Today’s my English birthday (eight days after my Hebrew birthday this year), and I think I’ve finally reached the age where I simply want to say I’m old enough instead of giving my true age. It’s not like anyone would believe me if I told them my true age anyway, since I don’t look a day over 25, if that. Though don’t worry I’ll be one of those people pretending to be turning 21, 25, or 29 every single year from now on!
As in previous years, D.L. Hammons is once again hosting his Déjà Vu Blogfest, wherein participants repost something they felt didn’t get enough exposure, or their favorite post from the past year. Click on the button for more information and the list of participants.
My Friday posts generally don’t get many views, and this one has under 30 to date since its 17 July posting. It’s a memorial post for Russia’s last Imperial Family, with nothing more than their names, pictures, birthdates, and death dates. I felt that would convey the enormity of this loss of life far more than some overly graphic account of the murders. The Mourner’s Kaddish doesn’t once mention Death, and the Torah portion Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah) starts by talking about how Sarah lived, not that she died. In mourning Death, we celebrate Life.
I also avoided any discussion of the ongoing arguments over whether the Imperial Family (particularly Nicholas and Aleksandra) should’ve been canonized, or which people in particular. To make a long, heated story very short, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad canonized everyone but Fyodor Remez as New Martyrs (including two other servants murdered in September 1918), whereas the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia only canonized the immediate Imperial Family as passion-bearers, plus Aleksandra’s sister Ella and her nun Varvara as New Martyrs.
Originally published 17 July 2015:
In memory of the 19 souls murdered 97 years ago, victims of Bolshevik repression and now elevated to sainthood by the Russian Orthodox Church:
Murdered on 17 July 1918:
Tsar Nicholas II (Nikolay Aleksandrovich), born 6/18 May 1868
Empress Aleksandra Fyodorovna, née Princess Viktoria Alix Helena Luise Beatrice of Hesse and by Rhine, born 6 June 1872
Grand Duchess Olga Nikolayevna, born 3/15 November 1895
Grand Duchess Tatyana Nikolayevna, born 29 May/11 June 1897
Grand Duchess Mariya Nikolayevna, born 14/27 June 1899
Grand Duchess Anastasiya Nikolayevna, born 5/18 June 1901
Tsesarevich Aleksey Nikolayevich, born 30 July/12 August 1904
Dr. Yevgeniy Sergeyevich Botkin, born 27 May/8 June 1865
Anna Stepanovna Demidova (lady-in-waiting), born 14/26 January 1878
Ivan Mikhaylovich Kharitonov (cook), born 2/14 June 1870
Aloiziy Yegorovich Trupp (footman), born 5 April 1856
Murdered on 18 July 1918 (though most took several days to die):
Grand Duke Sergey Mikhaylovich, born 25 September/7 October 1869, and his secretary, Fyodor Remez
Sister (formerly Grand Duchess) Yelizaveta Fyodorovna, née Princess Elisabeth Alexandra Luise Alice of Hesse and by Rhine, born 1 November 1864
Sister Varvara Alekseyevna Yakovleva, born circa 1850
Prince (né Grand Duke) Ioann Konstantinovich, born 23 June/5 July 1886
Prince Konstantin Konstantinovich the younger, born 20 December 1890/1 January 1891
Prince Igor Konstantinovich, born 29 May/10 June 1894
Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley (really a Romanov), born 28 December 1896/9 January 1897
Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world. (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 37a)