The Abdication: Some Thoughts on the 100th Anniversery

Yesterday was the centennial of the day that ended the Church Age. I’m speaking of the forced abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

Liberals, Democrats and other assorted Republicans finally got their wish when a delegation of them forced Nicholas’ train to a standstill and presented him with the instrument of abdication.

Nicholas was at the end of his tether and because of the disastrous Great War, saw no way out. Worse, his heir, Tsarevich Alexei was a hemophiliac, a fact that had brought great despair to him and his family; one made all the worse by their keeping it a secret.

I plan on writing more about this event and what it meant for history in the coming weeks. Mainly, I will do so by having one eye on current events and another on the proper ordering of human affairs, that is to say an excursus on government.

For now, I think it can reasonably be said that the removal of Nicholas –the katechon, that which restrains–unleashed a wave of terror over the entire globe unimaginable in its brutality and scope. A wave which was moderated to a degree by the pax Americana (ca 1948-1989).

Much will be written about all this in due time. For now, let us entreat the glorious Tsar-martyr, his family, and the thousands of other New Martyrs of Russia and the other fallen Orthodox lands that suffered under the Bolshevik oppression for piece in the world. Let us thank them for the fact that we have been given another four years to repent and perchance, to turn this evil, anti-Christian state of affairs around.


  1. Joseph Lipper says

    George, it’s wonderful to read about The Royal Passion-Bearer, St. Tsar Nicholas II. I look forward to reading your further writings about him.

    Four more years though? I don’t know, that sounds pretty optimistic. For me at least, I might not have even the rest of this day.

  2. Very, very well said, George.

    “I can feel it, coming in the air tonight . . .”

    Events have yet to unfold. I have hazarded guesses on this or that in the past but will refrain from doing so presently. That being said, we should take time to smell the roses.

    Martyrdom waters the Cross.

    One hundred years. Gratitude is certainly in order, to God, to all martyrs.

    Вечная память
    Αιωνία η μνήμη
    الذاكرة الأبدية
    Veșnică pomenire

  3. Thou didst strengthen the hope of the martyred Tsar, his Tsaritsa and children, and it took flight to Thy love, proclaiming before hand their future rest. Through their prayers, O Lord, have mercy upon us.

    Beholding the faith of Christ made mighty throughout the land of Russia by the pious Tsar, and unable to endure it, the enemies of God pondered how they might destroy the Christ-loving Tsar-martyr Nicholas, and they gave him over to an undeserved death with his pious Tsaritsa, children and servants, and with all the royal race; yet were they deceived, for the way of the iniquitous shall perish, but the righteous shall live for ever. Instead of destruction and harm, they made them glorious martyrs and intercessors before God, and by their blood and that of all the new martyrs, the land of Russia, oppressed by them that contend against God, shall be saved; for this blood is the seed of new life in Christ. Through their supplications, O Lord, have mercy upon us.

  4. Sorry if I offend by I never thought Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and his family deserved sainthood, only pity. Their execution, as horrible as it was, does not equal martyrdom. In fact I find it a slap in the face of the true Martyrs who truly died for Christ, and/or his church. The Tsar was removed and killed along with his family, because of bad luck, poor planning, lack of faith, and no leadership skills. Truly a country suffering the affects of Matriarchy! Alexandra was too busy dabbling with witches and warlocks, after Christian prayers were not answered to give birth, and to cure her son. Meanwhile with her husband at the front, her bad judgments lost all respect and power from her court, and opened the door to demons, in her lack of faith. As such millions were murdered under communism and the church in Russia destroyed. Perhaps a beta-male? I’m sure all the experts here on beta versus alpha can decide.

    • Hieromonk Mark Kerr says

      Carefully examining all the facts, knowing more of history than the Soviet, secular and Western propaganda that we have been fed, the Church, through the Holy Synod of the local church (i.e., the Church of Russia), expresses a different judgement. Are you sure, Dino, that you know better the situation, the circumstance, the historical facts and the transcendent significance of what happened?

      • Heiromonk Mark,

        My opinion is Humanistic. I am not one that usually disagrees with the church, but on this topic I do. Do not different jurisdictions of Orthodoxy disagree with each other? The council in Crete being a prime example. Second officially, by Moscow Patriarchate, the Tsar is canonized a passion bearer, not Martyr, or saint, but ROCOR sees him a Martyr. Regardless many in Russian circles venerate him as a saint/martyr even though officially he is not. Do they know better than the church as well.

        The Tsar was a failure as a leader, and his failures resulted in nearly half to 1 million deaths during his reign, and as a result of communism’s take over, over 100 million deaths, and the destruction of The Orthodox church in Russia, and the Soviet Union.

        May Tsar Nicholas memory be eternal, but he does have some explaining to do at the judgement seat of Christ, as we all do, but not such a grand scale as his. What is your opinion Hieromonk? Please pray for me.

        • The picture of an inept, out of touch leader regarding Tsar Nicholas is nonsense. Russia’s efforts in the war, one could argue, were in no small way sabotaged by the western powers. In terms of productivity and society, Russia was exploding as an economic power. Stolypin’s reforms were having an effect, which is why he was targeted by revolutionaries. Tsar Nicholas inherited a number of problems but the typical picture of him propagated by officialdom in academia does little more than parrot the self serving narrative of the western elite. Additionally, the status of Tsar Nicholas as a saint has to be understood through the lens of why he and his family were killed. Clearly, those that executed the family understood the importance of the Tsar in terms of Orthodoxy and preserving the order that it under-girded. The writings in the death chamber speak volumes, particularly the snide alteration of a line from one of Heine’s poems. In the original poem entitled, “Belsazar,” Heine writes:

          Belsazar ward aber in selbiger Nacht
          Von seinen Knechten umgebracht.

