VLADIKAVKAZ , RUSSIA : June 23, 2006
Relics of SS Elizaveta and Varvara Brought to Ossetia
On Thursday, June 22, 2006, His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany brought portions of the relics of Holy Martyrs Elizaveta Feodorovna and Nun Varvara to Northern Ossetia , reports Interfax-Religia .
The Diocese of Vladikavkaz announced that the relics will first be held at Pokrovsky Church in Vladikavkaz, and then will be sent to Bogoyavlensky Convent.
After the Beslan tragedy, an agreement was made between the Diocese of Vladikavkaz and the Diocese of Berlin and Germany of ROCOR to cooperate in the construction in Northern Ossetia of a rehabilitation center for those who suffered from the terrorist act. The site will be Bogoyavlensky Convent, the destination of the relics.
"The relics of the martyrs will permanently remain in Northern Ossetia," said the Dean of the Orthodox Churches in the Ossetian Republic , Fr Vladimir (Samoilenko).
On Thursday, Bishop Feofan of Stavropol and Vladikavkaz and Archbishop Mark erected a cross on the ground under the former School No. 1 in Beslan, now destined to be the site of a church.
Holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna, born Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt, was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and the sister of the last Russian Empress, St Alexandra Feodorovna. The founder of Marfo-Mariinsky Convent, Elizaveta Feodorovna died a martyr's death. On July 18, 1918, she and Nun Varvara were thrown into a mine shaft near Alapaevsk, in the Urals.
That fall, their remains were discovered in the mine shaft and they were buried in Holy Trinity Cathedral in Alapaevsk. The following summer, after the onslaught of the Red Army, the relics of the martyrs were transferred via cargo train to the city of Chita . In 1920, the coffins with the bodies of Elizaveta Feodorovna and other victims of the Bolsheviks were sent to Peking, then via ship to Shanghai , and from there to Port Said . From Egypt , they were taken to Jerusalem . On February 21, 1921, the Patriarch of Jerusalem performed the rite of burial of the Grand Duchess Elizaveta and Nun Varvara.