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21 July 2018
IOPS modestly marked the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of its second chairman

July 18 marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna at the hands of the Bolsheviks, from 1905 to 1917 headed the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS).

July 18 marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna at the hands of the Bolsheviks, from 1905 to 1917 headed the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS).

She was killed alive in a mine near Alapayevsk along with other representatives of the Romanov dynasty and her cell-mate Varvara. At the end of the 20th century, Elizabeth Fedorovna and Varvara were glorified in the face of the saints first by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and then by the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). In Jerusalem, the relics of the Holy Martyrs rest in the Mary Magdalene Church in Gethsemane, built by the IOPS. On the consecration of the Church came in 1888 the Grand Duchess along with her husband Sergei Alexandrovich, the first chairman of the IOPS, who headed the Society until his martyrdom at the hands of the terrorist revolutionaries on February 4 (17), 1905. After his assassination, this post was taken by Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fedorovna, confidently leading the IOPS in the most difficult years - the years of the Russo-Japanese War, the First Russian Revolution, the First World War. In April 1917 the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna applied to the IOPS Council with a request for the resignation of the chairman's powers, so that by her involvement in the Romanov dynasty, it would not harm the Company's further activities in post-monarchist Russia.

During the years of the Grand Duchess's leadership, the IOPS felt a great need for funds for its work, it almost reached the close of the IOPS schools, and there were 101 of them, two of them were opened under the Grand Duchess. Elizabeth Feodorovna saved the school business, having obtained state funding from Emperor Nicholas II, who was an honorary member of the IOPS. At the same time it was finished and began to receive the pilgrims of the Niykolai Compound in Jerusalem, the construction of a pilgrimage courtyard and a profitable house in Haifa began, where the construction of a new port began, more modern than in Jaffa. In 1911, a large-scale work began on the construction of a pilgrimage courtyard with a temple in Bari, Italy, at the relics of Nicholas the Wonderworker. The project was under the highest supervision of the emperor. Before the outbreak of World War I, the compound was built and partially finished. The building was equipped with the latest innovations of that time. In St. Petersburg, the Nikolo-Alexandrovsky (Bargradsky) church was built and built to raise funds for the project in Bari. Elizaveta Fedorovna managed to keep all this under her control, despite the construction of the Marfo-Mariinsky Convent of Mercy in Moscow, an entirely new type of charitable institution where the nurses helped the sick and suffering, not accepting monastic dignity, who could marry at any time and receive dowry...

The life of Elizabeth Feodorovna ended in 53 years and in the most brutal way.

It was reasonable to expect that the 100th anniversary of the martyr's death of this courageous, active and deeply believing woman, which is not only an example for imitation of all subsequent figures in the field of the IOPS, but also the heavenly patron of the Society, will be noted by the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society in the widest possible way in Russia, but also in Jerusalem, where there is a historical site - the restored and restored Sergievskiy compound, the main building from the pre-revolutionary real estate of the IOPS. IOPS Director in the State of Israel Ashurbeyli, who in all interviews assures everyone of the incredibly active work of the Sergievsky compound, significantly promised to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the death of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and the royal family, four members of which were honorary members of the IOPS.

After that, all interested persons prepared to see in the Holy Land something grandiose with an open for everyone who wants access to the courtyard.

Much has promised and an announcement on the IOPS website, notifying that "on July 20, 2018, a reception will be held at the Sergievsky compound in Jerusalem on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the tragic death of the Tsar's Romanov family."

The program of the reception announced the attendance at the event of "the Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Zeev Elkin and other representatives of state power, public and cultural figures of Russia and Israel", the opening of a museum with "unique exhibits" with an excursion and, conference of the IOPS in the State of Israel and the countries of the Christian East ", which provides for" the admission of new candidates for IOPS and the presentation of honorary commemorative signs and awards ", and, of course, after lunch and concert.