          This translates roughly as, “On that very night, Belsazar was killed by his own slaves.” In the death chamber, one of the assassins changed this line to the following:

          Belsatzar ward in selbiger Nacht
          Von seinen Knechten umgebracht.

          Notice the spelling of Belsazar — it is intentionally altered to refer to the Tsar: “Belsatzar.” If you look up the story of Belshazzar and think about why this couplet and its alteration may have been written in the death chamber, you’ll probably get a sense of what other purposes may have been operative here. At the very least, the Tsar was murdered because of what he represented — the earthly wing and protector of the Church.

          He may not have been saintly in the sense of someone like St. Seraphim of Sarov but when one reads the diary of Tsarina Alexandra from the last year, it’s clear that they were a very pious family.

    • Pat Reardon says

      I never thought Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and his family deserved sainthood, only pity. Their execution, as horrible as it was, does not equal martyrdom. In fact I find it a slap in the face of the true Martyrs who truly died for Christ, and/or his church.

      Thank God, Dino has nothing to say about it.

      The motives of the persecutors do not determine the matter of martyrdom. The status of martyrdom depends on the motives of the martyrs, not the (often political) motive of the murderers.

      Thousands of canonized martyrs have been murdered for political reasons, from Roman times to the present.

      Saint Anselm, when he was still abbot of Bec, instructed Archbishop Lanfranc on this very question when the latter quibbled about the canonization of St. Alphege.

      Lanfranc had the good sense to back down

      • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

        “Saint Anselm”? Author of Cur Deus Homo? Not on our calendar, and for good reason.

        • Pat Reardon says

          “Saint Anselm”? Author of Cur Deus Homo? Not on our calendar, and for good reason.

          This comment is, of course, a digression from the subject.

          If, however, someone is disposed to pursue an interest in St. Anselm’s relationship to Orthodox Theology (and to St. Nicholas Cabasilas, in particular), I hope to be forgiven for mentioning the chapter “Anselm, the Fathers, and Holy Scripture” in my recent book on the Atonement.

          • Michael Bauman says

            An excellent chapter Father one that gently and persistently makes the point that Anselm got it wrong without condemning the man.

            Also there is at least one martyred saint in our calendar who was an Arian: St. Nektarios, the demon Slayer.

            He was a top general in an Arian kingdom who was caught by the attacking pagan armies and executed because he refused to deny Christ. Took some research on my part to identify who he really was since his icon has him holding a demon by its hair preparing to decapitate the little bugger with a sword. Really gorgeous icon BTW.

            So I’d say marytrdom has little to nothing to do with one’s theology. The pagans wanted to over throw the Christian kingdom. Nektarios gave his life defending that kingdom and for Christ, even though everyone was wrong about the person of Christ.

            Don’t be so contentious Misha

          • Anselm is not a saint. Never heard of Nektarios the demon slayer. Interesting though.


            • Have you seen this?:


              Let the wrath of God be visited on those who conspired to achieve this evil objective for the evil one.

            • Michael Bauman says

              No Anselm is not an Orthodox saint. No one said he was. The point is about martyrdom, not about theology.

              • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                Fr. Patrick called him “St. Anselm” and apparently stands by his words.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  I think he is a saint as well. My take on pre-Schism is that all people canonized before the Schism are saints –provided they did not hold to heresy. As for the immediate post-Schism period, my question is two-fold: 1) did they know about the Filioque? and 2) did they agree to it?

                  If the answer is no to the first question then it stands to reason that they did not believe in it. If they did know about the Filioque (as well as the Bull of Excommunication) but did not believe in it, then my guess is that they can be considered for glorification in the East.

                  • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                    Anselm was barely 20 when Rome broke with the Church. He all but started the philosophical approach to theology we call scholasticism. He defended the Filioque and the use of unleavened bread at the Council of Bari in 1098, which forced both on Greeks churches in southern Italy. And he wasn’t even canonized by Rome until 1494. How that makes him a saint is beyond me.

                    If Anselm wasn’t a heretic, Fr. Patrick owes us an explanation.

                • Anselm is no saint. He died under the heretical “Church” of Rome in 1109. He is the font of the Western heresy of original guilt which leads to the false doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

                  Those who consider him a saint lack an Orthodox phronema.

      • Seraphim98 says

        Then what are we to make of the Tsar’s myrrh streaming icon and the letter written by Tsar Martyr Paul with the aid of the holy fool Avel to his royal descendent 100 years hence. That letter foretold the what was to become of Russia, and of Nicholas II and his family. That letter was presented to the Tsar in 1908 and it is because of it he did not flee with the white Army when he had the chance.

        I cannot say he was a great Tsar politically and administratively speaking, but he seemed to get better as the years went by…and in the end the witness of Heaven seems certain enough from my poor end of the universe to verify Tsar Nicholas II is indeed a Tsar Martyr.

      • Am I so wrong Father Pat? Officially they are Passion Bearers, not Martyrs or Saints, according to the Moscow Patriarchate? But many in Russian circles have unofficially made them Martyr/Saints in their Romantic vision of the return for Old Royal Russia. Of course ROCOR believes they know better than the church in Russia, and made them Martyrs. So there you go, please pray for me Father, and memory eternal for Tsar Nicholas, and family.

        • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

          There’s no difference between ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate on this. Both call them Passion Bearers and Martyrs, and sometimes just Martyrs, as on this MP calendar.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Dino, please forgive me for interjecting, but Passion Bearers are considered saints. Passion Bearers are saints who share in the Passion of Christ. They are not considered to have died for their faith like St. Stephen the Protomartyr, but they endure their death and suffering in a Christ-like manner.

          I guess all Martyrs would be considered Passion Bearers, but not all Passion Bearers would be considered Martyrs by the Church. With the instance of St. Tsar Nicholas II, I believe the Moscow Patriarchate is saying that he was murdered for political reasons, not for his faith, but that he died in a courageous and saintly way.

          If we all die in a nuclear war with Russia, will we be martyrs? Probably not, but may God give us the grace to be Passion Bearers like St. Tsar Nicholas.

          One more thing, I have never heard anybody in the Church say “Memory Eternal” to a saint. That is said before they are glorified by the Church, not after.

          • Joseph,

            I do not consider Tsar Nicholas a saint. Hence memory eternal. I will study and pray more on this matter of the Tsar. Have a good and blessed lent, and pray for me. I will pray for you as well that your heart will open for our Jewish brothers and sisters.

            • I do not consider Tsar Nicholas a saint.

              That’s nice. Too bad it’s not your decision to make. It is God’s decision, revealed in and through the Church. Tsar St. Nicholas is in heaven, in the presence of God, making intercession for the Russian people and the world.


              If you’re triggered by that, it says more about you than St. Nicholas.

            • But he was a Saint, and you should take the time to learn why, it is actually very important, and timely too.

              • Gene B,

                You may be right. Truly only God knows, but I will take the time. Believe it or not I even have some issues with my own name sake Saint Constantine, Equal to the Apostles? But! I will take George’s advice, and worry more about my own sins, instead of their sins or whether a Saint, Martyr, or Passion bearer is worthy of such titles. What a thought! Pray for me!

    • The Tsar-Martyr is probably to most maligned figure in history. In order to understand this, you need to fully grasp world events in the last 250-300 years from a certain point of view. I believe in order to fully understand Christianity and specifically the uniqueness and significance of the Orthodox Church one must realign their world view.

      We live in a world created by the revolutionaries who purposely overthrew the Christian monarchies to create their new world order, to release the world from the shackles of traditional power structures and morality. Many books have been written about this but they are largely suppressed and unstudied by the current academia or press. Anything you will read in “official” western history books will be negative on Nicholas II. You need to do your research to understand the significance of his – and his family’s murder – which was a ritual murder. Look it up for yourself and learn! You have to take sides!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      What makes a “true martyr” in your book, Dino? By definition, a martyr is someone who is killed for their religious belief. Were the Tsar and his family not associated with the Church they would not have been killed.

      How could one know the degree to which another has faith? And how would things have been different if they had had more? I’ve read just about every book on them and I would say they absolutely had faith in God and the Church.

      Alexandra was desperate to save her son. She didn’t “dabble,” she actively sought help from any who might offer it. Interestingly, Rasputin had some success in controlling the bleeding.

      Retaining “witches and warlocks” is something I didn’t know, as is letting demons into their home. Can you fill me in about this?

      What does “luck” or a lack thereof have to do with them being abducted and murdered?

      Everyone has varying ability when it comes to leadership. Nicholas was not ready to be Tsar of Russia because he was trained only as a soldier and not as a statesman. Nicholas himself even knew that he wasn’t ready to be Tsar. The day his father, Alexander II died he said, “My god, my god, what a day. My head is spinning, I don’t know how to be a Tsar, I have no idea about the business of ruling, I have no idea how to talk to the ministers.”

      At the end of the day, the laity does not determine whom the Church canonizes. The canonization of the Romanovs was determined by the by the Russian Orthodox Church. In their wisdom, *they* felt they were martyrs.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Excellent points, Gail.

        For what it’s worth, the popular picture that has been painted of Rasputin was heavily colored by British intelligence. Not that he didn’t give them something to work with but a clue about his blackened reputation can be discerned (perhaps) by the incredible stories that attended his assassination. While I believe he may have provided some remarkable physical resilience to the poison, I am rather skeptical of the other tales regarding his superhuman resistance to drowning.

        All I’m saying is that some of the official story should be taken with a grain of salt.

        Also, for what it’s worth, according to the best documentary evidence, only six times in the actual physical presence of the Royal Family. He was not a constant guest at the Winter Palace. Most of his healings (as it were) were done long distance, over the phone and sometimes through mail.

        • Pdn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

          Had the Tsar listened to Rasputin, World War I might not have happened.

          • George Michalopulos says

            According to actual historical sources, Rasputin actually had keen political sensibilities. He foresaw what that useless War’s efforts were doing to the ordinary people and did what he could to mitigate its economic damage.

            • I also read that the poison evaporated in the sweets when cooked or baked, George you might know more about that in your profession.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Very possible.

                • Peter Millman says

                  If anyone would like to insult me., please feel free to do so. I really need to develop a thicker skin for the sake of my soul. George, have at it.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Peter, why would I want to insult you? You’re a better man than me.

                    • Peter Millman says

                      Thanks for the compliment George. I really need a thicker skin. Much too sensitive. Also, George, you’re a much better man than I could ever dream of being.

      • Gail and George,

        Just to be clear, I respect Tsar Nicholas II as a Orthodox Christian, but not a leader. How could I,as he failed as such. Your second to last paragraph Gail, proves this fact, as the Tsar himself admits he does not know how to be a Tsar!

