New Martyr Elizabeth

New Martyr St Elizabeth

One of Queen Victoria's daughters was Princess Alice. She married Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse and their second daughter was named Elizabeth. They also had another daughter, Alexandra Fyodorovna, and she was the last empress of Russia. 

Diptheria has been largely eradicated now, but it was a highly contagious disease in 1878, spread by physical contact or inhaling the secretions of those already infected, and it infected much of the royal household killing not only one of Elizabeths' sisters, but her mother Princess Alice, also.  Fortunately Elizabeth was away and avoided the disease, but orphaned at 14 she was brought up partly by Queen Victoria but remained in contact with her remaining family in Russia, the Tsar Nikolas, Tsaritsa Alexandra and Grand Duchess Elizabeth.  Eventually she married Grand Duke Sergei of Russia in 1884, and together they adopted the orphaned Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich and his sister Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna. 

Elizabeth converted to Orthodoxy from Protestantism in 1891, and 14 years later she was widowed by a Communist bomb which assassinated her husband. She herself heard the bomb and she herself helped collect the scattered body parts from whence they had been blasted.

She decided to become a nun, and she sold and gave away her wealth and possessions and spent her remaining life working in Moscow in the refuge she had built to aid orphans and the poor. On July 18th 1918 Elizabeth, along with various others, were herded deep into a forest by the Bolsheviks, pushed into an abandoned mineshaft and were blown up by the grenades they threw in.  In 1992 she was declared a saint.

St George

St George

A Greek who became an officer in the Roman army, George's father was Gerondios from Cappadoccia Asia Minor, and his mother was Polychronia from the city Lyda.  (Lyda was a Greek city from the times of the conquest of Alexander the Great in 333 BC, and is now in Israel.) George became an officer in the Roman army in the Guard of Diocletian in and around Nicomedia, in modern Turkey.  He is venerated as a Christian martyr, having allegedly been tortured and decapitated in the early 4C Christian purges.  In hagiography (the word Orthodoxy uses to describe the biography of saints) George is immortalised in the tale of St George and the dragon and his feast is celebrated on 23 April.

Saints of Britain

Saints of Gt. Britain & Ireland

Whilst the Orthodox Church is a global community, it is entirely right and fitting that the local component of each community is respected. To this end we have in our church an ikon of the Saints of Gt.Britain and Ireland.

There are too many to name individually, but this ikon serves to remind us how significant has been the contribution to Christianity of people of what we Orthodox Christians call "these northern isles." 

- 1 - - 2 - - 3 - - 4 - - 5 - - 6 -