This year, the commemoration of the Holy Royal Martyrs on Sunday the 17th and Monday the 18th of July in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY was especially festive: it must be noted that it was 99 years ago that they suffered for Christ.
Divine services were led by Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, who himself once graduated from Holy Trinity Seminary. The solemn hierarchal service was a witness to the beauty of Orthodoxy to the many pilgrims: the youth who had participated in the monastery’s summer youth program and were departing for home, the students of the annual Summer Music School who were already one week into their program, and the hundred or so scouts of St. George Pathfinders of America, who had gathered in the monastery for their annual pilgrimage. It is interesting that the Holy Royal Martyrs brought together these various groups of people, all of whom are part of summer life at the monastery.
Bishop Nicholas was hosting the meeting of the Committee for Youth of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States in the monastery this year. The chair of the committee, His Grace Thomas, Bishop of Oakland, Charleston & the Mid-Atlantic of the Antiochian Archdiocese of America, prayed in the altar. After lunch, the committee met in the monastery conference room. Later, a tour of the monastery and the museum was arranged, followed by a meeting with the monastery abbot, Archimandrite Luke (Murianka). A lively discussion of the monastery’s history and that of Orthodoxy in America was enjoyed by those present. Bishops Nicholas and Thomas expressed their gratitude for the monastery’s hospitality. This was Bishop Thomas’s first visit to Jordanville, for which he expressed his pleasure after having heard so much about the monastery.
The Russian scouts, besides participating fully in the Divine Liturgy and especially in the singing, spent the rest of the afternoon touring the grounds and the museum. It is so vital for them to see that the traditional, religious culture of Russia is alive in America and not just part of a glorious past of their ancestors. May God grant that they may integrate the Faith of their fathers into their daily lives.
Ever since the feast of the Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia became part of the liturgical life of Holy Trinity Monastery, it has been celebrated with love and admiration for their great sacrifice for Russia and their faith. In Russia, on this feast, ever more and more thousands of pilgrims gather to commemorate this tragic event, which has immense meaning for the present era in Russia and the whole world. Let us all spiritually prepare for the 100th anniversary of their martyrdom, that it might bring about the Lord’s will for Russia’s return to the ideals of its past and shed light on a world in such dire need of repentance and salvation.