        Ironically I first came to post on Monomakhos, because George and Misha thought Joseph Stalin was a great leader, but a horrible man. Now we have you and George suggesting The Tsar was a a great Martyr but not a great leader! I argued Stalin was both a horrible leader and man. What a twist we now have.

        Gail and George, because I respect both of you very much, I will try and answer every paragraph, starting with Gail’s post.

        1. Officially the Moscow Patriarchate canonized the Tsar’s family as passion bearers not Martyrs, or saints.(which answers your last paragraph) The Tsar was killed because he was the king of Russia, and the new regime did not want to chance his return to power. No man, no problems.

        2. I believe the Tsar had faith, I just don’t feel Alexandra’s faith was the same as the Tsar, she was a convert for one, and I have read she called on mystics to bring forth a son, and we all know about Rasputin, after her son was born ill. If her faith was strong in Christ, why did she dabble with mystics(witches) to bring forth a son and Rasputin(warlock) to heal her son. Christ, his mother, and the Saints not enough?

        3. When one allows mystics, and the likes of Rasputin into ones home, you are also inviting demons into your home, but the real demons were the Bolshevik leaders, who saw a failed, and weak King and Queen.

        4. Bad luck would be reigning as king during WW1, it’s toll on Russia, and resulted in Tsars absence from home, where Alexandra was in charge.

        5. In regards to George’s post. As I grow older, what I find is whenever attending a funeral we hear what a great person the deceased was. Well maybe half were good, but the other quarter were just ok, and the other quarter were downright mean, and just short of evil. Regardless 100% of the time all we hear is how great they were.

        My point is the dead are generally viewed with rose tinted glasses, especially if they are part of something we love. Rasputin seemed to me, a wolf in sheeps clothing, taking advantage of weak people in a desperate situation, at best, and evil mystic at worst. The Tsar at best a devout Orthodox Christian, but at worst a horrible leader that over saw close to a million dead under his reign, and his incompetent leadership opened the door to millions more dead under the flag of Communism, and the destruction of the Russian Orthodox church. One thing I will say for Russians, they are the most forgiving people!

        • George Michalopulos says

          Dino, thank you for your response. And for the opportunity to clear up my feelings about Stalin: the guy was a monster. I wish he had never lived. More, had I been a Ukrainian, I would have joined forces with Hitler with the millions of other Ukrainians who did –that’s how bad he was.

          Fortunately, that’s all water under the bridge. The Lord in His mercy has allowed me to live at a time in which Holy Russia appears to have reconstituted itself. Stalin is part of that history, for good or ill. I’d like to think that the majority of Russians are mature enough to see through Stalin and we should all pray to God that we never see his likes again.

          • George, you’re welcome, and agreed, water under the bridge. May their memory be eternal, and Lord have mercy on us.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Dino, I think Rasputin was an Orthodox monk believe it or not! He was not a warlock.

          If you read some stories about the Saints, you’ll see they were all kinds of people. They weren’t necessarily good at being leaders or anything else. Some couldn’t bear to be around people, let alone lead them. Some seemed crazy and threw feces at guests coming to a party. Some had been through wars and had killed people. Saint Paul killed Christians when he was Saul. Saint Peter was kind of a hot head until Pentecost. Saint Mary of Egypt was a prostitute. My point is there is no way you can point to someone and say, “S/he’s not a Saint or martyr because. . .” As people, they have many failings, but then God touches them.

          The Royal Family truly did want what was best for their country. If you catch glimpses of them on film, you will see they were sober-minded. Alexandra came from the Hesse Family in Germany. Instead of opening presents on Christmas, their mother insisted the children entertain others. She was raised with very good values. That family produced more that one Saint. Saint Elizabeth was her sister. Alexandra was shy and awkward around people and she came off rather cold, but that isn’t who she was. She dearly loved her husband and family.

          When God has His hand on someone for some purpose, there is no “luck” involved. And sometimes they go through things that can only later be seen for what they are. The following was taken from the article Gene B. provided about the Tsar: “He had a very strong sense of his destiny as an Orthodox ruler. Although he had an opportunity to flee the country with his family and seek refuge outside Russia, he and his Empress deliberately chose to stay and accept whatever awaited them. He had been born on the feast of the Prophet Job and because of this he often remarked to his advisors: “I have a secret conviction that I am destined for a terrible trial, that I shall not receive my reward on this earth.” No wonder that our Russian Bishops Abroad wrote (in 1968): “Job the Much-Suffering, on the day of whose commemoration the Tsar was born, said in his grievous suffering, concerning the day of his conception: ‘As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year” (Job 3:6). Terrible was the night of the murder of the Tsar”!

          I really think you should read the article Gene B. provided. It gives a little more insight into how these things are seen within the Church. (It’s not long.)

          • Estonian Slovak says

            Rasputin was not a monk. He was married and had children. Neither was he ordained.
            I think George already answered that his influence on the Royal Family was much exagerated.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Estonian Slovak, I didn’t say he lived like a monk. I said he was a monk.

              • Monk James says

                Grigoriy Yefimovich Rasputin left his wife and family in Siberia to bring ‘mystical’ messages to the Russian royal family. It appears that he was a gifted hypnotist, able to control the tsarevich Alexey’s hemophilia by autosuggestion — a technique used even now in various therapies.

                Rasputin and his wife remained married, although he notoriously took sexual advantage of women in Sankt-Peterburg, seducing them with his false teachings about morality and salvation. He was a sectarian heretic, and not Orthodox at all.

