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YEKATERINBURG, July 17 (Itar-Tass) - About 50,000 people joined an annual Cross-bearing procession in Yekaterinburg, Urals, overnight to Wednesday that covered a distance of 20 kilometers from the memorial Church on the Blood to the Ganina Yama stow to mark the 95 years since the brutal execution of the Russian Imperial family - Czar Nicholas II, Czarina Alexandra, Crown Prince Alexis, and Princesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia.
The Church of Savior on the Blood stands at the site of a former mansion of mining engineer Nikolai Ipatyev, which became the last refuge and the place of martyrdom for the Czarist family in the summer of 1918, slightly more than a year after Czar Nicholas’s abdication. At Ganina Yama, the Bolshevik perpetrators of the murder tried to destroy the bodies of the victims of early revolutionary purge.
The procession was preceded by a divine liturgy that began at around midnight and was chanted at a specially built open-air rostrum by Metropolitan Kirill of Yekaterinburg and Verkhotursk.
As he addressed the congregation with a traditional pastoral preachment, he said that the murderers of the Czarist family had tried to build happiness on the blood of innocent victims and had thus committed a murder, but there is no building happiness on whoever’s blood.
Russian Orthodox clerics from various cities of Russia and other former Soviet Republics have come to the Urals to take part in the Czarist Days. They are Metropolitan Feofan of Chelyabinsk, Metorpolitan Vicent of Uzbekistan, Metropolitan Joseph of Ivanovo-Voznesensk, Archbishop Alexander of Azerbaijan and Bishop Innocent of Nizhny Tagil.
In Moscow, a nighttime vigil service was chanted in the sepulcher of the Romanov Boyards located in one of the city’s historical and architectural landmarks - the New Monastery of the Savior’s Transfiguration.
About 200 pilgrims gathered in the small sepulcher located in the basement floor of the monastery’s main cathedral.
“Let this night and this prayer foster our faith,” said Bishop Sabbas, the abbot of the monastery. “It happens often enough that as we turn to the history of the Church and get familiarized with the recounts of saints’ lives, we realize that the path to holiness goes through blood, torture, and pain.”
“This understanding takes us back to the Savior himself, as he accepted suffering on the Cross for the entire human,” he said.
The New Monastery of the Savior’s Transfiguration has turned into one of the spiritual centers where the memories of the Imperial Family are kept with particular case. In 2011, the monastery opened a museum containing a diversity of evidence on the tragic fate of the dynasty in the 20th century.
The monastery that was founded at the end of the 15th century enjoyed patronage of the leading families of Muscovite nobility from the very start. The Grand Dukes of Moscow - and czars after Ivan the Terrible - would regular visit it on pilgrimage tours.
At least three particularly outstanding families - the Cherkasskiyes, the Sheremetyevs and the Romanovs - chose the monastery as their familial burial site. This tradition was maintained practically through to the disbandment of the monastery by the Bolshevik authorities in 1918.
The Romanov Boyards’ sepulcher contains the graves of the founder of the dynasty, as well as the mother and closest relatives of Czar Mikhail, the first Romanov to become a monarch.
The last grave appeared in the sepulcher in 1995 when Grand Duke Alexander Sergeyevich, whom a revolutionary terrorist killed in 1905 by the entrance to the Kremlin, was reburied there.
His genuine grave had been found under the cobblestones of the Kremlin’s Ivanovskaya Square during archeological excavatioins.