Author Topic: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF  (Read 94127 times)

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Offline Georgiy

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2005, 05:54:37 PM »
For a (long) read about the Royal Martyrs from an Orthodox point-of-view, including miracles attributed to them, try the following link:
http://fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/nicholas_ii_e.htm


Offline Georgiy

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2005, 07:29:55 PM »
Scroll down on this link for an expanded version of the life of the Emperor from an Orthodox point-of-view. There are many interesting anecdotes.
http://www.euphrosynoscafe.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2161&start=7

Offline 30_Dollar_Princess

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2005, 09:35:37 PM »
 :-[ Oh dear, my faulty ability to put my thoughts into words rears its head yet again.

I was only using St. Francis de Sales as an example  of a saint because he is the first saint who came to me, no doubt because my first school was St Francis de Sales (waaaaay back in the dim mists of recorded history--I think it was about the time the dog was just beginning to be domesticated ;))

The next comment about warriors was totally unrelated to poor old St Francis and referred to the many Catholic saints who were so called because the wars they waged and the "heretics" they slaughtered were slaughtered in the name of the cross and Holy Mother Church.

Georgiy, I read the article and the message board information. I dunno, maybe people will call me a foolish romantic but it all makes perfect sense to me.
I see no fault in the selection of the IF as passion bearers.
It is an admirable acceptance of the separation of church and state.
Not being a good politician in no way diminishes the fact that Nicholas and his family handled themselves with rare grace under the most hideous of circumstances...and as their diaries and letters reveal, they maintained a steadfast faith in their God through all the horrors.

The very nature of saints is that they are drawn from the human ranks. It is in the nature of humans to be imperfect...soooooo it is hardly surprising that Nicholas and his family had certain faults and blind spots, but that's what makes saints saints and so good as intercessors. They were largely like US, and can be expected to understand.






bluetoria

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #48 on: June 10, 2005, 10:28:55 AM »
I hope you didn't think I was being pedantic, 30 Dollar Princess (it's only because he's one of my favourites that I mentioned it! - And my first Teaching Practice was in a St. Francis de Sales School too!!)

I agree totally with your final paragraph - if they had to be perfect, no one would have been called a saint.

rskkiya

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #49 on: June 10, 2005, 04:22:03 PM »
Why were they declared saints ?
    I think that it was a political move on the part of The ROCA, which was later accepted by the Russian Othodox Church.

Good or Bad?
    I think its was a dreadful decision but as I am not Orthodox - my opinion might not be held as a worthy one. I feel that rather than letting the Russian Federation deal with the paradox of its Soviet History in an open and critical manner, it has simply draped the last Romanovs in a "fuzzy cloud of Holiness" which keeps anyone from taking any responibility for all the issues (both bad and good) that occured after the Revolution and the Civil war. Rather than actually examining all the actions of such political figures such as Nicholas/ Kerensky/Lenin/  we have reduced the issue to "saints and sinners"

   As I have mentioned I am not Orthodox so I am in a weak position to perceive what it was about them that was so worthy of devotion...being a loving family member is not - as I understand it - a clasification of holiness.
   I have been told that they were 'passion bearers' and that they passively accepted their fate without any attempt to excape death. However I don't believe this, as we know they were attempting to work out some plan for escape with someone they thought was a a "Loyal White General".  We now know that this was a trick, but if they were so 'passive', why didn't they tell their soviet guards abiout the famous 'milk bottle letters'  themselves?

Sorry to be so heretical, but it makes no sense to me.

pure evil
rskkiya  ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by rskkiya »

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #50 on: June 10, 2005, 04:32:53 PM »
Quote
I have been told that they were 'passion bearers' and that they passively accepted their fate without any attempt to excape death. However I don't believe this, as we know they were attempting to work out some plan for escape with someone they thought was a a "Loyal White General".  We now know that this was a trick, but if they were so 'passive', why didn't they tell their soviet guards abiout the famous 'milk bottle letters'  themselves?


You're speaking of the letters from a "Russian Officer," which the Cheka already knew about, since they had intercepted the first message to the IF and penned the remaining ones themselves. The last response from the IF to the "Russian Officer" (the Cheka) reads in part (emphasis in the original):

"We do not want to, nor can we, escape. We can only be carried off by force, just as it was force that was used to carry us from Tobolsk. Thus, do not count on any active help from us. The commandant has many aides; they change often and have become worried. They guard our imprisonment and our lives conscientiously and are kind to us. We do not want them to suffer because of us, nor you for us; in the name of God, avoid bloodshed above all..."

Sounds pretty passive and forgiving to me.  
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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #51 on: June 10, 2005, 04:37:02 PM »
Quote
The commandant has many aides; they change often and have become worried. They guard our imprisonment and our lives conscientiously and are kind to us. We do not want them to suffer because of us, nor you for us; in the name of God, avoid bloodshed above all..."