                Rasputin was never a monk, and he certainly didn’t live like one. That ‘monk’ nonsense arises from non-Russian, non-Orthodox confusion about hairy Russian men in black who have religious-sounding ideas, wrong as they might be.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Maybe he just looks like a monk and liked hanging out with Orthodox clergy. Here is a picture of a “young Grigori Rasputin with fellow monks. The one on the right, Iliodor, may have staged the first attempt on Rasputin’s life. After the revolution, he finished his life as a janitor in New York.”

                  • Estonian Slovak says

                    Iliodor was a nutcase who at first was a zealot for Orthodoxy, later he turned sectarian and died as a Baptist after having left the monastic life to marry. Very much like modern day zealots who will flock to the extreme Greek Old Calendarists and hurl anathemas at the rest of us. Then when they don’t find the perfection they seek, they leave Orthodoxy altogether. I know an ex-wife of an ex-Deacon who fits this description.
                    Neither the long beard, nor the cassock makes the priest or monk. In my Ukrainian church, the priest is clean shaven, but one of the altar servers has a long beard.

          • Gail,

            Thank you for your response, I will study and pray more. May you have a good and blessed lent. Please pray for me.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Dino, I think we all need to pray for each other and for the world. The Lord rightfully chastises us because we are a stiff-necked people and we should be open to correction. Myself especially.

              • This is true, George. And God is love. We should keep that in mind as well. “Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”


                • I must confess something. I’m not Russian. Not at all. I got the name “Misha” as a Russian student at UK. Please forgive me. I attended a Greek church in Lexington and people kept asking me if I was Russian. I did it to fit in. I was weak.

                  I apologize to everyone for this and for all my sins. Please forgive me.

                  a miserable sinner

                  • You all will just have to bear with me. I have been running some experiments lately. They have to do with the nature of truth and lies and their effect on reality. I have seen some strange things happen in my immediate experience and I can’t get to the bottom of them. More later.

                    • Ok, I can state this much. I wrote a blatant falsehood on this site and it had a discernible effect on the tone here.

                      I think I have gotten to the bottom of some of this. We are in the end times. No one can say the time or date, of course. The prince of this world, in the end times, will deceive the whole world. He is doing so with some form of hypnosis that has to do with writing and language and speech. But it is ok. God is stronger than Satan.

                      I can say with absolute certainty that I am not under hypnosis as I write this. No one has even tried to hypnotize me. So what I’m saying must be true. That, or their is no God. However, I choose to have faith. Also, how would I know about Satan if there is no God?

                      All we need do is await the arrival of the knight, Faithful and True, with a name known only unto Himself. I am certain of the Orthodox faith.

              • George, Gail, et all: I still believe what I believe, and I could say more about Tsar’s and Tsarina’s short comings, but what’s the point. I understand that many here who post, and read Monomakhos love and venerate the Tsar, Tsarina, and their children. I no longer feel comfortable disparaging the royal family that so many here hold dear. Of course! I may be wrong. Lord have Mercy on me if I am disparaging saints. God forbid!

                That said, someday, sooner or later in this short earthly life we live, and in our repose, THE TRUTH, will be face to face with us. I’m sure we will ALL be astonished, when revealed who among us, Our Lord will put with the goats, and who with the sheep.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Dino, you are kind indeed. One reason I don’t worry about the sanctity of the Tsar-martyr (or any saint in particular) is that I worry too much about my own salvation. The older I get, the more evil I see my deeds.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Dino, never forget we each have sheep and goats in our hearts plus wheat and tares in the field of our soul.

                  I love the story in Everyday Saints about the dissolute monks in a Russian village. The Soviets came and said all they had to do to live was to deny Christ. The Abbott, eyes bleary with too much drink looked at his brethren, each in a similar state and spoke, “Brothers, we did not live for Christ, we might as well die for Him”. And so they did. Are not these disapated men martyrs?

                  Saints, even the most holy of them (by our eyes) look upon themselves as sinners.

                  I know one thing, I am a sinner. I pray that God grants me the grace to at least die as well as I can, glorifying Him to some small degree.

                  His mercy is showered upon us all.

                  • Michael Bauman,

                    How could I forget, my struggles never end. From what I have read in your posts, you are on the right path. We must never forget the demons never give up, and are always looking for a weakness to gain access into our hearts. Vanity is one, Saint Paisios of Mount Athos once spoke how a very virtuous Monk was tempted by demons, first with money, then with the lure of alluring woman, alcohol, and others that trapped most men into sin. The demons were about to give in. Satan, knowing what the monk held in high regard, disguised himself as a fellow monk, and told the virtuous monk, that another fellow monk had been picked over him to become abbot of the monastery . Well the devil found his weakness. The monk, in his sinful vanity for power, slandered the new abbot, and accused him of all the sins that the demons could not tempt him to commit!

                    Forgive me as I gave the book on spiritual struggles to a friend, and am repeating the story from 10 years of memory. But I think you get the point

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Dino, that is the point. As our Lord told St. Peter recounted in John 21:21-22 the key is tending our own garden for “It is an unweeded garden that goes to seed. Things rank and gross in nature possess it merely.” Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2.

                      It could be said that the whole tragedy of Hamlet is based on his refusal to take care of his own garden.

                      Our own too, I think

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I absolutely will, Dino. If I cross your mind, pray for me, too. We all need to pray for each other.

        • The truth will set you free says

          Friend and brother Dino,

          Like virtually all of us living in the West, our knowledge of things pre-revolutionary Russian is subject to what the Western historians choose to tell us. The fact of the matter is that Tsarist Russia fell because of the Western moneyed and political interests that conspired with the Bolsheviks to force her fall. The Bolsheviks were a minority — even the name “Bolshevik” is a lie/propaganda, since its use was a political ploy to make the public think they were more numerous than they were. “Bolshevik” means “majority” in Russian. In truth, the Bolsheviks numbered at best 5% of the population — hardly a majority.

