The Society of Tsar Nicholas II and All the Martyrs of the Empire (The TSARNAME Society)
If, God forbid, the Sovereign falls, then Russia will fall with her...Strengthen the family, because it is the foundation of every State.
Tsar Alexander III on his deathbed to the future Tsar Nicholas II
The feat of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II, like that of a great martyr, is virtually unequalled in the history of recent centuries....The slaying of the defenceless Russian Monarch, forsaken by all, together with His Spouse and their young Children, will forever remain as a stinging reproach to the conscience of the whole world. We believe that the time will come when humanity will at last comprehend that our Imperial Passion-bearers and all who followed in their footsteps were slain for their witness to Divine Righteousness and sacrificed themselves in order to cleanse from its sins the entire contemporary world, which has sullied itself in lies and unrighteousness, and which needs redemption. Ever since the fall of the Imperial Throne in Russia, everything everywhere has become unbalanced.
Metr Anastasy (Gribanovsky)
Introduction: A Personal Note
I was born in a year of great change. It was the year when Stalin was denounced in atheist-besieged Moscow, but when the anti-Communist uprising in Hungary was still cruelly crushed. In other words, this was the beginning of the realisation that the Soviet Union was doomed. However, its actual fall would be a question of long and patient suffering. This was also the year of the Suez Invasion and the humiliation of the last Western European colonial powers, France and Great Britain, by the USA. As a result, these countries, feeling betrayed, turned to forming a Common Market and from there a European Union. Thus, much of today’s world came into being then.
I was born on the third day after the thirty-eighth anniversary of the martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas II and the Imperial Family. Therefore I grew up as those Russian émigrés who had known the Tsar well and survived the Revolution and Civil War as adults were dying. Thus, Baroness Sophia Buxhevden (buried in Brompton Cemetery in London) reposed in 1956; the Tsar’s sisters, the Grand Duchess Xenia, who died near London in England in April 1960, and the Grand Duchess Olga, who died near Toronto in Canada in November 1960; Pierre Gilliard in Switzerland in 1962; Fr Nicholas (Sidney) Gibbes in London in 1963; Lily (Julia) Dehn in Rome in 1963; Mother Maria (Anna Vyrubova) in Helsinki in 1964. To this list we could add St John of Shanghai, a great defender of the Orthodox Monarchy, who wrote ‘His blood is on us’ and reposed in Seattle in 1966.
It was only later in Paris that I was to meet some who had met the Tsar as children or students, like Elena Grigorievna Evdokimova, Count Komstadios, one of the Tsarevich’s playfriends, or descendants of those involved, like Rasputin’s great grand-daughter. It therefore fell to my lot, come from a remote corner of Western Europe, to join and learn from the many to help in the great struggle to defend the uncompromised Russian Orthodox Truth against all slander and deformation.
This meant struggling for Three Restorations - for the Restorations of the Faith, of the Tsar and of ‘Rus’. This could only be done by struggling against the Three Betrayals, named by Tsar Nicholas as ‘treason and cowardice and deceit’. For after these betrayals the cock crowed three times, the great anti-Russian pogrom began and the whole ignoble history of the twentieth century, patterned precisely by treason, cowardice and deceit, as Tsar Nicholas had said, unfolded. This struggle for the Three Restorations could only be carried out by showing proof of the opposites of those vices, by showing, in other words, faithfulness and courage and honesty.
Three Struggles for Restoration
These three struggles were and are:
The struggle for the Restoration of the Faith, that is, is the struggle for the purity of Holy Orthodoxy, the struggle for faithfulness against treason. This is the struggle for the authentic, uncompromised Tradition of Russian Orthodoxy in all languages, that is, the Orthodoxy of Rus (not of Russia), against all impurity from left and right. This is the struggle against erastian compromises with the atheist State, against dissident fringes with their modernism and liberalism and renovationism, and against dissident fringes with their nationalism and racism and phyletism, which all destroy and denigrate and dilute (treason, cowardice and deceit) Orthodoxy.