Sounds pretty passive and forgiving to me.


It is.  And this passage also debunks all the posts on the board about the horrific suffering the family endured in captivity.  I think their suffering was certainly real, but it had more to do with living in the knowledge of what they had been and lost, not in the way they were treated as prisoners.

rskkiya

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #52 on: June 10, 2005, 04:41:16 PM »
No.
I think it states that Nicholas simply was "once again" unwilling to commit...This seems to have been a signature aspect  for so much of his political life-  don't make a decision - let someone else do it...
  Why didn't the "Martyrs" tell their guards about the letters, as they {NAOTMAA}  didn't know it was a trick.

rs

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #53 on: June 10, 2005, 04:55:06 PM »
Quote
And this passage also debunks all the posts on the board about the horrific suffering the family endured in captivity.  I think their suffering was certainly real, but it had more to do with living in the knowledge of what they had been and lost, not in the way they were treated as prisoners.


I don't know, I think much of their suffering had to do with their uncertain fate. Remember the sudden, week-long gap in Nicholas' diary in June and July. I think he knew he was living under a death sentence and he must have worried that Alexei was, too, if not his other children.

In fact, I've sometimes wondered if Nicholas and Alexandra composed that last letter to the "Russian Officer" because they had some suspicion that they were being set up by the Bolsheviks. Just a little, tiny, niggling fear that all was not right with this rescue plot. If you read the letters carefully you get the sense that they were taken aback, even alarmed by the "Russian Officer's" obviously slapdash approach to planning the escape attempt. We also don't know if certain language cues might not have given away the "Russian Officer's" real identity (the person composing the letters for the Cheka was not a nobleman, after all). So perhaps the IF decided to play it safe, claiming they did not want to be rescued and that their guards were "kind" to them. It's impossible to say one way or the other.  
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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #54 on: June 10, 2005, 05:17:18 PM »
Quote
I think much of their suffering had to do with their uncertain fate. Remember the sudden, week-long gap in Nicholas' diary in June and July. I think he knew he was living under a death sentence and he must have worried that Alexei was, too, if not his other children.  


Probably correct.  However, I don't think Nicholas had a clear sense of when.  The accounts that Greg King and Penny Wilson capture in their book The Fate of the Romanovs indicate the the family went into the cellar of the Ipatiev house believing they were about to be transferred yet again.

Quote
In fact, I've sometimes wondered if Nicholas and Alexandra composed that last letter to the "Russian Officer" because they had some suspicion that they were being set up by the Bolsheviks.


I've wondered the same thing, since their supplicating language seems almost Uriah Heep-ish and calculated to ingratiate.

However, there is plenty of other evidence that their captivity was somewhat more humane than one would expect from the Ural Bolsheviks.  For instance, cleaning women came once a week to scrub their floors, the laundry was sent out frequently, additional food gifts were allowed in up until near the end, a guard brought a small cake for Maria's birthday, they were allowed to read anything on hand in the house (including anti-semitic tracts, despite their supposed Jewish captors), etc.

And the treatment at Tobolsk was even better.  There is a picture posted on "The Final Chapter" thread of Alexandra and two of her daughters taken shortly before Alexandra was removed from Tobolsk.  She is sitting under a parasol, all three are dressed very elegantly in clean, pressed clothes, and two of the women are wearing jewelry.  Political imprisonment is inherently horrible, make no mistake.  But this kind of treatment of the incarcerated is about as good as it gets by the standards of political imprisonment.  (By the U.S. Army's own report, a detained terrorism suspect at GITMO was  urinated on "accidentally" by a guard who was pissing through a vent.  Please . . . pissing through a vent?)

A dispiriting, anxiety-inducing captivity for the Romanovs?  Yes.  Deliberate humiliations and sadistic deprivations?  No.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #55 on: June 10, 2005, 05:37:04 PM »
Quote
Probably correct.  However, I don't think Nicholas had a clear sense of when.  The accounts that Greg King and Penny Wilson capture in their book The Fate of the Romanovs indicate the the family went into the cellar of the Ipatiev house believing that they were about to be transferred yet again.


Yes, I fully believe that. Alexandra and the girls were even wearing the icons they always carried with them when they traveled.

Quote
I've wondered the same thing, since their supplicating language seems almost Uriah Heep-ish and calculated to ingratiate.


It occurs to me that another reason they might have been hesitant to make an escape attempt - either in Ekaterinburg or even at Tobolsk - was the dismal fate of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette after their failed flight to Varennes. Alexandra seems to have closely identified with MA and would no doubt have had the lesson of Varennes always before her.  