          When we read Western historical accounts of the Revolution, we all get the impression it was a popular uprising against an “incompetent” Tsar. It was most certainly not. The average Russian loved their Tsar. He was their protector from the Russian oligarchs (usually non-practicing-Christian oligarchs) trying to get the peasants into forced labor, ridiculous work hours, out of land ownership, etc. The data are quite clear — life for the average peasant in Russia in 1910 was far, far better than life for the average laborer in England, Berlin, New York, or Paris working in industrial Europe or America in 1910. The Tsar ensured that wealthy Russians did not take advantage of the Russian populace. There is no comparable figure in Western culture that was such a protector of his people. The Russian peasant enjoyed substantial land ownership. Yes, the West accomplished things through parliamentary and democratic systems, and we all know our Western history. Who runs things in the West? The wealthy industrialists and bankers. Who was in charge in Tsarist Russia? Not the wealthy industrialists or bankers; the Tsar.

          Compare Tsarist the freeing of the serfs to the “freeing” of American slaves. Both occurred in the 1860s. How many died during the American Civil War? More than 600,000. And we know that black Americans were nowhere near “free” until well more than 100 years later. How many died when Tsar Alexander freed the serfs in 1861? None; there was no “war” to free the serfs.

          At the end of WW1 (at the start of the Russian “revolution”), Russia was poised to be a world power eclipsing that of England and America. It looked like she would retake Istanbul from the conquered Ottomans and “make Constantinople Orthodox again” — what a Glory to God that would have been! The English and Americans, however, were terrified at this threat to their world dominance. The British empire was eminently powerful at that time, and Russia was the only country in the world that could even come close to countering British influence. Germany and the Ottomans had just been conquered, and America was on her ascendancy but halfway across the world.

          Further upsetting the West, the Tsar refused to cede control of Russian banks to Western bankers. He did not want the Russian treasury under the control of what were and still are predominantly Jewish Western bankers. (And an aside, before the anti-Semitic complaints begin: Jews enjoyed high standards of living in Tsarist Russia. They were for hundreds of years among the most successful businessmen in cities like Odessa. Russian Christians and Jews lived in peace with each other for centuries. Sadly, Russian Jews were always among the top revolutionaries in Russia as well. The “pogroms” that the West likes to use to vilify Tsarist Russia were Russian counters to Jewish revolutionary acts. We don’t really understand this concept in the 21st-century West, where it is fashionable to let anyone attack us with impunity and then to publicly wring our hands with a hashtag on Facebook about what do we do about it? But most governments in the history of the world will retaliate against those who attack it.)

          It is because of Russia’s continued ascendancy through the early 1900s and political threat to the West and the threat its money system posed to Western banking interests that the West funneled millions of dollars into propping up the fledgling Bolsheviks and helping them to succeed in what would otherwise have been a nothing-burger. The Bolshevik revolution was financed by wealthy financiers in London and New York. Lenin and Trotsky were on the closest of terms with these moneyed interests both before and after the Revolution.

          To quote: “One of the greatest myths of contemporary history is that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia was a popular uprising of the downtrodden masses against the hated ruling class of the Tsars. The planning, the leadership and especially the financing came entirely from outside Russia, mostly from financiers in Germany, Britain and the United States.” …. “Jacob Schiff was head of the New York investment firm Kuhn, Loeb, & Co. He was one of the principal backers of the Bolshevik revolution and personally financed Trotsky’s trip from New York to Russia. He was a major contributor to Woodrow Wilson’s presidential campaign and an advocate for passage of the Federal Reserve Act.” (Jacob Schiff was one of the prominent Jewish American bankers who used his wealth and influence to help topple Tsarist Russia.)

          Brother Dino, the West hated Russia 100 years ago for what she stood for: a bulwark of traditional Christianity and Christian piety against the heterodoxy and heresy that dominates the West and the rest of the world. This is much the same reason why the West continues to hate the resurgence of Christian Orthodox Russia today. Remember how in the 1980s the American leftists wanted more “dialogue” with the Soviets and hated the hard-line approach that the Reagan team was taking? Well, look how things have turned in 30 years; the same American leftists now hate “dialogue” with Russia and they vilify any who even look like they are communicating with the Russians. The American leftists have not changed — it’s the Russians who have changed. They are no longer the good-guy leftist Soviets; now they are the bad-guy traditionalist Russians. It’d be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic.

          I used to believe as you do, Dino my brother, that the Tsar and his family were silly “saints,” because all I had been fed through my earlier years was that he was, forgive me, an “incompetent boob whose people hated him.” This is such a lie. After learning the truth over the past few years, I repent of and ask forgiveness for my past misinformed judgment. My icon of the Tsar and his family now counts among my favorite and most treasured.

          And Rasputin? He was certainly not mad or crazy and was never a priest, a monk, a thief, or a spy. Again, all falsehoods spread by anti-Russian western propaganda (sadly, we call this propaganda “history books” and “newspaper articles” in the West), and in the case of Rasputin, it was also spread by anti-Christian Russian oligarchs who conspired with the Western bankers and politicians to take down their Tsar (they committed treason, in essence). Fr Andrew Phillips (the wonderful English Orthodox priest) has done a huge service to educate those who are interested in the truth about Rasputin.

