06 May 2016

The Russian Orthodox Church celebrated the Feast Day of the Holy Great Martyr and Victory-Bearer George

On May 6 (new style), the Russian Orthodox Church celebrated the Feast Day of the Holy Great Martyr and Victory-Bearer George—the Heavenly patron of H.I.H. The Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia. This year, the Feast Day of St. George coincided with the Feast Day of the Icon of the Mother of God “The Life-Giving Spring” and the anniversary of His Imperial Highness’s holy baptism 35 years ago.

On this day a formal celebration took place in the Conference Hall of the Russian Orthodox University on New Square, where a new exhibit in honor of the birthday of the heir to the Russian Throne was organized by the members of the organization “For Faith and Fatherland.”

The ceremony formally opening the exhibit began with a prayer service, or moleben, done according to the royal rubrics, for the health of His Imperial Highness and his most august mother, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia. The service was officiated by Hieromonk Nikon (Levachev-Belavenets) and Fr. Mikhail Asmus of the Office of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.

After the service, a short video was shown which described the many important activities in which the Grand Duke is now or has been involved.

The Director of the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, Alexander N. Zakatov, conveyed to all those in attendance Their Imperial Highnesses’ Paschal greetings and a message of greetings and gratitude from the Grand Duchess and Grand Duke.

Then Fr. Mikhail Asmus spoke about his own experiences with the Grand Duke during their visit to the Holy Mountain in April 2015, when he accompanied His Imperial Highness to Mount Athos as an official representative of Office of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Colonel Vsevolod Petrovich Poterukhin (retired), who this year turns 90, spoke of the feelings of hope and excitement that many in Russia’s armed services felt in the 1990s when they learned of plans for Grand Duke George to study in one of Russia’s military academies. “It’s a shame that the political powers in Russia at that time did not have the political will to take this very important step for the future of our country,” said Colonel Poterukhin.

Then the microphone was turned over to the president of the International Slavic Academy of Sciences, Education, Arts, and Culture, Dr. S. N. Baburin, who stated that the idea of monarchy is becoming more and more popular in Russia.

V. I. Bragin, who in May 1992 was the Chairman of the Committee in the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation for Mass Media, Relations with Public Organizations, Civic Groups, and Public Opinion Research, shared his memories of helping to organize the first official visit of the Imperial Family to Moscow.

The First Vice-Chairman of the Russian Nobility Association, A. Iu. Korolev-Pereleshin, recounted for all those gathered his memories of the 10th anniversary in 2016 of Grand Duke George’s first official solo visit to Russia. He also described His Imperial Highness’s visit to Leipzig in 2013 for the celebration of 200th anniversary of the Battle of the Nations.

The Chairman of the Society of Descendants of the Veterans of the War of 1812, V. I. Aliavdin, shared several interesting details of the meeting between the Imperial Family and President Vladimir Putin during the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Borodino.

T. I. Dzhandieri, the Chairman of the Society of Russian-Georgian Friendship, expressed his confidence that only the restoration of the Russian Empire can guarantee the free development of all the peoples of the former Empire.

Afterward, the event “Gift for the Tsesarevich: Charity” took place. In accord with the wishes of Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, those present were given the opportunity freely to make a donation to the commissioning of a copy of the holy icon of the Fedorov Mother of God, with icons of St. Alexander Nevsky and the Holy Royal Passion-Bearer Emperor Nicholas II, and to the construction of a case, which are to be presented as a gift to the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Simferopol during the visit of the Head of the Russian Imperial House and her Heir to Crimea and Sevastopol on May 2/15 – 7/20, 2016. The list of donors and their donations will, as usual, be presented to Their Imperial Highnesses.

The celebrations of the Grand Duke’s Name Day concluded with an investiture ceremonial, during which various Imperial awards were bestowed by the Director the Chancellery of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, Alexander N. Zakatov, and by the King-of-Arms, Stanislaw V. Dumin.

After the conclusion of the ceremonies, members of the governing board of the organization “For Faith and Fatherland” and the head of the press office, S. G. Pavlov, conducted those in attendance on a short excursion around the photo exhibits in the Conference Hall.

Later, the organization “For Faith and Fatherland” hosted a reception in honour of the Grand Duke.

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