His Grace Bishop Nazary of Kronstadt,Russia decried the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 that resulted in the Communist persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church for several decades,including the martyrdom of untold thousands of Christians and the widescale destruction of churches.He had welcomed the relics of two of those new martyrs,Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna and Nun Barbara,at the airport when they arrived from New York for a visit at the behest of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,a branch of the Moscow Patriarchate.*
Speaking at the moleben,or prayer service,before the relics at the St.Alexander Nevsky Monastery's Holy Trinity Cathedral in St.Petersburg,Bishop Nazary recalled that:
One hundred years ago in our glorious city the revolution began.Many people still welcome it as an achievement,and this means that atonement has not yet arrived in our society.I'm more inclined to call this event the great disaster that befell not only Russia,but the whole territory of the Russian Empire.This revolution marked the beginning of the division.The only positive outcome of these events is that the patriarchate was restored to Russia.*
New Martyrs Grand Duchess Elisabeth and Nun Barbara were killed by the Bolsheviks on 18 July 1918,along with several other royals.They were thrown down a mine shaft and blown up with hand grenades that were tossed in.Their relics were at St.Alexander Nevsky from 5-9 May,and will be at the cathedral of the Feodorovskaya Icon of the Mother of God in honor of the 300th anniversary of the House of Romanov from 9-11 May.