Author Topic: Relics of Grand Duchess Elizabeth back in Russia  (Read 3015 times)

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Offline nerdycool

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Relics of Grand Duchess Elizabeth back in Russia
« on: July 26, 2004, 01:20:29 AM »

Remains of Last Czarina Sister in Russia

Sun Jul 25, 2:11 PM ET  

By STEVE GUTTERMAN, Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW - In an opening move to heal the breech between the Russian Orthodox Church at home and abroad, the remains of the last czarina's sister were flown Sunday from Jerusalem to Russia where they will be displayed in a golden ark in Moscow and throughout the country.

Grand Duchess Elizabeth was thrown down a mine shaft by Bolsheviks in 1918 and has been canonized by both the Moscow-based church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

The remains of Elizabeth, an older sister of Czar Nicholas II's wife Alexandra, were spirited out of Russia through 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 Savior Cathedral for a ceremony.

They will be in Russia for six months.

Also returning were the remains of Elizabeth's helper, a nun named Varvara, who was killed with her, the ITAR-Tass news agency said.

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, the agency said.

It came as the two sides take their first steps toward reunification after decades of distrust.

In a message read during the ceremony at Christ the Savior, 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 to unify the Russian Orthodox Church," according to ITAR-Tass.

Alexy didn't attend the ceremony because he has been ordered to rest after suffering heart arrhythmia.

The exiled church abroad 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 Russian Orthodox Church has experienced a major resurgence since the 1991 Soviet collapse.

Elizabeth, who married an uncle of Nicholas, Grand Duke Sergei, founded a convent in Moscow.

Offline Mike

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Re: Relics of Grand Duchess Elizabeth back in Russ
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2004, 12:55:07 PM »
Today an Israeli Russian-language TV channel has shown a 15-minute story on the GD Elisabeth relics' departure from the Jerusalem Mary Magdalene Church and through the Ben-Gurion airport. It contained interviews with clerics of the "Red" and "White" churches, Russian and US pilgrims, Russian security personnel etc.

It was strange to see US Orthodox pilgrims who couldn't speak Russian. Equally strange was the difference between the officials of two Russian churches: the "Reds" appeared clearly on the flesh side of the Flesh vs Spirit paradigm, while the "Whites" looked men of spirit.