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HS: Saint Yelizaveta Fyodorovna Romanova

Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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4/11/2016 1:53:25 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
This is a part of a series of posts which I will be doing called Historical Stories. I was originally going to start in the Middle East, but I was recently reminded how little people know of the largely villified Romanovs, and wanted to shine light on one of the most inspiring members of the Russian royal family.

Pictures:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com...
http://3.bp.blogspot.com...
http://4.bp.blogspot.com...

Grand Duchess of Russia, Holy Martyr of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Princess of the House of Hesse, Elisabeth was born in 1864 to Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, and the British Princess Alice (the daughter of Queen Victoria). Her younger sister, Alexandra, was the last Tsaritsa of Russia, due to a marriage which Elisabeth encouraged. She was renowned as one of the most beautiful women of Europe, and had many suitors among the royalty of her time. Elisabeth was also an intensely religious woman, and was very much inspired by her namesake, Elizabeth of Hungary, from whom her house was descended.

The princess eventually married Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, the fifth son of the Russian Tsar, in the evening of the Russian empire. The people were reputed to have fallen in love with the young princess, who converted to orthodoxy upon marrying. Her husband, on the other hand, was a stern and unforgiving man, whose misrule of Moscow made him very unpopular. When her husband expelled 20,000 Jews from Moscow, Elisabeth protested in vain, claiming that God would punish him for his callousness. Many attempts were planned on the Grand Duke's life by revolutionaries, but they were often cancelled because killing his beloved wife and innocent children in cold blood would have crippled the revolutionary movement. Eventually he was caught alone while visiting his office, and Ivan Kalyayev threw a nitroglycerin bomb into his coach. The bomb landed in the Grand Duke's lap, and disintegrated his body in the resulting explosion.

After grieving her husband's death, Elisabeth visited the assassin in jail, bible in hand. She told him that she forgave him for killing her husband, and begged Kalyayev to repent so that God could forgive him. She petitioned the government to pardon the assassin and release him, believing that it was both Christian, and that it would end the cycle of violence consuming her empire. Her calls were ignored, and the assassin was publicly executed. At this point, she followed in her namesake's footsteps. Selling her priceless collection of jewels and all of her belongings, Elisabeth founded a convent, pharmacy, orphanage, and hospital, becoming a nun herself and often venturing into the cities worst slums to minister to the poor. She solicited aid from other aristocratic women, seeking to address the deplorable treatment of Russia's poor, was known to deliver food to the homes of the poor along with her maid-turned nun, Varvara (Barbara) Yakovleva, and eventually spread her charitable mission to other Russian cities. She also tried to convince her sister, in vain, to curtail the influence of Rasputin.

After Lenin seized power, he ordered the Cheka to arrest Elisabeth without charge. She was transported, along with the surviving royal family members and the nun Barbara (who refused to leave her side), to a small village outside of Yekaterinburg with an abandoned mine shaft about 70 feet deep. The prisoners were beaten and thrown into the pit, starting with Elisabeth, and several live hand grenades were thrown in with them, though most survived both the grenades and the fall. Their executioners were unnerved at the sound of Orthodox hymns being sung at the bottom of the shaft, and covered the hole with brush which they lit on fire before leaving. When the Grand Duchess's body was recovered by the White Army, she was revealed to have died after a long while from injuries sustained during her fall. Before doing so, she had used her own torn clothes to bind the wounds of other survivors in the pit. Her remains were recovered and taken to Peking, and were eventually interred in the Church of Maria Magdalena in Jerusalem, along with those of Barabara Yakovleva. She was canonized in 1992 by the Moscow Patriarchate.

More than anything, this is a cautionary tale of the dangers inherent in extremism and broad-brush thinking, which can indict even the most innocent in their unreasonable fury.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Sam7411
Posts: 959
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4/11/2016 2:01:45 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/11/2016 1:53:25 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
This is a part of a series of posts which I will be doing called Historical Stories. I was originally going to start in the Middle East, but I was recently reminded how little people know of the largely villified Romanovs, and wanted to shine light on one of the most inspiring members of the Russian royal family.

Pictures:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com...
http://3.bp.blogspot.com...
http://4.bp.blogspot.com...

Grand Duchess of Russia, Holy Martyr of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Princess of the House of Hesse, Elisabeth was born in 1864 to Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, and the British Princess Alice (the daughter of Queen Victoria). Her younger sister, Alexandra, was the last Tsaritsa of Russia, due to a marriage which Elisabeth encouraged. She was renowned as one of the most beautiful women of Europe, and had many suitors among the royalty of her time. Elisabeth was also an intensely religious woman, and was very much inspired by her namesake, Elizabeth of Hungary, from whom her house was descended.