          Learn the truth — don’t believe the lies and deceit. A good rule of thumb I heard from a priest a while back is that we are usually being deceived in some capacity in our daily lives. The wise man recognizes this fact and strives to fight the deceit.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Truth, actuality, the US and Russia were very close before the election of Woodrow the Evil. In the first treaty between them, the US used the Trinitarian Doxology in the preamble.

            Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize when he brokered the peace between the Russian and Japanese Empires in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War. He did all he could to help Russia recoup its losses, mainly because he preferred European Russia, which was Christian as opposed to Japan which he viewed as a colored, non-Christian nation.

            • Tension with Russia preceded Wilson. See “Angels and Demons in the Cold War and Today”. Excerpt:

              [In] “The American Mission and the ‘Evil Empire,’ ” the historian David Foglesong details how American opinion leaders have cast Russia in the role of America’s “dark double” for more than a century. Mr. Foglesong’s book is as indespensible today as ever, helping Americans to understand how we have treated Russia as either a benighted land yearning to become a second America, or a moral monster whose faults ease Americans’ own guilty conscience.

              This pattern began in the last decades of the 19th century, when America was facing a decline of religious faith, a surge in racial terrorism against African-Americans and brutal conditions for industrial workers. In an atmosphere of domestic crisis, many Americans found their idealism renewed by [the elder] George Kennan’s campaign to liberate Russia from autocratic rule.

          • The Truth….

            Thank you for taking the time to write me. Two things I am not:

            Too old to learn, or too prideful to accept my short comings. I will read and pray more on the subject. May you have a good and blessed lent. Please pray for me.

          • Nicholas II was a devout Orthodox Christian who understood what was happening to him and to the world. He personally provided partial financing for the building of St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York and the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chicago, so there is a connection to us Americans. There is so much to learn about him and about how many pious Orthodox foretold the revolution, the disaster that followed, and its ultimate collapse. There’s so much depth there, but we in the west have to undo a ton of propaganda and false worldviews to see it clearly. There is no doubt of the royal family’s sainthood. And the murder of the innocent children, this was truly the crime of the century. I have a personal devotion to the Tsar and his family. Nicholas II gave my great grandfather a gold cigarette box (he was a Colonel) as a gift which was later sold in between wars for food to keep his family alive.

            • He personally provided partial financing for the building of St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York and the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chicago…

              …and St. Theodosius cathedral in Cleveland.

              • Estonian Slovak says

                The Tsar Martyr paid for countless churches here. But the leftists and Masons who have sullied his memory have made it so that he is not remembered in most of those churches(mostly OCA).

                • George Michalopulos says

                  True that, ES. Also, his father, Tsar Aleksandr III endowed the first Orthodox Church here in Oklahoma, on land deeded to him by the Choctaw Nation. It’s in Hartshorne, OK.

          • The truth will set you free,

            Thank you for this, for the link to Fr. Andrew’s article, and for sharing the wisdom of that priest about our usually being deceived in some way in our daily lives. It is so true and a good reminder for me regardless of the subject at hand.

      • Estonian Slovak says

        Er, his father was Alexander III, not Alexander II. I think you should get your facts straight before you post.

  5. pelagiaeast says

    peace, not piece in the world.

  6. Hieromonk Mark Kerr says

    George, this is an important event worthy of some reflection. Regarding your fine article, one suggestion I am thinking to make is that the abdication was not the end of the ‘Church Age’ but the end of the Imperial Age. The Roman Christian Empire, which started with Constantine, came to an end with the abdication of the last anointed Emperor of the Orthodox Romani (interestingly enough, a Romanov), but the Church continues on. Unfortunately, some of our hierarchs are still thinking and acting as if the Imperium still existed, pathetically clinging to the tattered imperial trappings and irrelevant honours their predecessors enjoyed at the pleasure of the emperors, not necessarily as shepherds of Christ’s flock. After a hundred years, we are still struggling to come to terms with the conditions of the modern age, where we no longer have an anointed secular ruler to defend and support the Church. Through the prayers of the Imperial/Royal Martyrs, may the Lord guide us during this bewildering time!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Fr, thank you for your insights. May I quibble on a point? When I said “the end of the Church Age” I thought long and hard before writing that. It is my opinion (probably I’m wrong) but I stand by it. I believe that with the abdication of the Tsar-martyr, we have been living in the Tribulation period. That’s my assessment based the absolutely blood-soaked nature of the Twentieth Century.

      Mind you, I’m not dogmatic about this and I could be (probably am) wrong, but that’s my insight. Of course, I would love to enter into a discussion of this and would be open to correction.

  7. Right and recall the Spanish Flu that same year the Regicide happened.
    Was it 1918 or something like that? Then that flu wiped out millions.
    God dispensed some wrath, so we know, luke warm, get spit out.

  8. I don’t think that anybody would deny that Tsar-Martyr Nicholas was a saintly person. Following the Russian Revolution, it was discovered that he and his immediate family had spent all of their life’s savings to build hospitals and orphanages during World War I as well as to construct churches and other charitable institutions throughout Russia.

    Nicholas was also a deeply religious man, who was the key player in the glorification of St. Seraphim of Sarov as well as numerous other saints. He went to the Divine Liturgy every morning and all other divine services whenever it was possible. He also firmly believed that he was doing God’s will as a ruler of the Russian Empire.

    In looking at Nicholas’s reign, one has to take in the good and the bad. For example, Russian industrialization was growing at a tremendous rate during this time. If the Russian government had waited until 1917 to enter World War I, it would have ended with a resounding victory for the Russian people. When war was declared in 1914, however, the Russians were not prepared and the war was a disaster which became even worse once Nicholas himself assumed the role of commander-in-chief after his cousin Nicholas Nikolayevich resigned.

