Sermon by the Spiritual Father of the St Elisabeth Convent

The Holy Royal Martyrs Feast Day Sermon

July 16, 2020

On Friday, July 17th, we celebrate the Feast Day of our church in honor of the Holy Royal Martyrs. This feast is very important because the devil does everything to destroy and defile family. And the Royal Martyrs are examples of life and love, built on the Christian faith. They were killed, and it’s a terrible crime, but the fruits of life sprout on the blood of the Holy Martyrs. For decades, Russian and Belarusian people didn’t have access to the Church, to the concept of spirituality, or to anything that is holy, yet they somehow found God. They opened their eyes, and this is not just a coincidence. 

Russians and Belarusians found God because of the prayers of the saints, the new martyrs of the Russian Orthodox Church, and all who have suffered for Christ in the 20th century. It is very important that we do not lose our faith. We must remain faithful to God until the end, and no matter how difficult the times are, we should not panic. 

We should not be afraid. We should not look for false prophecies. We just have to live our lives like Christians. My friends, it is as simple as this -  we just have to be Christians. But is it really simple for us, when we are sick from the weight of our own sins? That is a question.

We must be quieter, more humble, inconspicuous, do not annoy anyone, do not create problems for anyone, and try to feel the love for those around us in our hearts. These are very simple words, but they are in the heart of Christianity. We came to Church and we are ready to proudly say: “I am Orthodox, I am a Christian.” But what kind of Orthodox and what kind of Christians are we really? We are all sick people, both physically and spiritually, and we need to be cured by God. And we have great examples - our Saints, whom we can all follow. This is God's mercy to us. 

I’m also very happy that the Lord gave our Convent’s workshops the opportunity to create a mosaic of the Royal Martyrs inside the room in which they were killed. Our craftsmen have had the chance to work in that holy place. The president of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, destroyed the house in which the room was situated. It should have disappeared, but the Lord restores everything from dust, from ashes. 

And we should do the same. We must be restored. We must resurrect. We must look at each other and see beauty. Then it will become our victory. 

Many people hide from each other. They condemn everyone and everything. To them, everything seems bad. This is madness, and nowadays, it’s being promoted. For example, some literature confuses people and leads them away from the Church. It misleads people, lies to them. But none of the texts is true.

Our Church exists and will continue existing because Christ said that “the gates of hell shall not prevail” (Matthew 16:18). Therefore, despite everything that is happening in the world, we are happy people, because God is with us. 

"God is with us, understand all ye nations, and submit yourselves, for God, is with us.” (Byzantine Chant “God is with us”)

During Vespers in the evening, we will already be commemorating The Holy Royal Martyr Grand Duchess Elisabeth and celebrating the Patron Saint Feast day of our Convent. So we have two days of such intense prayer and we invite everyone to come and continue praying with us. 

Let us thank God. 

Glory be to Thee, O God. Glory be to Thee, O God. Glory be to Thee, O God. 

Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok 

 

Dear Friends, we are pleased to invite you to join our first live stream WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES IN LIVE CHAT of our festive vigil service to St Elisabeth on 17 July at 7 AM Minsk time / 6 AM Stockholm / 5 AM London / 12 AM (Midnight) New York / 11 PM (16 July) Chicago / 9 PM (16 July) Los Angeles.

If you happen to miss the live stream, you can replay the video of the service whenever it is convenient for you.

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