The struggle for the Restoration of the Orthodox Monarchy of Rus, of Roma Nova, that is, the struggle for courage against the cowardice of denial. Such was the impurity in the White Movement that it took even the supposedly free emigration 63 years to gather the courage to canonise the New Martyrs and Confessors, at their head the Imperial Martyrs. And even then many resisted. Inside Russia, the struggle took 82 years and it is still being completed there today. There we await the canonisation of 500,000 more Martyrs, including the Imperial servants and the proclamation of the Imperial Martyrs not as Passion-bearers, but as Martyrs and Great Martyrs.
The struggle for the Restoration of the veneration of Pre-Schism Western European Saints, that is, the struggle against the deceit of heterodoxy, the struggle for honesty against those who compromise the Faith with the impurity of this world. This is the struggle to gather the Saints together for their integration into the widest understanding of Orthodox Rus, that is, the struggle for the integrity of the Church and Holiness against the deceit of those who absurdly proclaim the error that the saints are not Orthodox and have no place in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
However little I have contributed and can further contribute to the struggles for these Three Restorations against the Three Betrayals, they are still my duty and my responsibility and my witness before history. If I do nothing to struggle for these causes, how will I answer at the Last Judgement? It took some thirty-five years to see historic injustices overcome and great progress made as regards the first cause, with the reunion in 2007 of both parts of the once politically divided Russian Church. It has taken some forty years to see great progress made as regards the third, more personal cause. Not abandoning either of these causes, for, as a trinity, all three, Faith, Tsar and Rus, Orthodoxy, Sovereignty and People, go together, it is now time to turn to the last cause – that of the Restoration of the Sovereign Monarchy.
The Last Struggle
Why was this cause not of major concern earlier? Because earlier action for this cause was premature, most souls were not spiritually ready for it. Only when freedom had been obtained and so Church unity achieved and the consciousness of a broad Orthodox Rus affirmed, could we speak of the last struggle. Until there was Faith and a consciousness of Rus, there could be no question of the Restoration of a Sovereign Monarchy. Thus, only now in the Russian Lands is there being born a popular consciousness that the Tsar walks through Rus, and so for the need for this Restoration. Even five years ago this was not the case; then any restoration would have been false and hypocritical. As one very ordinary parishioner in St Petersburg said to me quite recently: ‘The Orthodox Monarchy is our history, there is no alternative; nothing else works in Russia’. The lack of popular consciousness so far explains why the ongoing mystery of the relics of the Imperial Martyrs has not yet been resolved – though soon may be.
Although there is no candidate to be Tsar (or rather there is a multitude of candidates), there is now a consciousness among more and more that the Restoration of the Monarchy is the future. A Tsarless Rus is a fatherless and disunited Rus, which is what it is today. However, above all, there is now a growing consciousness that there can be no Restoration until there is genuine repentance for the perjury and betrayal of the last Tsar, until we are worthy of this Restoration of genuine Orthodox Sovereign Monarchy.
The Akathist and Prayers to the Imperial Martyrs and Prayers for the Restoration of the Monarchy, as prophesied by the angelic St Seraphim of Sarov, by St John of Kronstadt, the Russian St John the Baptist, and by many others, are widespread. Having witnessed the tyranny and hatred everywhere caused by Absolutist Communism, the catastrophic dissolution of the Russian Lands, demanded by the West and caused by Gorbachev, the anarchy (Western ‘democracy’) caused by Yeltsin, and the corruption that has arisen under the ephemeral but long drawn out (because people are unworthy of anything better) Republic / semi-Constitutional Monarchy of Vladimir Putin, Russian Orthodox are now beginning to understand that only a popularly-chosen Orthodox Monarchy can save them.
Without the realisation inside Rus that this is the only way forward, any support for it from abroad would only have been misplaced, foreign interference. Recent pilgrimages to Russia, to New Jerusalem, to Moscow, to Nizhny Novgorod, to St Petersburg and especially to the recently restored Church of Tsarskoe Selo, whose centenary falls this September, have led me to a conclusion. This is that the time is at long last ripe for support from abroad for the Restoration of the Orthodox Monarchy in Rus. However modest the support we can give from here, we should now express it.
