okay, I get the part about her keeping her "inner life from prying eyes". But the jealousy part just doesn't make sense. Does anybody have any idea what this means?
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When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything You gave me". --Erma Bombeck
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« on: October 12, 2011, 06:10:34 PM »
historyfan Offline
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Jealously in this context would simply mean that she didn't want to share.  It sounds sort of redundant when it's paired with "keeping all this inner life from prying eyes", because that also means she didn't want to share her inner life.  But that's all it is.
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Reply #13
« on: January 23, 2012, 07:54:45 PM »
Inok Nikolai Offline
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This seems like the closest thread title under which I should post this.

This is one of my favorite stories about Empress Alexandra Feodorovna:

******************

A True Fairy Godmother

The following incident from the life of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna took place in 1914, before the War. The Imperial Family was spending the summer in Livadia. The Empress used to like very much to take walks by herself; and for this reason she would drive out of Livadia in an open carriage; after going a few miles she would get out of the carriage and walk on foot in the company of one of her ladies in waiting. Always modestly dressed — in a plain summer dress, sandals and without a fancy hat — she would sometimes go down to Yalta, drop by some church in order to pray unnoticed by others.

This she also did on the day about which I am now going to recount. The Empress stopped by the Autsky Church, prayed for a while and put some candles by the holy icons. In the church there stood a group of very poorly dressed people who had come to baptize a child. The priest had already put on his vestments, but the people evidently were awaiting someone and thus he did not begin the service. The Empress had already intended to leave when the priest approached her and asked her to take the place of the terribly late godmother. The Empress kindly agreed, and taking the child in her arms she stood together with the child's father, a poor shoemaker. To the question directed to the Empress concerning how she would like the little girl to be called, she answered simply: “Alexandra”. And then, in the course of the service she performed everything that is required of sponsors, i.e. together with the shoemaker she walked around the font three times, holding the child in her arms, in accord with the Church typicon.

After the baptismal ceremony, the Empress jotted down simply in the metrical book of the Autsky church: “Alexandra Romanova”. In parting, she shook the hand of everyone who had come for the christening, and having asked the address of her goddaughter, she set out on foot. The next day, an imperial coach drove up to the poor house of the shoemaker, the father of the newly-baptized, which was on the outskirts of Yalta, and the lady-in-waiting who had accompanied the Empress the day before brought Shurochka (little Alexandra) an entire trousseau and for her parents a gift of 500 rubles from the Most-august godmother.

Up to the Revolution the Empress, no matter where she was living, not only remembered her goddaughter, but also took care for her and for all her many brothers and sisters, the children of the poor shoemaker. Of course, when the Revolution broke out, one can surmise that Shurochka — the Imperial goddaughter — as everyone called her, and her whole family had to suffer much on account of her father’s spiritual relationship to the Russian Empress.

This is, of course, far from being the only incident told me by the eyewitness of it, my sister-in-law, who was that lady-in-waiting who had the good fortune of accompanying the Empress and being present with her at the baptism of the shoemaker's child. The Empress Alexandra Feodorovna was the incarnation of modesty and of feminine angelic goodness, and her good deeds she strove to do unnoticed by others.

N.V. Khvostova, Addis-Ababa 1958

**********

Oh, how I would like to have been a mouse in the corner — to see the look on that shoemaker's face when the imperial carriage pulled up in front of his house the next day!

Natalia Vladimirovna Khvostova was the wife of Ivan Sergeyevich Khvostov (1889-1955), an officer in the Semeonovsky Regiment. I. S. Khvostov is known in Ethiopia for having translated the Napoleonic Law Code into Ethiopian. He was also on the government commission to draw up the modern laws of the kingdom. In his free time, he wrote poetry.

I still have not been able to determine the name of N. V. Khvostova's sister-in-law, the lady-in-waiting.

Many years ago we translated this account from the back of a sheet from one of those trear-off calendars which the Russians love so much.
But now we can't find where we "filed" the calendar sheet, so we cannot yet furnish the original Russian text for this account.
We hope to come across it again some day.
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инок Николай
Reply #14
« on: August 14, 2013, 07:47:52 AM »
Inok Nikolai Offline
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From the A. V. Syroboyarsky Collection

A name that has already turned up here and there on this Forum is that of Alexander Vladimirovich Syroboyarsky.

A. V. Syroboyarsky had been a patient in Empress Alexandra Feodorovna’s hospital in Tsarskoe Selo. The Empress became good friends with his mother after they met during one of the mother’s visits to her wounded son. After the Revolution, Empress Alexandra continued to correspond with both Syroboyarskys — mother and son.

In 1928, A. V. Syroboyarsky, who by then was living in the USA, published a book on the tenth anniversary of the Imperial family’s death entitled “Skorbnaya Pamyatka” (Sorrowful Commemoration).
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=77

However, the book was not a mere commemorative album, but it sought to accomplish a concrete charitable goal. The proceeds from the book, and the donations solicited by it, were to be used to cover the costs for medical treatment for invalid Russian soldiers who had fought in WW I. In this way, A. V. Syroboyarsky hoped to honor the memory of the Royal Sisters of Mercy. One of the first to respond to his worthy initiative with great enthusiasm was M. S. Hitrovo — the best friend of Grand Duchess Olga Nicholaevna.

An on-line copy of his Russian book can be found here:
http://www.archive.org/stream/skorbnaiapamiatk008800#page/n0/mode/2up

One chapter of A. V. Syroboyarsky’s book contained a collection of poems and spiritual quotations which Empress Alexandra Feodorovna herself had copied out for him.

The chapter of poems opens with a photograph of this postcard:




It is a postcard of a drawing by the well-known German artist, Karl Kuntz (1770-1830) entitled “Greetings from the World”, which depicts a woman sitting alone in a room and gazing expectantly out the window. On the reverse side, the Empress had written the following message in pencil to A. V. Syroboyarsky:

21-XII-1916

She is looking out and awaiting greetings from the world, whereas those who live amidst the vanities of the world would like to look into that world and the tranquility contained within these walls. But we must live in the world, having peace in our soul. We must live amidst strangers; we must suffer, struggle, and firmly believe. We must seek our consolation in prayer and not doubt the love and compassion of God. He is above everyone and everything. We need not fear the malice of people; He will grant us the victory over it, if we firmly believe in Him.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 07:53:56 AM by Inok Nikolai » Logged

инок Николай
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