Perhaps it is that I inveigh too often against the liberal revolutionaries. Indeed they were premised on materialism, but the last wave of modern revolutions took place in the name of "dialectical materialism," that is, Marxism or Communism. And these were indeed the most miserable and bloody of all. The first nation to be destroyed by this beast was Russia, as anyone who has studied the Gulag system, the Holodomor in the Ukraine, the Eastern front of the Second World War, or the works of the late Alexander Solzheitsyn could tell you. Indeed, the same Russia that gave us such transcendant and mystical pieces of religious art such as Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil and the great icons of the Trinity and Our Lady of Kazan.
On this date in 1918 were killed Tsar Nicholas II and his entire family by firing squad in Yekaterinberg. The Tsar's reported final words are reported to have been, "You do not know what you do," quite reminiscent of among the last words of Christ on the cross. The prayer written by his daughter, the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, who with her mother and sister Tatiana served as a Red Cross nurse during the ugly carnage of the First World War, shows the magnanimity, piety, and Christian courage of the Imperial Family in the face of martyrdom, the same shown by Louis XVI of France, by Queen Marie-Antoinette, and by Charles I of England:
"Send us, Lord, the patience, in this year of stormy, gloom-filled days, to suffer popular oppression, and the tortures of our hangmen. Give us strength, oh Lord of justice, Our neighbor's evil to forgive, And the Cross so heavy and bloody, with Your humility to meet, In days when enemies rob us, To bear the shame and humiliation, Christ our Savior, help us. Ruler of the world, God of the universe, Bless us with prayer and give our humble soul rest in this unbearable, dreadful hour. At the threshold of the grave, breathe into the lips of Your slaves inhuman strength — to pray meekly for our enemies."
The Russian Imperial family was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000.
We would do well not to forget Our Lady's request at Fátima that we pray for this holy yet troubled land.