The princess eventually married Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, the fifth son of the Russian Tsar, in the evening of the Russian empire. The people were reputed to have fallen in love with the young princess, who converted to orthodoxy upon marrying. Her husband, on the other hand, was a stern and unforgiving man, whose misrule of Moscow made him very unpopular. When her husband expelled 20,000 Jews from Moscow, Elisabeth protested in vain, claiming that God would punish him for his callousness. Many attempts were planned on the Grand Duke's life by revolutionaries, but they were often cancelled because killing his beloved wife and innocent children in cold blood would have crippled the revolutionary movement. Eventually he was caught alone while visiting his office, and Ivan Kalyayev threw a nitroglycerin bomb into his coach. The bomb landed in the Grand Duke's lap, and disintegrated his body in the resulting explosion.

After grieving her husband's death, Elisabeth visited the assassin in jail, bible in hand. She told him that she forgave him for killing her husband, and begged Kalyayev to repent so that God could forgive him. She petitioned the government to pardon the assassin and release him, believing that it was both Christian, and that it would end the cycle of violence consuming her empire. Her calls were ignored, and the assassin was publicly executed. At this point, she followed in her namesake's footsteps. Selling her priceless collection of jewels and all of her belongings, Elisabeth founded a convent, pharmacy, orphanage, and hospital, becoming a nun herself and often venturing into the cities worst slums to minister to the poor. She solicited aid from other aristocratic women, seeking to address the deplorable treatment of Russia's poor, was known to deliver food to the homes of the poor along with her maid-turned nun, Varvara (Barbara) Yakovleva, and eventually spread her charitable mission to other Russian cities. She also tried to convince her sister, in vain, to curtail the influence of Rasputin.

After Lenin seized power, he ordered the Cheka to arrest Elisabeth without charge. She was transported, along with the surviving royal family members and the nun Barbara (who refused to leave her side), to a small village outside of Yekaterinburg with an abandoned mine shaft about 70 feet deep. The prisoners were beaten and thrown into the pit, starting with Elisabeth, and several live hand grenades were thrown in with them, though most survived both the grenades and the fall. Their executioners were unnerved at the sound of Orthodox hymns being sung at the bottom of the shaft, and covered the hole with brush which they lit on fire before leaving. When the Grand Duchess's body was recovered by the White Army, she was revealed to have died after a long while from injuries sustained during her fall. Before doing so, she had used her own torn clothes to bind the wounds of other survivors in the pit. Her remains were recovered and taken to Peking, and were eventually interred in the Church of Maria Magdalena in Jerusalem, along with those of Barabara Yakovleva. She was canonized in 1992 by the Moscow Patriarchate.

More than anything, this is a cautionary tale of the dangers inherent in extremism and broad-brush thinking, which can indict even the most innocent in their unreasonable fury.

Inspiring yet also a disheartening story...never knew about Elisabeth until now
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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4/11/2016 2:11:48 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/11/2016 2:01:45 AM, Sam7411 wrote:
At 4/11/2016 1:53:25 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
This is a part of a series of posts which I will be doing called Historical Stories. I was originally going to start in the Middle East, but I was recently reminded how little people know of the largely villified Romanovs, and wanted to shine light on one of the most inspiring members of the Russian royal family.

More than anything, this is a cautionary tale of the dangers inherent in extremism and broad-brush thinking, which can indict even the most innocent in their unreasonable fury.

Inspiring yet also a disheartening story...never knew about Elisabeth until now

Yeah, the normal narrative is that the Romanov's were drinking out of peasant skulls and laughing as Moscow burned, but the truth is always more nuanced than that.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Sam7411
Posts: 959
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4/11/2016 2:14:51 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/11/2016 2:11:48 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 4/11/2016 2:01:45 AM, Sam7411 wrote:
At 4/11/2016 1:53:25 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
This is a part of a series of posts which I will be doing called Historical Stories. I was originally going to start in the Middle East, but I was recently reminded how little people know of the largely villified Romanovs, and wanted to shine light on one of the most inspiring members of the Russian royal family.

More than anything, this is a cautionary tale of the dangers inherent in extremism and broad-brush thinking, which can indict even the most innocent in their unreasonable fury.

Inspiring yet also a disheartening story...never knew about Elisabeth until now

Yeah, the normal narrative is that the Romanov's were drinking out of peasant skulls and laughing as Moscow burned, but the truth is always more nuanced than that.

true, history is written by the victors