Quote
However, there is plenty of other evidence that their captivity was somewhat more humane than one would expect from the Ural Bolsheviks (...) A dispiriting, anxiety-inducing captivity for the Romanovs?  Yes.  Deliberate humiliations and sadistic deprivations?  No.


I don't think anyone's arguing that the Bolsheviks were deliberately cruel to the family. Still, conditions must have been pretty dire during those last few months, in the full heat of a Siberian summer, with twelve people cooped up together in half a dozen rooms, the windows painted over and only one window, in N and A's bedroom, finally opened after weeks of begging. Remember, they were only permitted to go outdoors once or twice a day for a limited time and this must have been especially hard on OTMAA and the kitchen boy Leonka.
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Offline RichC

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #56 on: June 10, 2005, 05:40:14 PM »
Quote

I don't know, I think much of their suffering had to do with their uncertain fate. Remember the sudden, week-long gap in Nicholas' diary in June and July. I think he knew he was living under a death sentence and he must have worried that Alexei was, too, if not his other children.

In fact, I've sometimes wondered if Nicholas and Alexandra composed that last letter to the "Russian Officer" because they had some suspicion that they were being set up by the Bolsheviks. Just a little, tiny, niggling fear that all was not right with this rescue plot. If you read the letters carefully you get the sense that they were taken aback, even alarmed by the "Russian Officer's" obviously slapdash approach to planning the escape attempt. We also don't know if certain language cues might not have given away the "Russian Officer's" real identity (the person composing the letters for the Cheka was not a nobleman, after all). So perhaps the IF decided to play it safe, claiming they did not want to be rescued and that their guards were "kind" to them. It's impossible to say one way or the other.  


Well they did spend an entire night waiting for a "rescue" that was made up by the Bolsheviks.  It seems that they must have believed "An Officer" at some point.  But I agree that the letter was very carefully written so they could cover all their bases, as it were.

I don't agree it was designed to ingratiate, however.  They were passing along information and begging that there be no bloodshed; they weren't groveling...

I happen to view promises of imminent freedom in the middle of the night when no such thing was going to happen as a form of torture.  Nicholas said in his diary the staying up all night fully dressed, waiting for a rescue that never came was "torture".  It's psychological torture.  

Offline RichC

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #57 on: June 10, 2005, 05:45:52 PM »
Quote

I don't think anyone's arguing that the Bolsheviks were deliberately cruel to the family.


I am.  I think it's particularly cruel to lock up a bunch of innocent children, most of them teenagers, for a lengthy period of time, then shoot them all.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by RichC »

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #58 on: June 10, 2005, 05:57:23 PM »
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I think it's particularly cruel to lock up a bunch of innocent children, most of them teenagers, for a lengthy period of time, then shoot them all.


I agree it's cruel.  Incarceration of people who are not personally culpable for anything, as the children most certainly were not, is inherently cruel.

However, these children were Romanovs and could possibly have become pawns in a power struggle that looked truly desperate for the Bolsheviks until well into 1919.

I'm not arguing that this made their incarceration -- or certainly their deaths -- less cruel, but it did make it something other than pure vindictiveness.  Remember, their three prisons were a palace, followed by two of the largest, most luxurious houses in Tobolsk and Ipatiev, both towns of which had conventional prisons.  Remember that there were periodic demonstrations outside the Ipatiev house by factory workers complaining of the genteel treatment of the Romanovs and even demanding their public execution.  The Ural Soviet could have easily used this pressure as an excuse at least to make their imprisonment harsher.  And it was the Provisional Government, not the Bolsheviks, that first transferred them from their palace incarceration.

When you look at what political incarceration has looked like for legions of other political prisoners, including royal adults and children, this one stands out for all the additional gratuitous cruelty that could have been exacted, but wasn't.

For instance, wouldn't it have been an exquisite torture to have told Nicholas and Alexandra that they were going to be executed in front of their children, then to be followed by the children?  . . . and let them stew in that one for a while before marching them off to the basement.

Let me be clear . . . the Ural Soviet had a very distorted and sick sense of political necessity, and its was a harbinger of a century that took political necessity to progressively more horrific extremes.

But it was not gratuitous sadism . . . yet.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline RichC

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Re: Martyrdom, Sainthood. Reburial and Commemoration of IF
« Reply #59 on: June 10, 2005, 06:04:46 PM »
There's a really good book out there that might help those us unfamiliar with Russia's history and culture better understand the whole question of the IF's sainthood.  It's called The Idiot by Dostoyevsky.  

It's been years since I read it but The Idiot is about a well-meaning kind hearted man (Prince Myshkin) who everyone thinks is slightly mentally deficient.  In truth, he's quite intelligent, but he possesses a child-like innocence which none of his contemporaries (I think the novel takes place in Tsarskoe Selo) can fathom.  Sound familiar?

Anyway, I highly recommend it.