I. VIDEOS IN ENGLISH
ST. INNOCENT / FIREBIRD Videos is pleased to be able to create an English voice-over for this, our extremely popular Russian production, allowing this fine video to be accessible to all. Seen through Russian eyes, the video presents an account of the life and martyrdom of the highly-venerated New Martyr, Grand Duchess St. Elizabeth Fedorovna Romanova (1864-1918), within the historical context of the last years of Imperial Russia, and Russia’s disintegration at the hands of traitors and terrorists. The video utilizes numerous archival photos of the new saint and of the Romanov imperial family, and considerable archival film footage. You will see a portrayal of her childhood in Germany, her place in the imperial family (as the sister of Tsar Nicholas II’s wife, Alexandra, and wife of the Tsar’s uncle). You will see her pilgrimage to the Holy Land with her husband, the Grand Duke Sergei Aleksandrovich, for the consecration of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in the Russian Orthodox Women’s Monastery in the Garden of Gethsemene, built in honor of Grand Duke Sergei's deceased mother, Royal Empress Marie Aleksandrovna. You will see St. Elizabeth's life in Russia, including her devotion to St. Seraphim of Sarov—she and the Romanov family participated in his glorification in 1903.
The assassination of her husband by terrorist revolutionaries in 1905 significantly changed her, and several years later she became the founding abbess of the Mary and Martha Women’s Monastery in Moscow, founded through the sale of her own possessions. Now she could fully give herself to charitable work, which, since childhood, she had always longed to do. Thus she dedicated herself and the sisterhood to: visiting, nursing, feeding and teaching the poor; teaching and caring for poor children and orphans; and nursing and caring for the wounded during World War I.
The streams of blood that flowed in World War I became a torrent of blood in the Communist Revolution, which swept her away as a martyr. She rejected many pleas for her to flee Russia, accepting, instead, to follow Christ’s path to Golgotha, with faith and humility. Her relics were brought to the St. Mary Magdalene Women’s Monastery in Jerusalem, where they are today, along with her cell-attendant, Sister Barbara. The video concludes with Patriarch Aleksei II of Moscow elevating her icon at her glorification (canonization) in April 1992, during the singing of the newly composed hymns to St. Elizabeth, now officially recognized as a saint.