17 July 2020

2020-07-14 H.I.H. The Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia visits St. Petersburg, 11-13 July 2020.

On 11-13 July 2020, H.I.H. The Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke George of Russia visited St. Petersburg.


On 12 July, the feast day of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, His Imperial Highness attended the Divine Liturgy in the Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral.  The Liturgy was served by His Eminence Metropolitan Varsonofii of St. Petersburg, along with other clergy.


Before the Liturgy began, Archpriest Alexander Tkachenko performed the rite of Chrismation for Rebecca Bettarini, the Director of the Russian Imperial Foundation, who in Holy Orthodoxy took the name Victoria Romanovna.[1]  She arrived in St. Petersburg with the Grand Duke.


Grand Duke George of Russia and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini then took Holy Communion.  His Eminence Metropolitan Varsonofii afterward presented Victoria Romanovna an icon of her Heavenly patron, the Holy Martyr Victoria of Rome.


Of behalf of his mother, the Head of the Imperial House of Russia, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, Grand Duke George awarded the Imperial Order of St. Vladimir to His Eminence Metropolitan Varsonofii.  In turn, the Metropolitan presented the Grand Duke an icon of the Resurrection of Christ and a number of books. For the news release (in Russian) from the St. Petersburg Metropolia, see http://mitropolia.spb.ru/news/mitropolit/?id=179640.


After a trapeza (a light meal following the service), the Grand Duke and those accompanying him went to the New Mausoleum at the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul, where Archpriest Alexander Tkachenko and Protodeacon Andrei Levin served a Litiya, or commemorative service, for Emperor Kirill Vladimirovich and Empress Victoria Feodorovna, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich and Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, and Grand Duke Alexander Vladimirovich (all of whom, except for the wife of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, are buried in the New Mausoleum).


In the afternoon, the Grand Duke met with philanthropists and church donors in St. Petersburg, thanking them on behalf of the House of Romanoff for their generosity to charity and the Church, and distributing several awards of the Imperial House.


During his visit, the Grand Duke had numerous meetings and discussions with persons and groups working with the Imperial House on its various social and cultural projects in and around the Northern Capital.


[1] In preparation for being received into Holy Orthodoxy, Ms. Rebecca Bettarini received religious instruction under the direction of His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America.  The day before their arrival in St. Petersburg, Grand Duke George and Ms. Rebecca Bettarini visited the Church of St. Martin the Confessor in Moscow, where her final session preparing her for Chrismation and Confession took place.


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