A Life for the Tsar
A whole series of centenaries, most significant in the history of the Church and therefore of the whole world, are now coming before us. We must begin preparing for them now. They are: 2014, the centenary of the Great War; 2017, that of the Russian Revolution; 2018, that of the martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas and the Imperial Family, without whose withholding power the whole world has since been consigned to catastrophe and chaos.
However, already 2013 will mark the fourth centenary of the House of Romanov and the ninety-fifth anniversary of the martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas II, His Family and His servants. Locally, in England, 2013 also marks the fiftieth anniversary of the repose of Archimandrite Nicholas (Gibbes), the English tutor to the Tsarevich Alexis, whose earthly remains lie in Oxford in England. An ordinary, though Cambridge-educated, Englishman, as a result of the martyrdom of the holy and pure Family whom Charles Sidney Gibbes had so devotedly served, after much soul-searching in 1934 he joined the Russian Orthodox Church.
In joining Her, he took the name of the Tsarevich Alexis and then, being ordained a priest-monk in 1935, he took the name of Tsar Nicholas. In his life for the Tsar, Fr Nicholas became the first English priest of the Russian Orthodox Church, an English wreath on the invisible graves of the Imperial Martyrs and an act of repentance on behalf of the English Nation for its failure to save the Tsar and his Family.
Therefore, on Saturday 10/23 March 1913, the day on which Orthodox memorial services are celebrated and the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of Fr Nicholas’ repose, God willing, we shall celebrate a memorial service on his grave at Headington cemetery in Oxford. We shall pray for the repose of his soul and so also honour the saints whose examples converted him to the Orthodox Church. We believe that we should do this as a group, as a Society. We suggest that this could be called The Society of ‘Tsar Nicholas II and All the Martyrs of the Empire’ (TSARNAME).
Believing in the Incarnation of Christ’s government in life, the purpose of TSARNAME is firstly to promote the cause of Orthodox Sovereign Monarchy. Secondly, it is to defend the honour of the Tsar-Martyr and the Imperial Martyrs from the unheard-of injustices, slanders and misunderstandings which still surround them. Thirdly, it is to promote the cause of all the martyrs of the Russian Lands who followed in their footsteps and who therefore can also be called ‘Imperial Martyrs’, Martyrs of the Empire.
Invented by apostate Russians before the Revolution, anti-Imperial slanders are still widely repeated and promulgated in the self-deluded Western media and world to this day. Seeing only the speck in the eyes of others, they cannot see the beam in their own eye. Like Fr Nicholas Gibbes, a model of nobility and loyalty, we are witnesses before history and stand firm in telling the Truth. Seeing the loss of Faith around him, the Tsar-Martyr spoke of ‘treason and cowardice and deceit all around’. Ever since the West chose to betray, deny, deceive and so martyr him, it has been haunted and made wretched by his absence and the absence of the virtues which were lacking all around him. We at least can show proof of those virtues - faithfulness and courage and honesty.
As a Society based in England, we have a role to play before the English-speaking world in spreading the Truth and denouncing the slanders and lies about the model Imperial Family. Its members provide a spiritual and therefore spiritual orientation for the modern world, not least in post-Soviet countries, which saw the collapse of family life under atheist Communism. As concerns their faithful servants who were martyred together with the Family, we recall that one of them was a Protestant and another was a Roman Catholic. However, both were united through the blood of their martyrdom for the Orthodox Faith, made incarnate in the Tsar. Thus, they too, like the Swiss tutor Pierre Gilliard and the English tutor, the future Fr Nicholas, set examples for the divided Western world that languishes outside the Orthodox Church.
Would those who are interested in launching this Society and who would perhaps like to see a Memorial Lunch and Conference organised in Oxford after the memorial service on Saturday 10/23 March 2013, please contact me at email@example.com.
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
30 July / 12 August 2012