Dear  Brothers and Sisters, beloved in the Lord,
Esteemed Benefactors of the Russian Orthodox Youth Committee:

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By God’s mercy, we  embark upon the new 2018 calendar year. We cordially wish each of you,  as you open this calendar, spiritual and physical health, as well as peace and prosperity to our Divinely-preserved Fatherland, and every Russian Orthodox  person, wherever found, in this, “the acceptable year of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:2, Luke 4:19).

This year’s calendar is devoted to the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest tragedies in Russia’s history;  it was in fact a global catastrophe, for the fate of the created world itself was changed. Specifically, it was the brutal murder of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers—Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II Alexandrovich, His August Family, Holy Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna and those with them. This was not “simply” a murder of a head of state, a leader of a ruling class. The Orthodox Russian Tsar is the Anointed of God, and his power is established by God. That is why when “the Restrainer” was removed, then “the  Wicked was revealed” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8), the foundations of the world were shaken, and millions of victims fell after the murder of the Russian Tsar, not only in Russia, but throughout the world.

“All that was filthy and pathetic and sinful that could dwell in the human soul rebelled against the Tsar and against Russia. All this rose up against the Royal crown, a crown that bears a cross at its top, for the service of a monarch equates with bearing the Cross.” (St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, latter-day Miracle-worker.)

The Tsar-Martyr appeared in this world on the day that the Orthodox Church commemorates St Job the Much-Suffering. In reference to this, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), the Abbot of the Russian Church Abroad, as early as the 1920’s, over a half-century before the glorification of the Royal Martyrs, uttered the following prophetic words on May 6/18: “When the late Tsar Nicholas II said to his counselors that he was destined by God to suffer his entire life, I offer the following response: ‘Tell the Tsar that there were two Jobs: Job the Much-Suffering and St Job of  Pochaev; they both endured a great deal for a long time…’ So if our Tsar humbly submitted to Divine will, taking upon himself the cross of suffering during his life, then the Lord will not deprive him of heavenly glory after death…”

By Divine will the holy relics of St Elizabeth, known in the Fatherland today as “St Elizabeth of Alapaevsk” (denoting the site of her receiving  her martyric crown at the rabid hands of the servants of Satan), and her faithful companion Nun Varvara (Yakovleva), have found rest in Jerusalem since January 1921, in the Russian site of St Mary Magdalene Church in Gethsemane.

The 2018 calendar contains brief notes about the tragedy, and photographs and icons of the Holy Royal Martyrs and those who were martyred with them, as well as images of a few churches connected with their sufferings and glorification.

+Gabriel,
Archbishop of Montréal & Canada,
President of the Russian Orthodox Youth Committee