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Russland: 40,000+ pilgrims in Royal Martyrs procession in Ekaterinburg

26. Juli 2023

Every year, the Ekaterinburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church organizes a series of events in honor of the martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. The events, known as Royal Days, culminate in the nighttime Liturgy at the site of their martyrdom and the procession to Ganina Yama, where their holy bodies were blasphemously discarded. This year, more than 40,000 Orthodox faithful and clerics from Russia, Uzbekistan, Serbia, the Czech Republic, and elsewhere joined in the 12.5-mile procession, reports TASS.

“Ekaterinburg is connected with the Royal Family, especially purely because it was from here that they ascended to the Heavenly abodes, and therefore the people honor them so much. I think our city stands thanks to the prayers of a whole family of righteous saints, the holy Royal Family,” His Eminence Metropolitan Evgeny of Ekaterinburg said.

“Royal days are a special phenomenon in the history of our Church, our country, because Royal Days are our repentance before the holy Royal Family, before the holy Tsar-Martyr,” commented Dr. Peter Multatuli, who has been researching the details of the execution of the Royal Family since the early 1990s.  “What is repentance? Repentance is a change, we must radically change our view, our attitude towards the Sovereign-Emperor and his family, who were tortured by the Bolsheviks. For me, the procession is my moral duty,” Multatuli said, adding that his great-grandfather Ivan Mikhailovich Kharitonov, the senior chef of the imperial cuisine, was killed together with the Royal Martyrs, “which, of course, makes these days also a family affair for me.”

The procession was preceded by the nighttime Divine Liturgy on the square in front of the Church-on-the-Blood in Ekaterinburg, built on the site where the Ipatiev House once stood, where the Royal Martyrs and their loyal servants were brutally murdered. This year, the service was celebrated by 12 hierarchs, including Met. Evgeny of Ekaterinburg, Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, who headed the Ekaterinburg Diocese from 1999 to 2011, Bishop Leonid of Argentina and South America, Metropolitan Niphon of Philippopolis, the Antiochian Orthodox representative in Moscow, Bishop Anthony of Moravica, the Serbian Orthodox representative in Moscow, and several others. Representatives of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia and the Orthodox Church in America were also present, thus the service was celebrated in several languages, reports the Ekaterinburg Diocese.

Met. Vikenty of Tashkent addressed the thousands gathered, encouraging them to take the example of the Royal Martyrs’ love for Sacred Scripture: The holy Royal Passion-Bearers, read the Scriptures. They took them with them everywhere and even on this mournful journey from Tsarskoe Selo. They took with them not only the Holy Scriptures, not only the Bible, but also the Holy Fathers, including the Ladder of St. John Climacus. They read it here, and this book strengthened them, because they knew that it was impossible to keep faith, to remain faithful to Christ, without constantly reading the Word of God, without eating—after all, this is food. The Sacred Word is the food with which we must live and nourish our souls with faith.

At about 3:00 AM, the faithful set out in procession to Ganina Yama, to the Monastery of the Royal Passion-Bearers, where the Divine Liturgy was celebrated at 9:00 AM. (Quelle:, 18. Juli 2023)