    In 1906, Nicholas granted the Russians a constitution and a representative form of government in the Duma. However, the Duma was essentially a lame duck because he didn’t approve most of the measures which it passed. Bishop Basil Rodzianko acknowledge in a documentary that had the Tsar not intervened in the workings of the Duma as frequently as he did, then Russia could have been saved.

    There is no doubt that Rasputin had a tremendous influence on the Imperial family. However, the idea that he was some sort of demon was perpetuated to a great extent by the writings of Fr. Iliodor. Iliodor published a book called “The Mad Monk of Russia” in which he chronicled Rasputin’s numerous misdeeds. However, that book is mostly fiction and is not based on the facts. Rasputin himself only visited several times and mainly communicated with the Imperial Family through telegrams and telephone calls.

    I personally do not believe that the Tsar’s abdication and murder unleashed every evil that we have seen in the 20th and 21st centuries. However, I do believe that the Russian people were punished tremendously for the sin of regicide. The countless New Martyrs and victims of the Gulag, the destruction of the churches and monasteries, and the terror unleashed against all citizens of the former Russian Empire are proof of this.

  9. I believe the monarchy should be restored.

  10. Tzar opposed central banks like Kennedy, kind of reminds you that Stones
    tune “hope you guess my name” .. “killed the Tzar and his ministers and Anastasia (screamed in vain)
    .. well who killed the Kennedy’s well after all it was you and me .. please to meet
    you hope you guess my name .. all your politicians and troubadours lay to waste” ..

    Under Tsar Nicholas ll Russia was prosperous. Free market economy lots of flourishing in all the arts and sciences. Industry standards were tops in Europe not to mention the dismal standards in Chicago one toilet to a hundred and ten workers Tsar Nicholas was great for Russian Capitalist economy. Under Tsar Nicholas ll Russia had best wages and benefits for the Middle Class Worker. But then the liberals, with all their propagandizing Russians became jaded. St. Seraphim said they stopped fasting and that was the downfall.

    • Then it was documented that at the site where the royal family
      was martyred signs and symbols were left behind in blood like
      the manson murders it was occult stuff all that marxism and anti
      Orthodox Christian their agenda.

      • Absolutely this was a ritual murder please research this for yourselves, it is so important to understand who did it and why, it reaches to today’s world.

        • All right, folks. Steady. We’re going to get through this. With God, all things are possible.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          More information please. Thank you.

          • I’ve detected a serious uptick in anxiety on Monomakhos due to the stress of the times, the politics, the Phanar’s behavior and being called on it. I was just trying to reassure people.


              Fr. Peter Heers by my estimation delivers a solid criticism of the Cretan Council.
              Interestingly, among lots of other things, there is no “demonology” in their “Cretan” council “opinion” or whatever it was, no mention of devil or demon or diabolical or evil one; in Christology you are supposed to have that,

              1 John 3:8 “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

              Devil is always trying to make everyone not believe in him. So when you see so many people indelibly print his image on their bodies, tattoos, all those demonic ones, they are saying he doesn’t actually exist so they are free to play with provocative imagery that entertains all kinds of carnal infatuations.

              Now the “council” seems in line. Yup, “devil” is superstition, we are “modern” bishops “devil” is “yada yada” bad childhood or something, so, you never know who is messing you up. Powers and principalities. Thats basic Orthodox.

              Getting back to the Tsar, St. Seraphim of Sarov prophesied that the Tsar who will canonize him Saint will be canonized himself, no one understood that, what he meant, too many obstacles maybe George or Misha might help me out here with this, well probably not too many ever thought Tsar Nicholas ll would be canonized he was.

              • Then that “G” that the masons always have. Is that one “G” RAND ARCHITECT or “G”eometry, ? So now I have to go back to Orthodox
                Tea. Smells Lucifer. I think someone should write a book “Demons
                for Dummies” and i should write for myself. This past week was
                St. John of the Ladder. Never knew nothing about him except the
                icon looked up some of his quotes, and other saints, but his were
                the most positive, for example, if you got yourself into a problem
                the only way to get out of it is to back away from the way you first
                got into it. Right right. OH! If PRIDE is just one sin that can take down
                then HUMILITY is the one virtue that can take you back up. Alright
                want y’all to let me how a’m doing on humility ..

              • Yes, Fr. Peter does a good job.

  11. Hell is trying too hard. Perfectionism is the Curse. One does only what one can manage. That’s the way to Heaven.

    • The way to Heaven is the parable about the Five Wise Virgins
      and the five not so wise, ten total, all “virgins” so they were “good”
      all ten of them by way of their status, but, there was a difference.
      If the unwise virgin did fifty deeds with sweat and sacrifice but not
      in Christ’s name and the Wise Virgin barely dusted a tablecloth in Christ’s
      name she gets more reward. Doing a bunch of good deeds and charitable
      deeds for social reasons, recipe for perdition, eternal, thats what all you
      orthodox out there have to tell your friends.

      But but but of course anyone who adopts the faith of Cornelian
      the Centurion then probably,y see demon playing with my keypad
      leave it, anyway, then the only reason you do something good is you want reward in the future life, they say there Are 27 colors and
      some you have never seen yet, i rather experience them in a ghetto
      in heaven then down below where you will see them though they
      will be taken away. Of course there is no Ghetto in Heaven thats
      whats gonna make a lot of people mad, nope, if you landed an abode and its not in some evil place, just wait, the devil can still
      fool you and flatter you, we have to not .. what was that St. John Climacus said .. always know that the Lords Mercy is the greatest.