More than a century after the martyrdom of Saint Elisabeth Romanov, the memories of her life and works are still fresh. Her multiple representations in sculpture in various cities are evidence of this. A new monument to Saint Elisabeth was recently inaugurated in the Moscow district of Pokrovskoye-Streshnevo on her feast day. But what other sculptural monuments to Saint Elisabeth already exist around the world? Here is a quick review.
The Holy Martyr Saint Elisabeth is sometimes referred to as an Orthodox princess of all Europe. She was born into the family of the Grand Duke of Hessen-Darmstadt Ludwig IV and Princess Alice, daughter of the British Queen Victoria. As a child, she witnessed the death of her brother and mother. Her whole life resembled the way of the cross.
A statue of Saint Elisabeth was placed outside the walls of London's Westminster Abbey in 1998, amid memorials to other 20th-century martyrs.
A sculpture of Nun Elisabeth welcomes every visitor to Usovo, a small village outside Moscow. Made of bronze, it stands outside the Church of Christ Not Made By Hands.
Usovo was the homestead of Duke Sergei Alexadrovich, Elisabeth's husband. When she converted to Orthodoxy on 25 April 1895, Emperor Alexander III blessed her with the icon of the Saviour Not Made by Hand. This blessing likely inspired the Grand Duchess to give the Church of the Saviour so much of her care and attention. She also had much love for the homestead in Usovo.
After her husband's tragic death, she gave away her estate and became engaged in charitable work, which later led her to establish her Marfo-Mariinsky Convent and become its abbess.
She gave the homestead to her husband's nephew, Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich. After the revolution, the new authorities used the Usovo homestead as a spa resort and closed the church for many decades.
Marfo-Mariinsky Convent in central Moscow has another memorial to Saint Elisabeth. Her sculpture and the convent itself are living reminders of her multiple works of charity. Today, the Convent that she has once created, is still running a home visiting programme, a rehabilitation programme for disabled children, a charitable canteen and a group home for orphaned girls.
The sculpture of Saint Elisabeth was installed in 1990 outside the Church of the Protection of the Mother of God. Remarkably, the sculpture's completion preceded the return of the Marfo-Mariinsky Convents buildings to the Russian Orthodox Church.
A similar sculpture was also made in Kazakhstan. The bronze figure of the saint appeared next to Kazakhstan's only church in honour of the Holy Royal Passion-bearers in Klyuchi (Karabulak), a settlement in the Almaty Region.
In the summer of 2017, a monument to Saint Elisabeth also appeared in Alapaevsk. The sculpture commemorating her martyrdom was placed in the main square outside the Metropolitan Church of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Royal Martyr is holding a cross and a lilly as symbols of purity and her faith in God.