While Australia welcomes the pilgrims who have come from around the world, led by the Sovereign Pontiff, His Holiness Benedict XVI, it is appropriate also to recall that ninety years ago a terrible crime was committed by a truly evil regime.
At around 230am on Thursday, 17 July 1918 the Tsar Nicholas II, the Tsarina Alexandra, and their children, the 13 year old Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich and the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, as well as their doctor and their servants, were murdered by gunshot and by bayoneting in the basement of the Ipatiev House in the town of Ekaterinburg.
Their bodies were soaked in acid, then burned and thrown down a mineshaft. Fearing the location was becoming known, they were removed and thrown into a concealed pit.
Although originally denied, it is now established that the murders were committed on the direct orders of the brutal communist dictator, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
The day after the murders at Ekaterinburg, the Tsarina’s sister, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Romanova, other members of the Imperial family and a servant were murdered near the neighbouring Urals town of Alapayevsk.
They were thrown alive down a mine shaft.
A Cathedral has been built and consecrated on the site of the Ipatiev House in honour of the Imperial Family who have since been canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Services in their memory are being held around the world to commemorate their martyrdom.
According to a report by Father Joachim to the Monarchist Alliance, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, presided over an All Night Vigil (Great Vespers and Matins) followed by the Hours and the Divine Liturgy at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Sydney from the evening of Wednesday, 16 July 2008.
[To be continued]