For some reason, all this was published under the heading "Sergievskoe compound in Jerusalem will become the center of events in Israel dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the tragic death of the Romanovs' royal family" without mentioning the name of Elizabeth Feodorovna. And for IOPS, it is the memory of her that comes first. But, whether the organizers forgot about this, or the PR people who covered the event on the IOPS website. Nobody began to delve into the subtleties of the IOPS history.

However, judging by the reports on the IOPS website and other Internet sources, the reception in the declared format was not set.

Something is not visible in the photo of "representatives of state power, public and cultural figures of Russia and Israel", without the flame Ashurbey was awarded the highest order of the IOPS, there is no mention of the concert program and the delivery of IOPS membership signs.
The opening of the museum on the website of the IOPS is devoted to a few lines: "Then the opening ceremony of the museum exposition of the IOPS was held. High guests and participants looked with interest at the exposition, which presents new documents revealing the history of Russia's presence in the Holy Land. " On this, everything, no transfer of the promised "unique" exhibits or any details about them. In the photo you can see the barely filled shelves in the lockers by some objects, filmed from a distance, the office books of the IOPS that can not be seen, but copies of various photographs.
What kind of training will the museum guides have? How many of them will be, you can only guess. Are they well acquainted with the history of the IOPS in Russia and the Holy Land, with the history of construction and functioning of the farmstead itself, its restoration or for reviewing a few exhibits of extensive knowledge and will not be required? I.R. Ashurbeyli in his speech called this exhibition temporary and promised to "complete the work on creating the museum before the end of the year." Then what is the opening of the museum to be considered real? Now with a temporary exhibition or six months after the creation of the museum, will it be opened again? Will the museum be accessible in a constant mode for anyone who wishes, or will its doors be opened only on special occasions?
The declared "first IOPS conference in the State of Israel and the countries of the Christian East" also did not happen. Maybe scientists about it did not recognize or ignore it in time. All those who are in the topic know perfectly well that the first one was already a long time ago, current IOPS figures are simply not familiar with the history of the Society, including after 1992, and they are leading the story from their person.

Lighting the event, the IOPS website writes that the speakers at the reception mostly referred to the royal family, the royal passion-bearers. A separate news item was a presentation by I.R. Ashurbeyli. He authoritatively reported that the compound was closed for 100 years (which is completely untrue), but with its opening a public center of the Russian presence appeared in Jerusalem a year ago. The Director of the IOPS in Israel reported on the active work of the metochion in this time, listing several events of the Russian embassy and the Russian Spiritual Mission that took place at the courtyard for a limited circle of people, and reported on some projects, for example, the guide's club, which they invited to the farmstead only once. The polling station, the celebration of the Victory Day, the Day of Russia, the reading of the Russian spiritual mission is, of course, good, but why are the IOPS figures forgotten? In the first half of 2018, the jubilee dates have already passed, related to the names of the founders, honorary members of the IOPS - V.N. Khitrovo, D.D. Smyshlyaev, M.P. Stepanov, O.E. Putyatina, M.M. Kiseleva, Metropolitan Vladimir (Bogoyavlensky), who was shot 100 years ago in Kiev and ranked as a saint, as well as several famous scientists who studied the heritage of the Holy Land. What memorable events took place in their honor? What is the function of the public center of the Russian presence, if there is not extensive educational work telling about the remarkable history of the IOPS and its ascetics, if thousands of tourists and pilgrims are not free to visit the compound for an excursion?

To the specific merits of the IOPS Directorate in Israel, perhaps, only the successful operation of the hotel (according to I.R. Ashurbeyli, "the whole geography of the world has already visited here"), a souvenir shop and the "official" opening of the restaurant since August 1, can be attributed. Whether he is currently working underground or whether a special ceremony for the opening of a drinking establishment in the historical walls of the monastery is supposed to be unclear. And in general, how relevant is it to mention the restaurant during the MEMORABLE events, on the 100th anniversary of the martyr's feat of the holy august chairman of the IOPS?

