25 December 1999

Christmas Address of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna

Christmas Address of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna

Christmas Address
of the Head of the Russian Imperial House,
H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna

Dear Countrymen! 

I offer my heartfelt congratulations on the Feast of the Nativity of Christ and the New Year, 1999!

The past year has brought to the Motherland new economic crises, the consequence of which has been an increase in political and social instability. The coming year appears to be, perhaps, the most worrisome in our recent history. Much of what has been accomplished through great labors has been lost. And so it is not surprising that, in Russian society, people increasingly feel distrust in the future, despondency, and anger. All this fills Our hearts with enormous sadness.

Our Family strives with all our hearts to be one with you at this difficult hour. I know that only when We are no longer required to live abroad will We be able to take part fully in the rebirth of the Motherland. My royal predecessors and I have repeatedly said that We desire this rebirth regardless of the attitude that prevails at the present time in Russia toward the monarchical tradition that We represent. But since We cannot live among you all the time, I would not want to come to you today with empty words of comfort and slogans. The only thing I consider it necessary to say is this: however difficult conditions may be, whatever ordeals may befall Russia, we should always remember that our country is a great power with a glorious history and an enormous spiritual, economic, and cultural potential. The greatness of the Russian people consists in its ability to overcome division, to rally together in the name of higher ideals, and to unite to win out in the end over all troubles and disorders. Only national unity will save our state from further crises, whatever shape they may take—crises which surely are the burdensome legacy of the revolutionary epoch.

Therefore, we will not allow ourselves to be enticed by the constant sloganeering of certain political organizations and leaders who urge the hunting down of those guilty of causing this disorder or even advocate some sort of violent action. Instead, We urge you to seek out first and foremost friends and other like-minded people—not any perceived enemies—resolutely and uncompromisingly insisting upon your civil laws and the future of your children, and not allowing any retreat from the rule of law or any other kinds of abuses. Then, no evil of any kind can harm us.

In these days, I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ, who became man for the sake of our salvation, will send us His all-powerful assistance; and I wish you peace in your hearts on the bright and joyous Feast of the Nativity and in the New Year, with firm faith in the mercy of God and with confidence in the strength of the Russian people. 

(The original is signed in Her Imperial Highness’s own hand:)  

Issued in Jerusalem
25 December/7 January 1999

A. Zakatov Private Secretary of the IMPERIAL family

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