Currently, a petition is being prepared on behalf of the IOPS for the President of Russia on awarding I.R. Ashurbeyli Order of Friendship "for a great charitable work and active work to popularize the cultural, spiritual and historical heritage of Russia." Right now this issue is put to absentee voting of the members of the IOPS Council. What is his contribution to the Fatherland within the framework of the IOPS? If I.R. Ashurbeyli works for the sake of charity, then why profit in the form of state awards? The best example is the charitable work of Elizabeth Feodorovna, who was not awarded any orders. If it is a down-to-earth hotel and restaurant business with unearthly comfort conditions, it will be more appropriate to reward a fictional space state with a pagan name, whose ruler Ashurbeyli himself proclaimed himself recently in Vienna. But who will attend to this in absentia voting? I recognized with gratitude the IOPS Council three years ago the imaginary merit of I.R. Ashurbeyli on the legal registration of the IOPS in Israel, which he trumpeted to the whole world, and which was carried out by the Jerusalem branch long before Ashurbeyli even appeared in the IOPS and later became the director of the IOPS in Israel, in the Holy Land not living and visiting Jerusalem occasionally. By the way, and the promised return period of the Alexander compound, which he, allegedly, is diligently engaged in, has long since expired, and things are still there.

Judging by the review on the website of the  IOPS, only E.A. Agapova made a speech about Elizabeth Fedorovna, but at no key moments of her speech the accent was made. And why, because it is more important for everyone to know how I.R. Ashurbeyli held a "tremendous job" to eliminate the "traditional" shortcomings of the builders. Apparently, in this series it is necessary to put an alteration in the fountain's flower-bed in the courtyard of the courtyard, for which the builders made special filters so that living goldfish could well feel themselves in clean water, decorating the fountain before the restoration of the farmstead. If you believe the director of the IOPS in Israel, builders and restorers for seven years are unclear what they were doing, and only he brought everything into a working state. Why at the final stage of repair he did not agree with the builders all the details of the functional, it is unclear. Time for that was enough.

In a word, the reception at the Sergievskoe compound passed modestly, in a chamber atmosphere, without the presence of the general public, and was dedicated not to Elizabeth Feodorovna, but to the royal family. The site of the Russian Spiritual Mission (headed by a member of the IOPS Council), also illuminating the "solemn memory act dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the tragic death of the Royal Family," does not even mention the name of Elizabeth Feodorovna. This is how the praises of her merits in the field of the IOPS, the activities for the glory of the Holy Land, the spiritual significance of her martyrdom, the modern "Palestinians". Lost, apparently (or do not know) that when in 1982 her relics were brought to the temple from crypt after glorification by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the coffin of the martyr was covered with the flag of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society. Foreign structures understand this role better than at home.
Thank God that there are other people in the Holy Land who more sincerely preserve the memory of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. With a large crowd of people, the prayer service at her relics was served on July 18, the day of the memory of the saint, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilus III himself.
In the Gethsemane church, the forces of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia prepared a small photo exhibition where you can see the rare pictures of the delivery to Jerusalem of the coffins of the Grand Duchess and her cell-attendant. Even the Hoffmann grouping at the Alexander Compound, which calls itself historical IOPS, opened an exhibition of allegedly genuine items from private collections that survived the massacre of the Romanovs who were abroad. And this is all available to the general public, in contrast to the Sergievsky compound where access from the street is closed.
And yet it is surprising that, with a large number of IOPS offices, opened recently in Russia and abroad, almost nowhere (with rare exceptions - Kostroma, Nizhny Novgorod, the Moscow region), and even in Moscow, there have not been ANY commemorative events organized directly IOPS and dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the martyr's feat of the august chairman. Even the official website of the IOPS does not contain any articles with a deep awareness of the topic, there is no conceptual coverage of the participation of IOPS members in events prepared by other organizations in different cities, only a simple scattered kaleidoscope of news from different sources.
Perhaps, its heritage is not claimed by the modern functionaries of the IOPS, especially in the Holy Land? Are not they, after a century, addressed to the words of Elizabeth Feodorovna, told to their murderers after Christ: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing"?

Jerusalem Branch of the IOPS

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